If president Joe Biden were to be reelected for a second term, the regulatory burden imposed by his administration could reach as high as $60,000 per household, according to a new report from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
The report, by Dr. Casey B. Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, who served as chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, compared the rate at which presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Biden added — or subtracted — from the regulatory burden for each American household.
According to the report:
- As of the end of 2022, the Biden administration imposed new regulatory costs on American households and businesses at a pace surpassing that of the Obama administration during a comparable period.
- The added costs from these Biden-era final rules, which include both their current and expected future costs, amount to almost $10,000 per household. If regulatory costs continue to rise at the same rate as they did during the Obama administration, the total costs of Biden’s rulemaking over an eight-year period would almost reach $60,000 per household.
- While the automobile fuel economy and emissions standards contribute the greatest single cost, they still account for only a third of the total regulatory costs. Collectively, health, labor, telecommunications, and consumer finance regulations impose costs that exceed those of automobile regulations.
- President Trump reduced regulatory costs almost as fast as President Obama and Biden were adding them. Without even counting Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s agencies through four years reduced regulatory costs by almost $11,000 per household in present value.
- Unlike President Obama, who had virtually no deregulation in his first two years, President Biden has already implemented several meaningful deregulations that are treated as negative costs in [the] estimates.
- This report is the first to comprehensively quantify the costs missing from agency cost assessments. Four agencies — Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Labor and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — impose especially large opportunity and resource costs without acknowledging them.
The report does not access regulatory benefits, but does include references on the subject in the bibliography. Mulligan used multiple federal databases to compile his data and conclusions.
The results are perhaps … not shocking.
According to the report, federal agencies across all three administrations consistently miststated the cost of their regulations.
As an example, the “Big Four” of HHS, FCC, Labor and CFPB, estimated their costs under Biden as $13.7 billion, under Obama as $11.9 billion and Trump $6.9 billion.
According to Mulligan, the Big Four actually added $257.7 billion in regulatory burden under Biden, $200.4 billion under Obama and — lowered the burden by some $272.6 billion under Trump.
In all, in just two years, Biden has increased the regulatory burden by a claimed $173.4 billion, an actual $616.7 billion, Obama in his eight years claimed an increase of $147.9 billion, the report states the real figure is $534.8 billion. Under Trump, in just four years, the claimed increase was a modest $6.8 billion and the burden actually went down $323.9 billion.
Ganon Evans, an anlyst with the Sentinel’s parent company, Kansas Policy Institute, says states are experimenting with sandbox-model legislation that allows companies to operate under lessened regulations in order to remove barriers and explore new technology like drones.
“A small business opening its doors faces an average of $83,000 in first-year regulatory costs. In Kansas alone, an estimated 29,409 jobs have been lost due to occupational licensing restrictions creating costs on businesses and workers.
The costs are not limited to regulation
As the Sentinel previously reported, Mulligan also found that so-called “green energy” costs the poor a greater percentage of their income. Instead of being portrayed as “victims” of a warming planet, low-income Americans will be forced to pay more of their income for a green energy solution.
“None of this should be a surprise,” Mulligan said in the Wall Street Journal. “An active regulatory state is a playground for the privileged class to indulge its own preferences at the expense of ordinary Americans.”