"Do this, Don't do that, Can't you read the sign?" The state of the regulatory state

In case you’re still wondering what’s causing voter angst and the intense anger aimed at elected officials, here are some sobering statistics compiled by Freedom Partners, the Heritage Foundation and the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota that provides a vivid explanation of how the U.S. economy has gone seriously off the rails and the profound effect that is having on hardworking American families.

  • “During the eight years under President Obama, annual [economic] growth has averaged a sluggish 1.3 percent.  This includes the first quarter annualized growth rate for 2016 of 0.8 percent.  Annual growth under President Obama has been the slowest of any administration since President Eisenhower.”
  • On May 31, the U.S. Department of Commerce released “its second estimate of gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2016, announcing that the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.8 percent, slightly up from the previous estimate of 0.5 percent.”
  • The U.S. debt now exceeds GDP by over $1 trillion dollars.  Every person alive today in America (including children) currently “owes” $58,000 in public debt.
  • “Slow growth over the past seven years has had a real impact on the livelihoods of working Americans. According to the Census Bureau’s most recent data, inflation-adjusted median household income in the U.S. fell from $55,313 in 2008 to $53,657 in 2014.”
  • “Consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70% of U.S. economic activity, grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent during the first quarter of 2016.”  “Overall, consumer spending is down from the 2.4 percent increase observed during the fourth quarter of 2015 and down 1.1 percent points from the rate seen during the third quarter.”
  • From our friends at the American Enterprise Institute, we recently learned that “regulations for new home construction [are] up 30% [during the] past five years.”  While much of our focus has been on tax increases, complying with government regulations can and does increase the cost of doing business.  In this instance, new regulations on single-family home construction have increased 29.8% while the cost of a new home has risen 33.8%.  This is not a coincidence.
  • While President Obama has been in office, there have been 20,642 new regulations.  This tide of red tape is estimated to cost U.S. consumers and businesses over $100 billion annually, according to a Heritage Foundation report released last week. 

“What are the consequences of “red tape rising???”
    -“Restricted access to credit under the hundreds of rules unleashed by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation statute;
    - Fewer health care choices and higher medical costs from the Affordable Care Act
    - And the worst – in terms of cost, at least, was the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” which was estimated to cost, at a minimum, $7.2 billion per year – costs likely passed on to consumers through higher energy bills.”

  • There are over 2,000 proposed or final rules currently pending in Washington, D.C. – including “144 that are expected to cost $100 million a year or more” according to the Heritage Foundation.  Some of the proposed regulations that will increase costs to businesses and consumers include:  “additional food-labeling requirements, stricter fuel economy standards for vehicles, and more stringent limits on consumer access to credit.”

Beyond restricting economic growth and freedom as well as limiting personal freedom, these regulations, according to the Heritage Foundation, “inhibit innovation, investment and job creation, increases prices, and curtails consumer choice.”


Furthermore, there are currently over 300,000 government regulations that carry a criminal penalty.

And leave it to Minnesota lawmakers to not be left behind in creating new laws and regulations.

While conservative legislators were successful in killing literally hundreds of liberal proposals that would raise taxes (gas tax, metro sales tax, to name just a few) and increase government regulations, during the last two year legislation session that recently ended, 96 new laws have been passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton.  The governor spent much of the Memorial Day weekend reading and reviewing the recent work of the legislature and signing a few more bills into law.  You can keep track of what’s enacted by going HERE.

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