July 17, 2020

Trump’s Outstanding Deregulation Record

The president wants to continue this economic boon. Biden will turn back the clock.

Deregulation has been one of President Donald Trump’s best calling cards over the last three-plus years, especially given how much he has done to undo the work of his predecessor. Trump’s reelection pitch is that we need to move forward, not backward. In remarks Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House, he declared, “For every one new regulation added, nearly eight federal regulations have been terminated” by his administration. He insisted, “We must never return to the days of soul-crushing regulation that ravaged our cities, devastated our workers, drained our vitality right out of our people, and thoroughly crippled our nation’s prized competitive edge.”

Ever the showman, Trump recited a long list of his deregulatory accomplishments while flanked by blue and red pickup trucks, symbolizing the two parties. Both were heavily laden with stacks of weights, though a crane labeled “Trump administration” lifted the burden from the red truck to deftly illustrate the massive weight of regulation.

Trucks were an appropriate metaphor given that, earlier this year, Trump rolled back Barack Obama’s onerous fuel-economy standards. Arguably more significantly, Trump’s biggest move this week was to cut environmental red tape for infrastructure projects. “Environmental review” would routinely bog down infrastructure building for an average of 4.5 years and in many cases far longer. Trump has now reduced that to no more than two years for environmental impact statements, and just one for environmental assessments. It’s hard to overstate the positive impact this change will have on building highways, gas pipelines, and other needed projects.

In general, Obama’s heavy-handed regulation stagnated the economy for eight long years, whereas Trump’s red-tape cutting unshackled businesses and led to a solid economic expansion — an expansion that put our nation in position to withstand the dual assault of a pandemic and the resulting shutdowns.

Remember, regulation is a form of taxation. The president claimed, “Our historic regulatory relief is providing the average American household an extra $3,100 every single year.” By contrast, according to The Washington Times, “The Trump campaign said Thursday that the federal government during the Obama administration’s eight years imposed $872 billion in new regulations on the U.S. economy, creating 583 million hours’ worth of paperwork to comply with.” Trump said that “cost the average American an additional $2,300 per year.”

Joe Biden wants to turn back the clock and restore his former boss’s punishing regulatory regime … and then some. His newly proposed Green New Deal alone would hamstring the economy in disastrous ways, all while costing future generations big time.

“Our entire economy and our very way of life are threatened by Biden’s plans to transform our nation and subjugate our communities through the blunt force instrument of federal regulation at a level that you haven’t even seen yet,” Trump warned. He added that if Biden and a Democrat Senate are elected, “The American Dream would be sniffed out so quickly and replaced with a socialist disaster.”

Indeed, that kind of tyrannical economic devastation is on the ballot this November. Unless voters reject it.

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