AMERICAN businesses complain bitterly that a blizzard of government regulations costs them serious money and inhibits their ability to invest, compete and hire people.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which follows such matters, attempts to estimate what it actually costs to comply with government regulations.
It's scary. And crippling businesses does not hurt just them, of course. It hurts all Americans.
The federal Office of Management and Budget contends that federal regulations cost Americans only $88.6 billion in 2010 dollars, according to the institute's vice president, Clyde Wayne Crews.
Using multiple other sources, both federal and independent, Crews estimates the cost is far higher - as much as $1.8 trillion a year.
The Small Business Administration's estimate of regulatory costs was in the same neighborhood - $1.7 trillion a year.
Everybody from the International Franchise Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce complains of the burden.
Among the institute's findings: