Small Business Owners Now View Regulation Worse Than Taxes

If President Donald Trump wants any of his Presidential legacy of to live on in a positive way, he better trash bureaucratic regulations that suffocate small business owners.

Here’s more from

According to Cemablest, this initiative would be welcomed by small businesses which have expressed rising concerns about regulation since 2009. Similarly, in a 2014 survey by the National Association of Manufacturers, 88% of respondents felt that regulations were affecting their business, by far the #1 concern in the survey. Why might this be the case? While most administrations add to new regulations, the regulatory pace of the last 8 years substantially exceeds its two predecessors.


Cemablest further notes that while it is hard to measure the cost of regulations, in part due to their magnitude and complexity, some agencies try: according to the US Office of Management and Budget, the cost of new regulations passed since 1980 are around $250 billion per year. Other estimates are substantially higher: the latest review from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (the most detailed report I have seen on the subject) cites annual regulatory compliance and economic impact costs of $1.8 trillion, which is roughly equal to all personal and corporate income tax collections.

It brings to mind the 1992 article written by George McGovern, one of the most progressive politicians of the 20th century, on his experience owning a small business after leaving the Senate and dealing with regulation: “A Politician’s Dream is a Businessman’s Nightmare”. You would think that there would be a substantial amount of effort by government agencies to try and understand the costs and benefits of regulation, given its impact on the economy, which as the chart bottom right shows that while regulatory costs amount to $20,000 for all US firms on average, they crush small business by about $30,000 per worker, making new business creation, and employee retention, virtually impossible.


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