Congress should do cost-benefit analyses before considering legislation that would regulate businesses, according to the Committee for Economic Development.

In a report released Wednesday, the New York-based group of academics and business leaders said cost-benefit analyses-which could be done by the Congressional Budget Office or a newly created government agency-would reduce regulatory costs while increasing the effectiveness of consumer protection and environmental laws.

"Much existing social regulation is inefficient, often capricious, and extremely expensive," the group said in the report.

The group said it does not seek "wholesale deregulation." Instead, it hopes to eliminate ineffective and contradictory rules and increase reliance on free-market solutions.

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