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Volume 20  Number 2  •  Fall 2015
All Issues:  

How Big Is Government in the United States?
By Robert Higgs
This article appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of The Independent Review

Although most measures of the size of government focus improperly on regime spending as a share of GDP, any truly meaningful appraisal must take account of government regulations and related red tape. By one estimate, it cost Americans $1.83 trillion to comply with federal regulations in 2013, a figure that obviously leaves aside the cost to conform with state and local government edicts.

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