Federal agencies enacted 16 regulations for every one law written by elected officials last year, a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Wayne Crews found.

The flow of new rules often came through bureaucratic channels designed to skirt legal requirements that the government seek public comment before implementing a regulation.

While Congress passes just a few dozen bills each year, an unknown number of agencies push through thousands of regulations to create what Crews called "regulatory dark matter."

Some of the cleverly-enacted rules started as blog posts, the report said, such as Obamacare's employer mandate and the tax penalty that would enforce it. Other regulations began as asides in press conferences, such as Obama's assurance that health insurance companies could continue to offer plans that did not comply with the Affordable Care Act.

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