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The goals are largely nonpartisan—most conservatives, moderates, and liberals agree on them.However, the of spending and regulatory programs often is controversial.To implement spending policies, presidents send proposed budgets each year to Congress, and Congress must both authorize activities and appropriate necessary funds to implement them.
The authors of this paper examine the important role regulations play in a vibrant economy, how they differ from other government programs, why they can produce unintended consequences, and how reforms could help us achieve the benefits regulations can provide with fewer negative outcomes.
The American free enterprise system has been one of the greatest engines for prosperity and liberty in history, and has the potential to deliver a promising future for the United States and the world.
Through protecting property rights and fostering healthy competition, democratic capitalism rewards work and ingenuity which improves our lives and has liberated more people from poverty than any other system.
Yet, the United States faces growing challenges in an increasingly competitive global economy.
Sensible, evidence-based regulations that respect the fundamental role of free-market competition can provide vital public benefits – such as protecting the environment, public health and safety, civil rights, consumers, and investors.
Yet, despite the best intentions, government regulation too often disrupts the marketplace or picks winners and losers among companies or technologies.
Federal spending is limited by the available revenues, and by budgeting among many competing programs.
But regulatory costs are born outside the government, by those who must comply with the rules, their customers, and their employees.
These checks and balances make elected officials accountable to citizens.
Regulatory policies cannot be measured in the same way, however; and there is nothing equivalent to the fiscal budget to track regulatory costs.