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Issues > Free Markets > Regulations



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The growing cost of regulations on the American economy have reached a critical point, impairing economic growth and reducing entrepreneurialism and innovation. According to The Heritage Foundation, new major regulations in President Obama’s first term have added nearly $70 billion in annual costs. In addition to limiting economic growth and innovation, the regulatory burden also  infringes on Americans’ fundamental freedoms.

The cost of excessive regulation does not just affect businesses. These costs inevitably fall on consumers who pay higher prices or see less choice and innovation in the goods and services they buy. It is nearly impossible to find a product in America that is not made more expensive because of regulation, whether it’s a cell phone, car, or a visit to the doctor.

The growing regulatory state also has increases the size of government and adds to the federal budget. And while some regulation is certainly necessary, all too often the benefits are small while the costs are large, and in some cases regulation does more harm than good.

The regulatory process needs significant reform, including requiring Congress to directly authorize new major regulations instead of simply handing the power to regulate over to bureaucrats. Regulations should be regularly reviewed to see if they are providing the promised benefits at the predicted costs, and if not then they should be repealed or at least modified.

A rational regulatory structure would continue to protect the American public from unacceptable dangers and harms, while preserving the dynamic and innovative nature of the U.S. economy and preserving our fundamental freedoms.


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