The federal regulatory state now touches every aspect of ordinary life: phones, radios, televisions, showerheads, heating and cooling for homes and businesses, lightbulbs, and the content of shampoo and toothpaste.
Regulations that increase red tape and impose expensive burdens on small businesses cost our economy about $1.9 trillion in 2015. The annual price tag for complying with the plethora of regulations coming out of Washington “is now larger than the entire economy of Russia.”
With so much at stake, regulatory innovation is necessary to unlock our economic potential and encourage an innovative environment for entrepreneurship, technological advancements, and job creation.
So how did our regulatory burden become so overwhelming?
- Rules are written by non-elected bureaucrats: These bureaucrats are shielded from voters at the ballot box – and are separated from the consequences their actions have on small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Rules are written behind closed doors: Federal agencies routinely flout transparency requirements, dismiss directives from Congress, and communicate with special interests without soliciting input from the general public.
- Rules are “justified” by flawed science: Federal agencies often use flawed or secret science to manipulate the costs and benefits of the rules they write.
The United States needs regulatory reform
Regulations are important and necessary, but the economy is suffering under the weight of a massive federal bureaucracy. Economic growth requires simplifying, reforming, and sometimes even rescinding demands made by federal agencies.
We need regulatory reform that is grounded in three principles:
- Accountability: We need to return some of the power wielded by federal agencies back to Congress, where members are held directly accountable to American voters.
- Transparency: We need to require federal agencies to disclose the information materials used in their rulemaking process, including scientific data and studies, cost-benefit analyses, legal rationales, and communications with special interest groups.
- Scientific integrity: We need to allow for full, open scientific debate and ensure the science used to inform regulatory decision-making is unbiased and untainted by government influence.
These pillars of regulatory reform will send a clear signal that the United States is open for business, new jobs, and economic growth.