No story about Donald Trump is more underreported than the president’s unprecedented attacks on the regulatory nanny state. Nothing has been worse for the free markets in modern-day America than the massive amounts of rules and regulations added to the Federal Register on a daily basis. Unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats have been running amok for decades, imposing new dictates that suck billions of dollars out of the private sector for compliance. Now that we’ve come to the end of Fiscal Year 2017, we can take a look at some hard numbers to see whether President Trump is keeping his campaign promise to drastically reduce regulations.
The verdict is in: President Trump is the least regulatory Chief Executive since Ronald Reagan. Mr. Trump promised to remove two federal regulations for every new rule that his administration proposes and he has actually surpassed that. Here is a closer look at how President Trump has been taking a chainsaw to the forest of red tape that was erected by Barack Obama.
A Note on the Numbers
At first glance, President Trump’s accomplishments may not look like much in this arena, but this is deceptive. The Trump administration has issued 2,183 new rules during the first nine months of 2017. That compares to 2,686 new rules issued by the Obama regime in 2016. So what is the big deal? Remember, it takes a rule to kill a rule. Most of President Trump’s “new” regulations were actually rules to destroy an older Obama, Bush or Clinton rule.
Spendy Regs Slashed
A “significant rule” is any regulation that impacts the economy by $100 million per year or more. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been trying to get his REINS Act (the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act) passed through the Senate for years without much success. The act, if passed, would require Congress to approve or deny any significant rule.
With President Trump in office, however, the REINS Act is much less of a priority. The Trump administration has only proposed 65 “significant” rules, compared to 290 during 2016. From January through May of 2017, regulations from President Trump were fiscally neutral, adding zero in costs for the taxpayers and the private sector.
Hyuuuge Cost Savings
The Congressional Review Act of 1994 allows Congress and the White House to overturn an economically significant regulation. Unfortunately, the law was only used one time from 1994 through 2016. With President Trump in office and a Republican-controlled House and Senate, however, the Congressional Review Act has been used a whopping 14 times to kill economically significant rules. According to Vice President Mike Pence, the administration has generated $18 billion in cost savings through these laws. This is unprecedented and that’s why you will never see any mainstream media reports on it.
Adios, EPA Rules!
Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which was nothing more than an elaborate and costly set of regulations to drive up energy costs under the guise of “fighting global warming,” is history under the Trump administration. This green boondoggle would have hit energy costs in America to the tune of $7.2 billion, with all of those costs passed on to consumers. Like all liberal policies for the environment, low-income families would have been hardest-hit with increased energy bills.
Thanks to President Trump, Obama’s Clean Power Plan is now on hold and under review (and soon to be a thing of the past). President Trump’s energy executive order from October also rescinded several of Obama’s other global warming dictates.
The Environmental Protection Agency also expanded its own power through the Clean Water Act during Obama’s reign. In one of the most significant examples of overreach in history, the EPA declared that mud puddles in American driveways could fall under the already broad “waters of the United States” definition. That rule is under review and not likely to survive.
So Much Red Tape, So Little Time
President Trump has also put some Obama-era regulations on the chopping block that were purely designed to be popular with his base and to enrage his enemies. Obama’s rule on transgender bathrooms in public schools and government offices is a thing of the past, for example (good riddance!). The same goes for Al Gore’s Paris global warming agreement and the Michelle Obama-inspired Food and Drug Administration rule mandating nutritional labeling for standard menu items in all restaurants.
President Reagan reduced regulations and overall pages in the Federal Register by more than one third during his eight years in office. So far, President Trump is on pace to do even better – and that is making America great again as far as we’re concerned!
~ American Liberty Report