Rep. Issa's Regulatory State Of Denial

August 25, 2011 5:00 pm ET — Brian Powell

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) rakes in the campaign funds by fighting against regulations that protect the health and well-being of the American people from dangerous work conditions, contaminated food and the poisonous effects of toxic pollutants. It should come as little surprise, then, that he is in complete denial about the benefits of regulation and about its popularity among both voters and economists.

Today, Issa has written the first in a series of op-eds titled " Dispatches from the Road." In it, he regurgitates the same tired myths about the costs of regulation.

From his piece:

Federal government regulations - also known as red tape - are rules Washington forces taxpayers and businesses to live by. Every aspect of daily life - from fueling cars to growing food and making toys - is governed by more than 150,000 pages of federal fine print. Playing by these confusing rules drained at least $1.75 trillion from our economy in 2008, according to the Small Business Administration. If families paid an equal share of the regulatory burden, they'd be hit with a $15,586 bill, dwarfing the $10,000 families spent on health care in 2008.

Issa should stop concealing the truth about the cost of regulation. Just this week the National Association for Business Economics published a survey of economists that found "80 percent of survey respondents felt that the current regulatory environment was 'good' for American businesses and the overall economy."

The Congressional Research Service has pointed out that the "$1.75 trillion" claim, often repeated by Issa, just doesn't add up. CRS noted that the Office of Management and Budget's "reports to Congress have generally indicated that regulatory benefits exceed costs," and that the authors of the report citing that figure specifically warned that it was "not meant to be a decision-making tool for lawmakers" because of relevant data that was not included.