Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State [2002]

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State [2002]

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State [2002]

Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State [2002]

Synopsis

In the fiscal year 2003 federal budget, President Bush proposed $2.01 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending. Although those costs fully encompass the on-budget scope of the federal government, there is considerably more to the reach of the federal government than the sum of the taxes sent to Washington. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions of dollars every year—on top of official federal outlays. The exact cost of federal regulations can never be fully known. But governmental and private data exist on scores of regulations and the agencies that issue them, as well as on regulatory costs and benefits — all of which can be compiled in a way that makes the regulatory state more comprehensible to the public. That is the purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report.

Excerpt

The federal government funds programs in three primary ways. The first is by raising taxes to pay for new programs. The second is by borrowing money to pay for them (with a promise to pay back the borrowed money, with interest, from taxes collected in the future). No matter how controversial government spending programs can be, taxpayers can always see how much they cost by looking at the federal budget. Congress is largely held accountable for spending programs, and that accountability, though not perfect, is a fundamental, necessary condition for controlling government.
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