Energy

Report Finds Obama Hiding $60 Billion In Regulatory Costs

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Obama administration regulations already cost the economy nearly $2 trillion last year, and a new report found the White House failed to report more than $60 billion in regulations.

“These are costs imposed by the regulation, but not listed or tabulated by the White House,” according to a report by Sam Batkins, the director of regulatory policy at the right-leaning American Action Forum.

Batkins found “an additional $61.2 billion in unreported costs” in a review of federal regulations. In just seven regulations, Batkins found 43 paperwork requirements that did not report the costs of compliance, which means billions of dollars in regulatory costs go unreported by federal agencies.

“These findings are sobering because AAF surveyed just the largest paperwork requirements and found more than $60 billion in omissions,” Batkins wrote. “But can the public trust that these rules actually cost $60 billion?”

“Judging from the data, it seems regulators have no clue about the costs and benefits of federal regulation. That should give the public and regulators pause,” he added.

The Obama administration has imposed massive regulatory costs on the economy. The White House says regulations impose nearly $1.8 trillion in compliance costs every year, but officials assure the public the claimed benefits of these rules greatly outweigh the costs.

A recent report by the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) found closer to $1.9 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs, which costs each American family $15,000 every year.

Batkins’ report on the unreported costs of federal rules, however, means both these numbers could be on the low-end of the true cost of regulating the U.S. economy. Batkins’ previous work showed paperwork costs of the Affordable Care Act alone is about $1.7 trillion.

“So what government regulatory figures can the public trust? Regulators once claimed an obscure collection would result in 43 billion hours of paperwork, only to issue a correction,” Batkins said. “When and if regulators realize a single Affordable Care Act regulation somehow imposes $1.7 trillion in costs, they’ll likely correct that error as well.”

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