This is getting old. Painfully, egregiously old.

Despite President Obama’s assiduous promises that he would scrupulously avoid raising taxes whatsoever on the middle class, the CBO released yet another of its revised reports yesterday, informing us that the ObamaCare mandate tax is going to overwhelmingly impose itself upon members of the middle class, with an average penalty to the tune of $1,200. Lovely.

And today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute via the Washington Examiner has more info concluding that current federal regulations, in addition to ObamaCare’s upcoming regulations, impose a cost on individuals and businesses that amounts to more than twenty times what the Obama administration originally anticipates, annually. (Say it with me: But, who could’ve seen this coming?)

Current federal regulations plus those coming under Obamacare will cost American taxpayers and businesses $1.8 trillion annually, more than twenty times the $88 billion the administration estimates, according to a new roundup provided to Secrets from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.

And it could grow, warned the author of the report, Clyde Wayne Crews, a CEI vice president.

Complying with Health and Human Services Department requirements alone, he revealed, costs $184 billion a year, yet regulators are still drafting the rules for the 2,400-page Obamacare law that kicks into gear in 2014.

Crews has made a working project of his “Tip of the Costberg” report which he regularly updates. In it, he compares the cost of regulations estimated by federal agencies to a much broader list of estimates from multiple federal and independent sources.

This is another testament to the true price we pay for new regulations, and matches up with the estimates of several other sources, but the negative effects of frivolous regulation and the inefficiencies of a relentlessly expanding bureaucracy can hardly be overstated — and the degree to which President Obama has increased our regulatory structure is a scandal. Opportunity costs, my friends: Every penny, every second that an individual, an entrepreneur, or a business spends complying with unnecessary red tape — not only is that a resource gone and done with, but it’s a penny or a second not spent doing something productive. Like, oh, I don’t know; maybe growing your business? Hiring people? Investing in new ideas? All the things, in a nutshell, that make our economy grow and prosper? Really, we can stop cutting the engines of economic growth off at the knees any day now! The immediate regulatory freeze of a Romney presidency can’t come soon enough.