Changes to the Regulatory State Make Trump’s Budget Unique

The White House released President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal this week. Regardless of who’s in power, the U.S. budget for the next fiscal year will be $4 trillion, but President Trump has proposed to shave $3.6 trillion off federal spending over the next 10 years and balance the budget in that time as well. According to Competitive Enterprise Institute Vice President for Policy, Wayne Crews, as the budget process proceeds, it’s important to understand how budget and regulatory concerns are increasingly intertwined.

“Although there’s criticism of President Trump for assuming a 3 percent economic growth in his first budget, his budget does recognize and incorporate anticipated savings from his regulatory reforms, rollbacks, and executive orders that could have a positive impact on our budgetary bottom line,” said Crews. “The dramatic changes in the regulatory enterprise that we’re starting to see with President Trump will have an effect on economic growth statistics and that is what’s most unique about this budget.

On the first couple pages the budget promises to “Roll Back Burdensome Regulations”:

We must eliminate every outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective Federal regulation, and move aggressively to build regulatory frameworks that stimulate—rather than stagnate—job creation. Even for those regulations we must leave in place, we must strike every provision that is counterproductive, ineffective, or outdated.

The President will not be able to do anything without legislation from Congress. However, members of Congress will take Trump’s budget reforms into account during their own deliberations and scoring. For example, Republicans and Democrats alike might agree with what is on page 7:

Everyone believes in and supports safe food supplies and clean air and water. But the agencies of the Federal Government have gone way beyond what was originally intended by the Congress.

According to Crews, along with a rollback of Environmental Protection Agency and the inclusion of Obamacare repeal savings, there are a number of bipartisan pro-liberalization transportation reform proposals—like air traffic control and tolling—accompanying the executive order reform agenda.

“On the flip-side though, the Trump budget seems to maintain an ill-advised status quo on certain employment regulation like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” said Crews. “It even sets up a new federal family leave policy that extends beyond federal workers, a big concern for private-sector employers.”

For more information on the intersection of the regulatory state and the U.S. budget read: