HARRY C. ALFORD

There has been much debate and discussion on Capitol Hill around the need to pass comprehensive tax reform to spur economic growth, investment, and job creation.  Indeed, overhauling our complex, outdated tax code will accomplish all those goals with the House GOP tax reform blueprint being the best path forward.  But more can be done to help the nation’s economy officially put the recession in its rearview mirror—meaningful regulatory reform.

Americans for Prosperity senior policy analyst Mary Kate Hopkins recently noted <http://www.insidesources.com/inside-look-border-adjustment-tax/&gt;, “American companies want to be headquartered here, they want to do their business here. We have a strong dollar, the rule of law, its [sic] close to where they live. So, the best way to do that is to have the lowest tax rate for corporations in the world, and to have a regulatory system that makes it easy to do business.”

Right now, that is not the case.

Since 1975, the Code of Federal Regulations has grown from 71,000 pages to over 175,000. This growth has turned us into an over-governed society and the cost of excessive regulation stifles economic growth and represents a regressive tax on small and midsized businesses who can’t afford the lawyers and specialists needed to efficiently comply.

The price tag for existing regulations amounts to more than $2 trillion a year, per a 2012 study conducted for the National Association of Manufacturers. That’s about the size of Canada’s GDP. Households ultimately get hit with thousands of dollars of regulatory compliance costs in the form of higher costs for goods and services. Small businesses, who cannot readily pass their increased costs to their customers, are forced to absorb those costs or go out of business.

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