Other countries have gone much further than Trump’s “two-for-one” order, without any ill effect. As The Hill notes, “the U.S. isn’t the first country to impose such a restriction on regulators. Trump could use similar policies in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as a model for his order. For every rule issued in the U.K., three existing rules must be eliminated. According to a U.K. government report, that requirement saved businesses £885 million from May 5, 2015 to May 26, 2016, or nearly $1.1 billion based on current conversion rates.”
There are many unnecessary and harmful federal regulations that need to be pruned. Not only the amount of regulation, but its rate of increase, went up under Obama, as federal regulation rapidly expanded in areas such as health care and financial regulation. The 2016 Federal Register’s record-setting page count was 97,110 pages—more than 15,000 pages above the previous record, set in 2010. Regulatory agencies issued 3,853 regulations in 2016, more than a 13 percent increase over 2015.
There is no sign that this flood of new regulations did anything to improve Americans’ health. Indeed, as ABC News noted in December, “A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.” The death rate increased by 1.2% in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, and life expectancy fell. Female life expectancy dropped from 81.3 to 81.2 years, and male life expectancy fell from 76.5 to 76.3 years. The core elements of Obamacare, along with many new health-care regulations, went into effect in 2014.
CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews wrote about additional strategies that the White House can use to lift the federal regulatory burden in his recent Web Memo First Steps for the Trump Administration: Rein in the Regulatory State.