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We all know that regulations have a big negative impact on the economy, and on the lives of everyday people trying to go about their business. The Code of Federal Regulations currently comprises 175,000 pages in 226 volumes, with over a million individual rules.
These rules affect the entire country as a whole, but many regulations have a widely disparate impact from state to state, based on their economies, natural resources, geography, and the demographic characteristics of the local population. To help us get a better sense of how regulations affect us, the Mercatus Center has released an excellent studying measuring the state-by-state impact of regulations. The results may surprise you.
While states like Texas and Alaska have a reputation for valuing freedom and voting for smaller government policies, their high output of energy resources put these states close to the top in terms of regulatory impact. Conversely, states like Massachusetts and Vermont, ordinarily regarded as hotbeds of socialism, shoulder some of the lightest regulatory burdens in the country.
According to FreedomWorks Foundation Executive Director Curt Levey, "The moral of the story is that the voters of a state, whether they be conservative or liberal, have virtually no say in the kind of regulatory environment their state is subject to. People get to vote for their state legislators, governors, and senators but they have virtually no say in how their states are impacted by federal bureaucrats. That’s one of the biggest problems with the ever-expanding regulatory state. It is virtually unaccountable to the people whose lives it impacts."
"This wonderful project by the Mercatus Center shines a light on the pressing need to rein in the regulatory state and restore the constitutional separation of powers under which Congress, rather than federal bureaucrats, make the laws."
With this in mind, FreedomWorks Foundation has launched a regulatory reform project to better educate the public on regulatory abuses and mobilize our activists to comment on new regulations as they are proposed. In the coming months, the Foundation will be keeping a close eye out for any midnight regulations the Obama administration tries to push through before the next president is sworn in. We know that regulators are never more dangerous than at the end of a president’s second term, when their already limited accountability reaches its lowest point.