‘Hidden Tax’: Biden Clocks In Biggest Regulatory Burden In Recent Memory, Report Says

The Biden administration has outpaced other recent presidents in issuing significant regulations that place a financial burden on taxpayers, according to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under President Joe Biden, the federal government completed 89 economically significant rules in 2022, defined as those with at least a $100 million economic impact, which is higher than any point in the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations when deregulation is accounted for, according to CEI’s “Ten Thousand Commandments Report.” Regulations as a whole resulted in $1.939 trillion in added costs for the average American in 2022, exceeding every form of tax except income tax, which it rivals at $2.263 trillion.

“There have been no large-scale tax hikes, but the hidden tax of regulation has proved appealing to lawmakers,” the CEI report reads. “Mandates like family leave, child care, and job training initiatives could involve either increased observable government spending or new regulations on business. Just as consumers wind up shouldering much of the corporate income tax, the regulatory compliance costs and mandates borne by businesses will percolate throughout the economy, sneaking their way into consumer prices.”

Overall for 2022, the Biden administration instituted 3,168 new rules, less than the 4,429 that were instituted in 2021 but far greater than the 2,964 rules that were added in 2019 during the Trump administration, which was the lowest count since records began in the 1970s, according to the CEI. Of those rules, 256 of them in Biden’s second year were significant regulations, while 386 were in his first year.

The Biden administration plans to implement 3,690 more regulations, which are in the pipeline of being created, which is slightly less than the 3,777 planned rules in 2021, according to the CEI report. In Trump’s final year in office, he had 3,852 rules in the pipeline, but over 600 of those were considered deregulatory.

Despite the high number of rules in 2022, Congress enacted 247 new laws in the same year, putting the ratio at 13 rules per new law for the year, which is lower than the average ratio of 22 rules over the past 10 years, according to the CEI report. A lower ratio indicates that the administrative state was responsible for fewer rules, and instead, it was through the power of legislators.

The Biden administration has put in place and proposed a number of environmental regulations that will ultimately increase average Americans’ home expenses by $9,166 in new costs. The costs stem from a number of new rules and proposals aimed at reducing carbon emissions from household appliances like gas furnaces, water heaters and more.

Will Kessler on November 29, 2023

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