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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Costs, Benefits, and Regulations

Charles S. Clark at Government Executive:
In stark contrast to the Trump administration’s denunciations of red tape over the past year, the White House late Friday published a mandatory summary of the overall costs and benefits of regulations—showing that governmentwide, the benefits far outweighed the costs.

The draft report from the Office of Management and Budget is required annually under the 2000 Regulatory Right to Know Act. It estimated annual monetized benefits of major federal regulations from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2016, are in the aggregate between $219 billion and $695 billion. In contrast, the estimated annual costs are in the aggregate between $59 billion and $88 billion (reported in 2001 dollars).

Cautioning that the estimates are rough and vary by agency, the report restated the balance favoring benefits over costs in 2015 dollars, putting benefits at between $287 billion and $911 billion, and costs between $78 billion and $115 billion.

That contrasts sharply with the positions taken by Neomi Rao,administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, who stresses the burdens and costs of Obama administration rules.