News Story

State and Federal Regulations Burying Businesses

Michigan trying to cut back on some red tape

A Pure Michigan ad urges workers to “play hookey” and enjoy Michigan’s outdoors because it's too easy to get caught up "scaling mountains of paper work …" 

But the state agency that produced the ad that promotes skipping out on work doesn't point to one cause of all that paperwork: government regulations.

The state of Michigan had 18,012 administrative rules that businesses had to follow in 2012. Reducing regulations was a key goal of Gov. Rick Snyder and he created the Office of Regulatory Invention to reduce the state's red-tape. The office trimmed state administrative rules by 1,218, down from 19,230.

Michigan had the the 21st most burdensome licensing laws in the U.S, according to an Institute for Justice study in 2012. Michigan is the most difficult place in the country to become a security guard, requiring three years of education and experience, according to the IJ study.

There is some irony that the state of Michigan is pointing out the headaches of red tape, said Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

"So we have one government agency spending taxpayer dollars urging folks to escape mountains of paperwork on Michigan beaches, and all the other agencies adding to those mountains of paperwork. What's wrong with this picture?" McHugh said.

But over-regulation isn't just a state issue.

The federal government has its owns list of rules. According to The Wall Street Journal, the 2012 Federal Register, which is the official directory of regulation, is 78,961 pages. It was 44,812 pages in 1986 and 2,620 pages in 1936.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.