“Do you heat your home? Light your rooms? Buy and cook food? Watch TV? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you’ve fallen under federal regulation,” explains Heritage’s Mike Brownfield. “And you’re paying for it, too.”

In Red-Tape Rising: A 2011 Mid-Year Report, The Heritage Foundation’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz identify 15 new major regulations that have added $5.8 billion in annual costs along with $6.5 billion in costs for one-time implementation. And that’s just new regulations so far this year – there are thousands more, costing an estimated $1.75 trillion annually. 

Gattuso and Katz explain how these billions of dollars will hit home for Americans:

Many people may think that regulatory costs are a business problem. Indeed, they are, but the costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices. Basic items, such as toilets, showerheads, lightbulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets, and bicycles, all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling, and performance standards that go well beyond safety—as well as hundreds of millions of hours of testing and paperwork to document compliance.

Reining in bureaucratic costs will require legislative action. The first steps, according to Gattuso and Katz, are to ensure Congressional review of all major regulations and to require a sunset date for each rule so that unnecessary regulations will automatically expire.

For more details on America’s growing red tape, see Gattuso and Katz’s full report.

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