As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: regulations

Trump Achieving “Historic” Reduction in Regulation Costs

The Trump White House is dramatically reducing the cost of doing business in America, sharply curtailing the volume and price tag of regulations compared with what prevailed under Barack Obama.

A new report by the American Action Forum terms the reductions “historic,” saying the regulatory “freeze” begun by Trump after his inauguration has persisted.

From the report:

The White House has released just 8 percent of the historical volume of regulation. Cabinet agencies have only finalized $33 million in costs, compared to a 2005 to 2017 average of $26 billion. On the cost side, regulatory output is just 0.12 percent of historic norms . . .

During the period covered, the average administration reviewed 190 rules; the Trump Administration reviewed 39. In the average year, there were 33 economically significant reviews; the Trump Administration reviewed just 16. On average, there were 30.8 significant rules approved, not just reviewed; this administration has released ten.

Trump, a businessman who has dealt first-hand with the crippling effects of excessive regulation, is keeping his promise to free up business activity and create jobs.

H/T Washington Examiner.

Trump: We’ll Cut Regulations by 75 Percent

Well, that’s a start. From the Washington Examiner:

President Trump told a gathering of business leaders Monday that he plans to undo three-quarters of existing regulations while slashing corporate taxes in order to encourage building, a move toward fulfilling his campaign promise to be “the greatest jobs president God ever created.”

“We’re going to be cutting regulation massively,” Trump said during the first “listening session” of his administration. “We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more.

Trump hoped to get the corporate tax rate as low as 15 percent from its current high of 35 percent.

Trump Immediately Announces Freeze on Regulations

Now that’s what I call hope and change.

From the Washington Examiner:

President Trump took a series of executive actions minutes after the inaugural parade concluded Friday evening, one of which was to place a regulatory freeze on all federal agencies until his administration provides further notice.

“The Trump administration will send a letter to all executive agencies tonight to immediately abide by a regulatory freeze,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters around 7:15 p.m. ET.

Obama’s Expansion of Government Revealed

Below the radar, beyond the loudly visible fights in Congress, President Obama is enacting a complex and far reaching regulatory agenda that will affect your wallets and your lives in untold ways. In many cases, likely, forever.

According to a major new investigation by Politico:

Far more than he let on in the State of the Union, the president has marshaled the tools of his office to advance policies, many unabashedly liberal, that push deep into everyday life for tens of millions of Americans.

He wants to change how power plants operate. And what we buy for lunch. How we travel to work. And how our kids learn math. How our gasoline is formulated. How we light our aquariums.

As he tees up for his final three years, Obama is pushing to take his executive power further still, with the most ambitious regulatory agenda in decades. Executive actions now underway could shut down for-profit colleges that don’t meet the administration’s definition of success — even if they’re popular with students. They could raise the price of products ranging from trucks to furnace fans to manufactured housing to aquarium lights, by requiring them to be made more energy-efficient. The executive agenda even reaches the fires of the family hearth, with the Environmental Protection Agency planning strict new requirements for home wood stoves.

Whether American guns can be sold abroad. How smokeless tobacco can be marketed. Which nonprofits can stage get-out-the-vote drives. What constitutes a single serving of potato chips.

And, perhaps, just how salty those chips should be.

All this, and much more, will depend in large part on the behind-the-scenes churning of the federal bureaucracy — managed, or by many accounts micro-managed, by the White House.

The White House likes to perpetuate the misleading statistic that Obama has promulgated regulations at a pace comparable to Bush and Clinton. Politico found that this obscures what’s really happening:

In his first term, his administration enacted 246 regulations classified as “economically significant,” meaning they carry an economic impact of more than $100 million. That’s considerably more than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton enacted in either of their terms. The Obama administration has added another 54 economically significant regulations so far in his second term. Many are connected to the health care law or Dodd-Frank.

The Heritage Foundation slices the data another way. It looks at how many regulations are “prescriptive,” meaning they impose mandates on the private sector. Its tally: 131 “prescriptive” rules issued during Obama’s first term — and 31 added last year. By comparison, Bush issued 52 prescriptive rules during his first term, said Diane Katz, a research fellow at the foundation.

This is where the action is. Behind the scenes. Where the founders intended. The founders of the Soviet Union, that is.

Obama Regulation Review Composed of Granola

Oops. Seems that President Obama’s order for agencies to make sure their regulations are good for the business may not be all that it seems.

As the Wall Street Journal points out today, a reading of the fine print shows that in addition to making sure regulations meet the Chamber of Commerce Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the EPA and the rest of them must ensure the rules pass muster with Pete Seeger.

When the agencies weigh costs and benefits, the order says, they should always consider “values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.”

Talk about economic elasticities. Equity and fairness can be defined to include more or less anything as a benefit. Under this calculus, a rule might pass Mr. Obama’s cost-benefit test if it imposes $999 billion in hard costs but supposedly results in a $1 trillion increase in human dignity, whatever that means in bureaucratic practice. Another rule could pass muster even if it reduces work and investment, as long as it also lessens income inequality.

Oh well. It didn’t seem from the initial announcement that “spreading the wealth around” was going to be part of the review, but I guess this should have been expected.

I’ve got an idea. I’m going to count this blog’s “distributive impacts” and its contribution to equity and fairness, and I’m going to demand that I be allowed to buy Treasury Bills with it.