Business – Understanding Consumer Spending and Regulation


Getting a handle on the regulatory landscape can help you understand the potential impact on your business. It also helps you identify the types of regulations that are most likely to affect your operations and those that you should focus on for your specific industry.

Getting Congress involved in implementing, evaluating, and overseeing regulatory policies

When it comes to getting Congress involved in implementing, evaluating, and overseeing regulatory policies, there are many different avenues to consider in business. Some of these are more subtle than others, but they are all worthy of mention.

The granddaddy of them all is the congressional oversight function. This includes numerous legislative hearings, subcommittees, and their associated oversight agendas. Aside from congressional support agencies like the Office of Management and Budget, which provide oversight that is usually only reserved for the White House, Congress is responsible for most of the federal government’s oversight.

Among the more mundane aspects of Congress is its appropriations process. Recently, Congress has passed several continuing resolutions, including the omnibus appropriations act. These omnibus appropriations acts contain two or more regular appropriations bills for a fiscal year. As with most legislation, the enacting parties have a lot of leverage when approving bills.

Regulatory impact assessment (RIA)

A regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is a valuable tool for decision-makers when trying to understand the impact of a proposed policy or regulation on consumers. It can help to frame the problem and determine whether a new regulation is needed or feasible. RIAs are often used to assess the impact of a proposed change in competition policy, transport policy, and a wide variety of other policies.

An RIA is typically a report analyzing a proposed regulation’s economic, social, and environmental impacts. It is also a tool to guide the policymaker in identifying potential solutions.

A good RIA should clearly explain the need for government action, show differences between options, and demonstrate the causation between an alternative variable and a desired outcome. However, it is essential to note that correlation does not always imply causation.

Retrospective review of the “cumulative effects” of regulation

A retrospective review of the “cumulative effects” of regulation on consumer spending is an essential regulatory practice of business. Although it is relatively expensive and time-consuming, it could be a valuable tool for monitoring a suboptimal “drift” in performance over time. However, it is also a complicated and challenging analytical process.

The U.S. regulatory management system has been unchanged since the early 1980s. Until the 1990s, it was a leading exemplar of regulatory reform. After the government was caught up in the global financial crisis, however, it has been a source of criticism.

The regulatory system needs to align incentives better. In addition to ensuring that new regulations are cost-justified, policymakers must also ensure that the benefits justify the costs. This requires an ongoing evaluation of regulatory policy.

Reauthorization of the congressional reauthorization process

In business, the congressional reauthorization process has implications for consumer spending. As we move through the 118th Congress, there are many issues to watch as lawmakers begin a series of hearings and gather input from the public. These include the College Affordability Act, which would dramatically change federal financial aid. In addition, there is a need to refocus the federal transportation program.

Congress will also have to reauthorize the Farm Bill. Although some provisions may be extended, harsh fiscal conditions will outlast any extensions that are likely to be enacted.

As the Farm Bill approaches expiration in 2023, Congress must reauthorize key county priorities. However, House Republicans will have limited opportunities for legislation. They will need to work with federal partners to enact a new Farm Bill.

Microdata to study the economic effects of alternative strategies

A quick perusal of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis‘s (CPB) website reveals a wealth of data on the micro and macro level. For example, the CPB’s tally of allies and enemies was a whopping 2,425 in a recent survey of ten organizations. CPB ranks as the highest ranked of the dozen in terms of the good, bad, and lies. Not surprisingly, the CPB has a penchant for aggressive budgeting. This has a silver lining for the cognoscenti who need to slash their belts.

The CPB has a vested interest in such things as taxation, levying, and regulation, among others, and it is in these holy domains that one should be most wary. Among other things, the CPB has a longstanding commitment to openness and transparency.