The Federal Communications Commission is the third most expensive federal agency when it comes to the compliance costs it imposes with its regulations.
Americans spend $142 billion a year to comply with FCC regulations, behind only the Environmental Protection Agency ($353 billion) and the Department of Health and Human Services ($185 billion).
The FCC was established as an independent agency in 1934 and took over regulation of telephone and telegraph communications and radio. It has since expanded to cover television, broadband, and the Internet, and has a 2013 budget of $365 million.
The agency enforced more than 25,000 regulatory restrictions in 2011 and added 108 more last year — an average of one new rule every 2.3 working days. Between 2000 and 2012 it published 2,705 proposed rules, and as of fall 2012, 86 proposed rules were at some stage of the rule-making process, with seven of them imposing costs of more than $100 million.
“Americans do not know — and in large measure cannot find out — what they are paying for this regulatory regime or what this agency is up to,” “The basic principles of transparency and open government are ignored, and this undermines Americans’ trust in government.”


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