This week in the world of regulation:
- Last week, 94 new final rules were published, up from 88 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 1 hour and 47 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- All in all, 3,486 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,731 new rules.
- Last week, 1,778 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 72,898 pages.
- At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 77,191 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 46 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $24 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and two other rules have cost estimates that do not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
- One economically significant rule was published last week.
- So far, 331 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
- So far this year, 663 final rules affect small business; 93 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- This week’s economically significant rule comes from the Defense Department. It will spend about $800 million to pay 2011 tuition for voluntary education programs for servicemembers. Since this is government spending and not compliance cost, I am scoring this rule as zero-cost for our running tally.
- If you produce qualified movies or TV shows, the IRS has updated its allowable deductions.
- There are also new excise tax rules for craft brewers.
- The Postal Service is increasing its international mail prices.
- If you grow apricots or sweet cherries in certain parts of Washington state, the Agricultural Marketing Service has lowered its assessment rates on your crops.
- Ditto if you grow pears in certain parts of Oregon and Washington, or avocados in southern Florida.
- Civilian flights are now allowed at two airports in Iraq, according to the FAA.
- NHTSA issued a final rule titled, simply, “Final Rule.” We do not expect this to literally be NHTSA’s final rule.
For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.