Bob Beauprez

"But, in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes."

Ben Franklin

If Ben Franklin were around today, he would likely amend the above statement to include the certainty of government regulation.  A new report by the Heritage Foundation says that in today's America, regulation costs are a far greater burden than taxes.  If the current trend of rapidly increasing regulatory burden by the Obama Administration continues, it will hasten the death of the once great American free-market economy.

According to a newly released Heritage Foundation analysis, the annual cost of federal regulations ($1.752 trillion) is 83% greater than the entire revenue expected to be collected from federal individual income taxes for 2011 ($956 billion). 

There is broad agreement that the U.S. Corporate tax rate – the highest of developed nations in the world – is an inhibitor to badly needed job creation and economic growth.  Even Barack Obama has given lip-service to lowering the excessively high 35% business tax rate.  However, the cost of regulation is 8.8 times greater than the total corporate tax revenue ($198 billion) collected in 2011.  

Obama has made a habit of demonizing the "huge profits" of corporations, particularly energy companies.  But, consider this: Annual regulatory costs exceeded the total combined pre-tax profits of American corporations by more than $400 billion in 2009, the pit of this recession.  With profitability returning somewhat in recent months, analyst's current projections suggest regulation cost and pre-tax profit are currently roughly equal. 

Compared to the cost and impact of taxes, regulation gets relatively little attention, but it is like a cancer to the economy – a stealth killer – that grows and grows, dragging down the body until it just can't take anymore and finally succumbs.  Instead of attacking the regulatory cancerous tumor and shrinking it, under the Obama Administration new regulations have exploded, and he is forever calling for more.

Bob Beauprez

Bob Beauprez is a former member of congress, dairy farmer, community banker, real estate developer, and now a buffalo rancher in Colorado

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