Economic Policy

Report: Increased regs under Obama have hiked consumer prices by $11,000

FILE: 2011: A shopper in a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago, Ill.

FILE: 2011: A shopper in a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago, Ill.  (REUTERS )

Consumer prices have increased by more than $11,000 for the "typical" consumer since President Obama took office, according to a new study which claimed the spike is the result of dozens of regulations imposed by the administration.

The study by conservative think tank American Action Forum found the administration has imposed at least 36 regulations since 2009 that clearly resulted in higher costs -- reflected in everything from mortgages to cars to food to household goods.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, said the price of 2011 cars and light-trucks would cost $91 more as a result of new fuel-efficiency standards, according to the study.

The study also found the new regulations would result in annual increases of $362 for mortgages, $135 for energy and $108 for health care for a “typical” consumer.

The study identified as many as 50 “economically-significant” regulations but also found federal agencies clearly stated in only 36 of them that consumer costs would rise.

“Increasing the cost of a mortgage is the most glaring area where agencies provided only qualitative analysis or simply omitted any extensive discussion of how regulation could increase costs,” the study authors wrote.

The cost of household consumer goods -- including dishwashers ($44) and refrigerators ($83) -- increased by $1,639 over the past five-and-half years, the study found.

The administration, though, argues that buying the more energy-efficient appliances will result in lower electric bills.

The study also said the increased cost of health care is the result of two ObamaCare rules -- coverage for preventive services and preexisting conditions -- which would hike annual premiums by $87. A third one, the 2013 Mental Health Parity Act, likely will bring the total increase to $108 a year, according to the report.  

In a statement to on Tuesday night, Emily Cain, a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama administration is committed to maintaining a balance between protecting Americans' well-being while promoting economic growth. She added that the  net benefits of regulation issued through the fifth fiscal year of Obama's presidency were about $200 billion, not just in monetary savings, but also in lives saved and injuries prevented.

"We have not yet reviewed this American Action Forum report, so we do not know if it is as deeply flawed and misleading as some of the group’s previous reports," Cain said. "However, it is clear the report simply focuses on costs and ignores the high net benefits to Americans from many regulations, in terms of promoting health, safety and welfare as well as reducing costs."

The study was done with help from the George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center.