Trump, the Six Billion Dollar Man*

Despite his federal spending blowout, some encouraging news about the burden of government.

The Wall Street Journal cited CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews regarding the Trump administration’s regulatory reform efforts.  

History shows that when a new President arrives in Washington, many elements of his campaign agenda do not survive the first 100 days in office. Others are jettisoned over the course of the following several months as political hopes collide with Beltway reality. Yet after a promising start in 2017, it appears that Donald Trump’s effort to eliminate government red tape is not only still active but may even be accelerating.

That’s the news today from Washington’s unofficial scorekeeper of the federal regulatory burden, Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Over the years, candidates too numerous to count have promised to streamline and reduce Washington’s myriad rules and regulations. By Mr. Crews’s tabulation, the current occupant of the White House is one politician who is actually exceeding his signature promise in this area.

Mr. Crews recalls that Mr. Trump promised that his administration would knock out two rules for every new one added. The tabulation gets a little complicated, but Mr. Crews reports that Mr. Trump is delivering more than he promised. Specifically, Mr. Crews counts five deregulatory actions for every one regulatory rule-making during the Trump administration.

Mr. Crews also notes that by this metric the pace of red-tape destruction is actually increasing, from a 4-to1 rate in the fall of 2017 to a spring 2018 ratio of six deregulatory rules for each regulatory addition.

Mr. Trump has famously remarked that red tape, when cut, becomes beautiful and he’s surely right about that. Mr. Crews figures the President cut the overall cost of federal regulation by $6 billion in 2017 and the White House is hoping to cut the burden by another $10 billion this year.

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