Probably one of the more underrated aspects of the Trump administration has been his deregulation agenda.
His efforts to scale back the administrative state have even earned him praise from TV pundit John Stossel. Stossel has been a staunch libertarian for decades and one of the strongest advocates for small government in America. Receiving praise from him is no small feat.
He correctly noted in one of his latest columns that Trump’s experience as a developer makes him sympathetic to deregulation. Businessmen, big and small, must put up with the U.S.’s burdensome regulatory state. With Trump in office, there was at least a chance to hack away at these barriers.
However, politics has shown time after time that talk is cheap. Stossel was right to be skeptical at first. The journalist aptly highlighted that “Republicans often talk deregulation but then add rules. People called President George W. Bush an “anti-regulator.” But once he was president, he hired 90,000 new regulators!”
Nevertheless, Trump hired numerous officials who were skeptical of regulation such as Mark Calabria to help reform certain aspects of housing regulations. Trump also scored some notable deregulation victories by repealing an Obama-era plan to place franchise businesses like McDonald’s as single businesses. Grover Norquist noted that this policy was a boon for trial lawyers.
“The trial lawyers want to be able to sue all of McDonald’s, not just the local McDonald’s if they spill coffee on themselves,” claimed Norquist. “And the labor unions want to unionize all McDonald’s, not just the one store. That would have been a disaster.”
The President’s FCC also repealed the Obama administration’s “net neutrality” policies which would have greatly restricted internet providers’ freedom to charge prices at market rates. Despite marketed as a way to protect the Internet from predatory companies, the regulations that “net neutrality” entailed would have actually hurt smaller internet service providers and limit competition. A bad situation overall for consumers.
Trump’s most notable reform during his administration was his executive order which eliminated regulations at a 2:1 ratio. This has helped businesses of all sizes in America get some breathing room to operate. Like the current tax system, the administrative state is all-encompassing in its reach and curtails the formation of new businesses and investment opportunities that America needs to grow more prosperous.
Estimates from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) put th ecost of federal regulations at $1.9 trillion— a steep cost that American consumers and businesses must bear in the boardroom and at the store counter.
These de-regulatory reforms are good first steps. For that reason, Trump should continue breaking the shackles of the administrative state by cutting off funding to bureaucracies and repealing bad laws. Our bloated government is in desperate need of a die