Reason Magazine discusses the deregulatory actions of the Trump administration and Ten Thousand Commandments, CEI’s assessment of the size of the regulatory state.
On one hand, there is no doubt that the Trump administration has made slashing federal regulations a key policy goal. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to remove two regulations from the books for every new one added. That atmosphere has reduced red tape and slowed the creation of new rules, says Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of “10,000 Commandments,” an annual assessment of the size of the federal regulatory state.
On the other hand, the federal regulatory state remains a massive entity that sucks $1.9 trillion out of the economy each year. And Trump’s efforts to shrink it are under threat from his other, often countervailing, impulses.
“These are good things, but there are warning signs,” Crews says. “President Trump’s own apparent affinity for strong antitrust enforcement and protectionist trade policies threaten to undermine the economic gains from his regulatory reform efforts.”
While Trump delivered on his promise to cut two regulations for every new one added, there are worrying signs that federal rulemaking might increase in coming years. Agencies have three times as many regulatory actions as deregulatory actions in the pipeline, Crews says.
“Ultimately, permanent regulatory streamlining will require Congress to act,” says Crews.