DownsizeDC.org
May 13, 2009
The Hidden $13,000 Tax
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: Do not let these 545 people (Congress, President, and Supreme Court) shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it. . . . Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. - Charley Reese

Subject: Who's responsible for the $13,000 tax?

Every year, politicians and activists unveil plans to make taxes more simple and fair, but they never say anything about the worst tax of all.

It's a tax that Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates will cost $1.3 trillion this year, which is about $13,000 for the average American family.

  • Nobody ever gets a refund.
  • It doesn't take into account one's ability to pay.
  • It doesn't increase revenue or decrease the deficit; actually, it increases deficits by depressing the economy.

You might not have heard about it. The tax is hidden. Not everyone pays it the same way:

  • Everyone pays at least some of it through higher prices on goods and services
  • Some, like small business owners, pay it through reduced profits and even bankruptcy
  • Others pay it through depressed wages or unemployment
  • We may even pay it through higher state and local taxes, or reduced state and local services

It's the Regulation Tax, the cost of complying with federal regulations and unfunded mandates. Each regulation will cost an affected business some money, and that will translate into reduced profits, higher prices, or both. And so everybody pays: owner, employee, customer.

And contrary to popular belief, regulations are almost always unnecessary. A free market would have laws against violence, fraud, and theft. What it wouldn't have is needless government intervention. In a free market, producers would be forced to serve the public interest by delivering safe, quality goods at ever-lower prices.

  • If they cheat workers and customers through fraud, they would be prosecuted.
  • If they do harm through sloppiness and negligence, they could be sued.
  • If they deliver poor quality, they will deservingly lose business.

In a free market, firms have built-in incentives to provide safe working conditions and safe, quality goods and services. The federal government makes this difficult by imposing one-size-fits-all regulations - and businesses are still usually liable for accidents and mistakes that escape regulatory supervision. So at best, regulations dictate what businesses would have done anyway; at worst they impose additional, unnecessary, and costly restrictions and burdens that actually make it harder to deliver safe, quality goods and services.

So who's to blame for the Regulation Tax? Consider . . .

  • By the end 2007, 188 bills passed both houses of Congress and were signed into law
  • In comparison, unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies issued 3,595 "final rules" - regulations with the force of law
  • 157 of these regulations were "economically significant" - costing $100 million or more each
  • 757 regulations affecting small business were being considered
    (Source: Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., Competitive Enterprise Institute)

Even so, it is Congress, not the Bureaucracy, that is to blame for the Regulation Tax.

  • Congress passes the spending bills which fund the regulatory agencies, and Congress is therefore responsible for the results
  • It is wrong for the American people to suffer taxation, or regulation, without representation
  • Congress unconstitutionally delegates law-making power to the bureaucrats, and Congress must take that power back

Downsize DC's Write the Laws Act would force every regulation to be passed in Congress as a bill. When the WTLA passes,

  • The people will have been represented when regulations are passed and implemented
  • Time constraints will mean fewer regulations will be proposed, and only those universally agreed to as necessary will pass
  • Businesses will be freed to become more efficient in serving the public
  • Our Regulation Tax will go down sharply

Use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to tell your Congressional employees to introduce and pass DownsizeDC.org's "Write the Laws Act."

Use your personal comments to tell them that . . .

  • Regulations will cost American families $13,000 this year
  • Regulations are laws, and there should be no "legislation without representation"
  • Most regulations impose undue burdens on business and do not protect the public

Our goal this month is to pound Congress with  more than 31,730 messages. That means we must hit Congress with 1,526 messages today. You can send your message at DownsizeDC.org's Write the Laws Act page.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how much we're growing please check out the Keeping Score report below my signature.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

Keeping Score

We've grown again, by 23 new members yesterday, and 899 so far this year. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 25,248. We're 25% of the way to 26,000!

YOU can make the army grow even faster by following our quick and easy instructions for personalized recruiting. http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/personalized-recruiting

We can also grow faster by mailing recruitment letters to potential DC Downsizers. If you can start a monthly credit card pledge to help fund these mailings please tell us on the secure contribution form if its okay to publish your name here . . . https://secure.downsizedc.org/contribute

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN MAY: Nancy Kovar, Ryan Ackroyd, WM Michael O'Brien, John C Houghton, James Alan Speedie, ONE unlisted

Or, if you'd prefer to make a one-time donation, please let us know if its okay to publish your name here . . . https://secure.downsizedc.org/contribute

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN MAY: Ernest P. Eusea, Chris Reulman, David Anthony, Christopher T Wagner, Thomas Sartwelle, Jr, FOUR unlisted

 

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: