Among many activists, regulators and legislators, there is a pervasive myth that a little overregulation never hurt anyone. But a “little” here and a “little” there add up. The reality is that regulation exacts societal costs whose magnitude is almost unimaginable.
According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, U.S. regulatory costs in 2005 were $1.13 trillion, equal to almost half of all of the government’s discretionary, entitlement and interest spending, and much larger than the sum of all corporate pretax profits — $874 billion. Much of the expenditure on regulation is ill-spent on the most expensive cures that do the least good.
-Henry I. Miller, Investor’s Business Daily op-ed page, July 11