Report: Regs spending has increased twentyfold since Eisenhower

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Regulatory spending has increased twentyfold in the last 58 years, according to a new study from George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.

The report, “Regulator’s Budget from Eisenhower to Obama,” found that President Eisenhower spent $533 million in his final year in office, what would be the equivalent of $3 billion in 2009. In contrast, President Obama mapped out $70 billion in regulatory activities in his 2017 budget proposal to Congress, or $61 billion in 2009 dollars.

{mosads}The number of regulatory staffers has increased, too, from just over 57,000 under Eisenhower to almost 279,000 today.

“Over the last 58 years, government spending to write and enforce regulation has increased more than 20-fold (after adjusting for inflation) and the number of bureaucrats has increased by a factor of five,” the report’s authors, Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren, wrote in an op-ed for Forbes on Tuesday.

Dudley, the director of GWU’s Regulatory Studies Center, is a former administrator at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Warren is the director of the Weidenbaum Center Forum at Washington University.

The authors note that measuring the effect of regulation is “notoriously difficult.” While the report looks at agency spending and personnel, they added that the real cost of regulation is hidden in higher consumer prices, lower wages, less entrepreneurial activity and lost economic growth.

Tags Dwight D. Eisenhower Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Susan Dudley
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