How many times have you heard somebody say Congress should do something about this or that problem? Maybe you've even said it yourself.

Well, let me tell you, there is a cost to Washington getting involved in our lives and we are just beginning to get the bill for Obama’s four years.

According to the American Action Forum, the U.S. has issued regulations with total costs of $488 billion. That is a lot of money. A lot of taxpayer money and $70 billion of that came this year alone. However, it's not just the cost, it's the time.

Complying with the mountain of federal regulations takes up an accumulated 10.38 billion hours of paperwork.

According to the AAF, that's equivalent to 771,999 full-time employees just to fill out red tape. That's more employees than employees that work for the entire U.S. Postal Service. It would take the same amount of time to build 220 Empire State buildings, or you could build more than 324 million cars, or you could sit and watch “Gone with the Wind”, a four hour movie, nearly three billion times!

So which agencies are loading us up with rules, and where do all these new rules come from?

The EPA is a big culprit. The agency's new rules on Mercury targeting our coal industry will add $10 billion in regulatory costs. Coal-fired electricity plants across the country are closing because they can't deal with the increased costs.

Obamacare has its share of rules too. Health and Human Services oversees regulations of $16.7 billion as a result. Is it any wonder the National Federation of Small Business cited taxes and regulation as the biggest problems facing them?               

Remember a lot of these rules don't require additional reporting for just this year. This is an annual, year in, year out burden for many firms, large and small. 

AAF figures the lifetime costs of the new rules is $160 billion even if you only figure major regs, not the penny ante stuff.

These rules are putting a stranglehold on businesses large and small, holding back our economy and keeping the jobless rate high.