Laws and regulations are fraught with unintended consequences


My article is here on


Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

If you have ever worked in the financial department of a public or private corporation, you can relate to the volume of paperwork required by the government. You also suspect that very little of that is processed unless a specific problem arises. I remember a story about an antitrust suit against RCA many years ago. As the story goes, RCA hired 1000 law students to prepare all pertinent paperwork for submission to the Government. It took many months and 18 boxcars to deliver it. I was an employee of RCA at the time and the numbers are a little foggy, but you get the idea. I’m sure almost none of that info was ever read.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Government would just get out of the way and let the laws of supply and demand take over. We would then get the increase in the economy necessary for full employment.

Excerpt: In addition to the federal government’s explicit taxes and spending, Americans are also burdened with a slew of hidden taxes imposed by an ever-increasing number of regulations. More than 50 agencies have a hand in federal regulatory policy, enforcing more than 150,000 pages of rules. Many of these regulations provide needed benefits. Most Americans would agree on the need for security regulations to protect citizens from terrorist attacks, although the extent and scope of those rules may be subject to debate. But each regulation comes at a cost–a “regulatory tax” imposed on all Americans. According to a 2005 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration, the cost of all regulations then on the books was some $1.1 trillion per year. Read The Foundry article here.

Christie Moves Boldly to Fix Jersey’s Budget

Christie may become the model for things to come. He is actually doing what he said he would do in the campaign. Obviously he will make enemies, and only time will tell whether the voters will appreciate him enough to re-elect him in 2013.

Excerpt: Here’s some good news for New Jersey residents, who pay more in state and local taxes than people anywhere else in the United States: earlier this month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a budget proposal that contains no tax increases. He would even sunset, on schedule, a one-year “temporary” increase in the state’s income tax.

This is a refreshing shift for the Garden State, where thirty years of governance by Republicans and Democrats has pushed state and local taxes ever higher, from the 10th-most taxed state in 1980 to #1 today, according to the Tax Foundation. And it means Christie has made an impressively austere proposal, given that New Jersey’s $10.7 billion budget gap is one of the country’s largest, on a percentage basis.

The best thing about Christie’s approach is its comprehensiveness. He’s not just saying “cut spending” — though of course, he is saying that, in all areas of the state’s budget. He also recognizes that state and local spending are interrelated issues, so he’s proposed a property tax cap to make sure that state spending cuts don’t just drive up local property taxes. And he’s proposing institutional reforms that will enable localities to cope with aid cuts by reducing spending. Read article here.

Change That Would Fix America

This opinion article, written by an ex-Massachusetts State Senator, hits on many of todays governmental and political problems with, in my opinion, some common sense remedies. The article is a little long, but for those of us that believe our nation is reaching the critical stage, it is an interesting and insightful read.

Excerpt: Candidates for Public office, even incumbents, often promise “change,” without specific details that might cost them votes. This essay is intended to lay out some suggested radical changes that would, in my opinion, greatly improve our Republic, the electoral process and how our government functions. Nothing lasts forever, and I believe that without a radical and painfully restructuring the American Republic will collapse in the not-to-distant-future, following Europe into the chaos and tyranny of collectivism. Read full opinion here.