Wayne Crews and Ryan Young, with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, explain that regulation is a form of taxation. Here are the opening paragraphs:
We need a breather to take it all in: TARP, a $787 billion stimulus bill and a projected $1.845 trillion budget deficit. But lost among all the spending commotion is yet another trillion-dollar poker hand — federal regulation.
Compliance costs from thousands of regulations — pouring out from over 60 departments, agencies and commissions — amounted to $1.17 trillion in 2008. The federal government spends an additional $49.1 billion just to administer and enforce its rules. This figure is on par with federal income tax revenue ($1.2 trillion) and Canada’s entire 2006 GDP ($1.265 trillion).
(By the way, I’m proud to say that Wayne and Ryan each earned his Master’s degrees at GMU Economics.)