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Kill the Never-Needed Regulations Slowing the Economic Recovery

Op-Eds and Articles

Our attention is focused on a single, terrible story like we’ve rarely seen before, a story that commands such a level of attention because it has altered nearly every person’s life. Tragedy, both personal and economic, has visited far too many people, and too many lives have been taken behind a curtain of secrecy unwittingly erected by the social distancing orders most have agreed to live under to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the tragedy and the singular focus of the moment, we witnessed a landmark moment in government that thrust a rarely discussed topic to the center of attention in power-obsessed Washington, D.C. Last week, President Trump signed an executive order, only a few pages in length, that will fundamentally alter the trajectory of the regulatory state, position the nation for economic recovery, and leave the executive branch with less power in the midst of a global crisis.

The central line is fewer than two dozen words: "Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery."

The complexity and pervasiveness of federal rules and regulations make it impossible for anyone to understand genuinely even a fraction of federal law. And yet, the law governs every aspect of healthcare, and the organization of production facilities, transportation, and communications. There are more than 180 federal employment laws and a cabinet department that produces more than 140 million hours of annual compliance burden affecting both employers and employees. Altogether, we suffocate the economy with nearly $2 trillion of red tape.

Read the full article at The Washington Examiner.

Coauthored by David McIntosh