You do want a joyous, prosperous, and fully-federally compliant 2015, right? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. And we have the Competitive Enterprise Institute to thanks for the heads up.
The good news: The government puts together an annual Federal Register of all the rules and regulations that are currently in force.
The bad news: It’s 78,978 pages long.
On a positive note, this year’s register is a mere pamphlet when compared to the behemoths of 2010 and 2011.
So what exactly is it? From the intro page:
The FEDERAL REGISTER provides a uniform system for making available to the public regulations and legal notices issued by Federal agencies. These include Presidential proclamations and Executive Orders, Federal agency documents having general applicability and legal effect, documents required to be published by act of Congress, and other Federal agency documents of public interest.
There are 3,591 new rules and regulations contained therein. 2014 brought us new regulatory rules and clarification on existing rules in almost every area of business, both small and large:
The Agriculture Department saw 1,095 documents published with rules and regulations applied or clarified on everything from outreach to crop insurance to food stamps and meat inspection.
The Commerce Department weighs in with a whopping 2,694 new documents, the majority of which deal with international trade rules.
The Energy Department begins 2015 with 2,203 new documents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a lot to study this year.
Unsurprisingly, Obamacare implementation means that the Heath and Human Services Department tops the list with 3,714 new documents containing regulation, rules, and clarifications on rules and regulations.
These rules and others make for some heavy reading material. For perspective, 78,978 pages is 158 reams of paper. A ream is about 2″ thick, that means the entire register would yield a 26-foot-tall stack of standard letter paper.
And it doesn’t look like this administration plans to slow down its rule making in 2015. There are 2,375 more proposed rules that are pending but have yet to receive final Congressional approval.