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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Average U.S. household spends more on federal regulations than for health care, food or transportation

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Competitive Enterprise Institute,Spending

Here's a sobering fact likely known to few Americans outside of the nation's capital: The federal government is the only government on earth that collects more than $1 trillion in taxes annually.

That's not unexpected since the U.S. also has the biggest single national economy in the world. It stands to reason the most productive economy would generate the most tax revenue.

But there is another way to look at that data point. Are there additional costs to Americans as a result of what the federal government does with its trillions in tax revenues?

10,000 (very costly) Commandments

Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute provides a definitive answer to that question today with publication of the latest edition of his annual compilation, "10,000 Commandments: An annual snapshot of the federal regulatory state."

Crews estimates the annual cost of compliance with the record number of new federal rules and regulations issued under President Obama at $1.863 trillion.

That works out to a $14,974 "hidden tax" every year for the average U.S. household. That's 23 percent of the $65,596 annual average household income in America.

You can't do that! Or that! Or that!

Just how well-chosen is Crews' title is seen in another data point produced for the 2014 edition of his study: Congress passed and Obama signed 72 new laws in 2013. The federal bureaucracy to date has issued 3,659 rules to implement those new laws.

The Federal Register in 2013 devoted 26,417 pages just to publishing the new rules. That's the most ever in a single year.

In all, the Federal Register published 79,311 pages in 2013, the fourth-highest annual total ever. Four of the five highest-ever annual page counts have occurred under Obama.

That's why the average American family now spends more to pay for federal regulatory compliance than it does for health care, food, transportation, entertainment and savings.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Washington Examiner's five-day series finds unions withering and in need of reform.

Watchdog/EXography: Education spending skyrockets year after year but student achievement remains stagnant.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: With Obama's foreign policy, fiction is more comforting than the truth.

Columnist/Gene Healy: Pardon me, but Obama is right on clemency for nonviolent drug offenders.

Columnist/Lawrence Kudlow: Anti-business Obama strikes again.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Sen. Ted Cruz says John Kerry should resign following "apartheid" remark about Israel.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Kerry apologizes for "apartheid" remark about Israel.

Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: State AGs seek Supreme Court review of California fuel standard.

In other news

Time Magazine: Congressman caught kissing aide won't seek re-election.

New York Daily News: Two Chicago businessmen used trips to strip clubs, cruises and cash to bribe school officials nationwide.

The Washington Post: Dems fall outlook bleak, new poll finds.

The New York Times: Militants pose threat on eve of Iraq's national election.

New York Post: 9/11 mastermind had his sights set on London next.

CNN: Sarah Palin calls waterboarding "how we baptize terrorists."

Righty Playbook

National Review Online: On John Boehner's tantrum.

The American Conservative: In defense of "God's not dead."

The Weekly Standard: Is the Federal Reserve killing economic growth?

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: America's elites love fear-mongering the guns about which they have no clue.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: U.S. has recordings of Russia managing its Ukraine spies.

The American Prospect: In defense of Mitch McConnell, sort of.

The Progressive: Scathing report says school privatization hurts poor kids.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Is oil money turning the NRA against hunters?

Blog Right

Yid With Lid: John Kerry apologizes (sort of) for apartheid remark.

Legal Insurrection: Can federalization save Ukraine?

Marginal Revolution: Thoughts on three weeks of Vox.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Michelle Nunn cozies up to the Bushes.

Talk Left: More details on Operation Gargoyle and the capture of El Chapo.

Democracy Corps: Independents swing back to Obamacare support.

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