When the Justice Department tried to count the total number of federal criminal laws in 1982, the attorney tasked with that job ultimately gave up after two years.
In the early 1990s, one study made an educated guess that there were over 300,000 federal regulatory crimes, a number that has surely grown in the decades since.
By comparison, that’s “67 times as many crimes as the about 4,500 federal statutory crimes,” the Institute for Justice reported, while the Code of Federal Regulations includes “one million regulatory mandates or prohibitions and imposes over one trillion dollars in costs.”
Keep in mind that the state is fundamentally irrational, and the vast majority of these regulations serve no purpose at all other than to harm and confuse people.
To imitate Orwell, the object of bureaucratic red tape is bureaucratic red tape.