In today’s Wall Street Journal, Jeb Bush makes the blockbuster claim that “regulations impose a $1.88 trillion silent tax on the U.S. economy each year.” That, he points out, averages out to $15,000 per family.
WARNING: Estimates herein will exhibit laissez-faire bias, adding of apples and oranges, use of both compliance and economic cost, haphazard distinctions between consumer and employer impacts, consideration of economic transfers as well as compliance and efficiency costs, use of both high-end estimates and best-estimates, old data set syndrome, and a disdain for general equilibrium analysis.
As if that were not enough, a 2013 Washington Post article that listed some key CEI donors can be matched nearly industry-by-industry to the sectors their report finds to be some of the hardest hit by regulation. These are the same sectors that Bush singles out for mention in his op-ed: energy, agriculture, and communications.
The study Bush cites, which elucidates his thinking on these issues, treats all regulations as costs, with no consideration for the enormous benefits they provide.
Eric Harris Bernstein is a Program Associate at the Roosevelt Institute.