Study: Obama Administration Imposes $743 Billion in Regulatory Costs on the Economy

Published August 19, 2016

A new report by the American Action Forum (AFA) shows, since President Obama took office in 2009, the federal government has issued 600 major regulations imposing more than $743 billion upon the economy.

According to the AFA, the Obama administration issues an average of 81 major rules, regulations with an economic impact of at least $100 million, on a yearly basis, or approximately one major rule every three days the federal government is open.

The author Sam Bakins, director of regulatory policy at the AFA said the costs amounts to “… a $2,294 regulatory imposition on every person in the United States.” For business, Obama’s regulations have added the equivalent 194 million additional hours of paperwork, which the AFA estimates would take 97,429 employees working full-time (2,000 hours a year) to comply with these new federal requirements.

The AFA estimates, at the current pace of rulemaking the Obama administration will issue a total 641 major rules before the president leaves office, bringing the nation’s regulatory bill to $813 billion. 

The Hill notes, “[b]y contrast, President George W. Bush issued 426 major rules during his tenure in the White House.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


Sam Batkins, “600 regulations,” American Action Forum, August 6, 2016;