Right Hooks

Trump Takes on the Regulatory Tidal Wave

A convoluted system gets much-needed reform.

Business Review Board · Jan. 31, 2017

Business owners have been gifted a much-needed reprieve thanks to Donald Trump’s swift action to reduce red tape. The rollback began immediately, on day one, when a regulatory moratorium “effectively halted nearly $200 billion worth of regulations” by one estimate, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon. On Monday, Trump went even further with a Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The order states, “[I]t is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

Similar to the Left’s rancorous and theatrical uproar over Trump’s travel ban, Democrats are hyperventilating once again, slamming the move to reduce regulations as uncanny. But as The Wall Street Journal reports, “[M]any civilized countries use such budgets to manage the regulatory state and stay competitive. Canada requires every rule that creates another hour of paperwork for business compliance to be offset one for one. The United Kingdom and Australia have harder versions that require the costs of new rules to be offset by deregulation of comparable net value.”

Just consider how convoluted the system is. The Washington Times says, “The Obama administration issued 3,853 final rules in 2016, the most in 11 years. Another 2,391 proposed rules were in the regulatory pipeline when Mr. Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20.” Moreover, “Federal agencies last year issued 18 rules and regulations for every law approved by Congress.” That’s absurd. No wonder the economy remains sluggish.

As welcome and refreshing as Trump’s attack on regulations is, the best appears yet to come. The Times also notes that Trump “promised to set his sights next on rolling back the massive Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law. ‘Dodd-Frank is a disaster,’ the president told reporters in the Oval Office after a meeting with small business owners. ‘We’re going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank. The American dream is back.’” In 2008, Barack Obama said “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” He was referring to “climate change,” of course, but there’s another ocean that actually is rising at unprecedented levels: the regulatory state. And Trump is ensuring that it truly, not just rhetorically, begins to recede.

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