Poorly designed regulations may cause more harm than good; stifle innovation, growth, and job creation; waste limited resources; undermine sustainable development; inadvertently harm the people they are supposed to protect; and erode the public’s confidence in our government.
These costs are like stealth taxation, and because they are assumed to fall on businesses (even though individual consumers and workers ultimately bear them), regulatory tools may seem preferable to direct spending programs for accomplishing an agency’s policy objectives.
Further, regulations have the force of law, but Congress usually just sets broad regulatory goals by statute, and delegates the power to write and enforce detailed rules to specialized regulatory agencies.
The goals are largely nonpartisan—most conservatives, moderates, and liberals agree on them.
However, the of spending and regulatory programs often is controversial.