During a hearing today on regulatory budgeting, Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said it was vital to understand the cumulative costs and impact of regulations on the economy imposed by federal agencies through new rules.
“The effects of regulation can be seen every day in my home state, not as fluctuations in statistical data, but in lost jobs and in the concerns that people have about the future of their communities,” Enzi said. “The EPA’s crusade to keep coal in the ground is already costing hundreds of jobs in my state and will cost this country billions of dollars. This is why our focus continues to be on the dangers that high regulatory burdens pose for our nation’s ability to sustain economic growth and fiscal health.”
Enzi noted that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the potential growth rate of our economy (or the rate of growth that is possible given the education of workers, the quality of capital equipment, and the business formation rate) averaged 3.3 percent from 1950 through 2014, but that the potential growth rate of the U.S. economy has been dropping steadily since 2002. In fact, from 2008 through 2014, it averaged only 1.4 percent. CBO now expects that annual rate to remain significantly below its long-term average and to fall to 2.1 percent for the period 2015 through 2025. That represents a 36 percent reduction in the long-run average potential growth rate of the economy.
“With our almost $19 trillion debt, we cannot afford to accept the notion that we’re entering into what some are calling a ‘new normal’ of anemic economic growth,” Enzi said. “Better guidance by Congress will help lift some of the regulatory drag on our economy, provide discipline against overspending or overregulation, and provide a path forward to success and prosperity for each and every American.”