Regulation without Representation

This is supposed to be a year of action. Unfortunately, there will likely be very little action in the area of regulatory reform. Over at The Hill‘s Congress blog, Wayne Crews and I make the case for reining in the regulatory state as a way to improve the federal government’s fiscal health. Here’s a taste:

Take the much-discussed annual federal deficits under presidents Bush and Obama. In recent years, the government has been spending a little less than a quarter of the nation’s GDP, but its revenues rarely top 20 percent of GDP. Given Congress’s and the president’s continuing unwillingness to reduce spending to match revenues, they could turn instead to regulatory reform as a budget balancer.

A deregulatory “stimulus” would help create the conditions for rapid economic growth. If government’s 20 percent slice comes from a much larger pie, revenue gains could cover most, if not all of the shortfall, eventually erasing deficits. This, of course, would require keeping spending in check, which may be wishful thinking. But it offers a solution, if politicians really want one.

Read the whole thing here.