By the end of 2011, all but four of the 242 Republican House members had signed Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, committing to refuse to raise taxes on individuals or corporations. This was a welcome sign for many, indicating that Republicans in Congress were not only serious about reducing the deficit but that they would do it without stifling American productivity.
The harmful effects of high tax rates have been well documented and perhaps no greater proof of this exists than the fact that it is now nearly impossible impossible to find politicians who wish to return to a pre-Reagan 70 percent marginal tax rate, even among the most anti-business circles. But while the pro-business argument has won in the realm of tax rates, it has largely been without effect when it comes to government-imposed regulations.
While the costs of complying with regulations do not appear on a business’ ledger, make no mistake, these are real costs that that choke growth by imposing invisible taxes on business or all sizes — taxes that are then passed on to consumers. More than $1 trillion of such taxes to be precise.1