by Jeff Sovern
The White House issued its 2017 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Agency
Compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act today. According to Table 1-3 in the report, at page 19, the benefits of three consumer protection rules the administration looked at were estimated at $1.9 to $6.1 in billions of 2015 dollars. The report estimates the costs of those rules in billions of 2015 dollars to be $1.0 to $1.1. In other words, even if we take the highest possible cost and the lowest possible benefit, the benefits still substantially exceed the costs. No wonder The Hill's headline about the report reads WH quietly issues report to Congress showing benefits of regulations. According to The Hill:
The [report's] findings are at odds with an administration that's pushing federal agencies to cut rules and ease excessive regulatory burdens it says were imposed by the previous administration.
The Trump administration report says that from fiscal 2007 through 2016 the annual economic benefits of major rulemakings reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) were estimated to be between $287 billion and $911 billion.
The report found that from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2016, the annual benefits of regulations outweighed the annual costs, which were estimated to be between $78 billion and $115 billion in 2015 dollars.
The results, regulatory advocates say, seem to undercut the president's continued push for a policy requesting that two regulations be removed for every new rule proposed.