Deregulation

Trump at 9 Months: 'The Least Regulatory President of All'

Significant regulations "are down an astonishing 58 percent compared to Obama," reports the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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||| Reason
Reason

The most underreported story (except here at Reason!) about President Donald Trump's White House nine months in has been his administration's concerted effort to slow down, block, roll back, and reform the regulatory state. Given that, in the wake of serial Obamacare-repeal failure, Trump has arguably reached the pen-and-phone stage of his presidency 51 months before his predecessor did, you'd think that taking a poleaxe to the executive branch would receive more attention. But the man does have a knack for generating headlines far afield from the monotony of governance.

The end of the fiscal year over the weekend gives us a chance to step back and do some counting—or better yet, let the regulation-obsessives over at the Competitive Enterprise Institute do it for us. There, CEI Vice President for Policy Clyde Wayne Crews has put together a piece, "Red Tape Rollback Report: Trump Ends Fiscal Year as America's Least-Regulatory President Since Reagan," that if anything is guilty of headline understatement. Consider:

Compared to Obama at this time last year, Trump's [Federal Register] page count is down 32 percent so far in his first year. […]

In nine months, the Trump administration has issued 2,183 rules. Obama issued 2,686 rules in the corresponding time period in 2016. Trump's tally represents an 18 percent decrease.

Significant rules issued, generally those with an impact of $100 million or more, are down an astonishing 58 percent compared to Obama. Trump's agencies issued 116 significant final rules during his first nine months, while Obama's issued 274 over the corresponding nine-month period in 2016.

||| Federal Register
Federal Register

And that doesn't count the rules currently being cooked up:

Trump's overall proposed rules in the pipeline are far below any of his predecessors […]

They are down a down 28 percent compared to the corresponding time frame from Obama's final year. Trump: 1241, Obama: 1737.

Note that Trump's "significant" proposed rules are drastically below any predecessor. They are down 77 percent compared to Obama. Trump: 65, Obama: 290.

Bolding in the original, which is filled with hyperlinks to further resources, and can be found here.

Earlier this year I wrote a cover story on the prospects of Trumpian deregulation. Since then some of the will-he/won't-he signs that regulatory reformers were anticipating have come up positive. But as the recent Jones Act wavering, trade saber-rattling, and infrastructure-investment reversal illustrate, the 19th century protectionism that deregulation types were also fretting about in my article is always a threat to overwhelm the gains made by deconstructing and reshaping the administrative state.

NEXT: This American madness

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  1. Jesus, this is like a stealth sequesterocalypse… ON CRACK. Trump is so lazy.

  2. It’s sad how “least regulatory” just means adding fewer rules, but small victories I guess

    1. Yep. Folks around here are quick to point out that lowering the rate of budget increase does not equal a budget cut.

      Leave it to well-known Trump apologist Welch to spin this news in the president’s favor.

      #fauxnews

      1. Congress sets the budget, not Trump.

    2. Every amendment to or deletion of a regulation counts as a “new rule”.

  3. #MAGA

    Libertarian Moment!

    I told you cucks…

    1. Seriously, do you use “cucks” as satire or do you use it genuinely?

    2. Man, i hate knowing that you came while you were typing that.

    3. “I told you cucks…”

      Fuck off, you pathetic piece of shit.

  4. Hey Matt, Do you still think Hitlery would’ve been “less bad”?

  5. “The most underreported story (except here at Reason!) about President Donald Trump’s White House nine months in has been his administration’s concerted effort to slow down, block, roll back, and reform the regulatory state.”
    This is also why Trump will win reelection.

    #MAGA and deport all illegals.

  6. There was no way he was going to be worse than the hag, but he’s done better than most of us expected.
    By design or accident is still in question.

    1. “x” th D chess, I tell you.

  7. It’s funny how both the #MAGA folk and the progressives will agree that adding only 2200 rules instead of 2700 counts as a drastic shrinking of government.

    1. Both are just progressing towards a different version of tomorrow.

    2. MAGA folks just know that most/some of the rules limit government or require 2 EOs repealed for every new EO.

      Big difference there, #6.

      1. That would mean he has killed 4366 federal rules – which we know hasn’t occurred.

        In nine months, the Trump administration has issued 2,183 rules.

        You’ve been conned by the Con Man.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|10.2.17 @ 6:09PM|#
          “You’ve been conned by the Con Man.”

          Turd, you were conned for 8 years, and as an imbecile, you still know know it.

          1. Sarc (not the immortal member of this here community) aside, shreek has a point.

              1. You do.

  8. (1) Trump doesn’t get credit for this. I highly doubt he knows anything about regulation and would probably want to keep some of the regulations if he had the intellectual curiosity to even understand these things. The credit goes to his cabinet, which was pretty much selected by the Republican Party at large. (2) Reason is a cosmotarian publication, and not libertarian, therefore I’m not surprised that there have only been a few articles discussing this deregulation. There are more important things to be discussed, like who should be labeled as a ‘racist’.

    1. Trump is a businessman. You think he doesn’t know about regulation and how they affect business?

      1. I bet he could not name one single federal regulation that he wants undone.

        Local/city zoning laws? Sure. But not one federal reg.

  9. RE: Trump at 9 Months: ‘The Least Regulatory President of All’

    That’s all well and good, but it will be determined how many unnecessary and counter-productive laws he is able to eliminate later on.
    Time will tell.

  10. In nine months, the Trump administration has issued 2,183 rules.

    Who the fuck is impressed by this?

    1. Yeah, I’m a little confused how this qualifies as “deconstructing and reshaping the administrative state”.

      1. It is just a narrative people are buying into. I hear it on CNBC all the time. The CEO of UPS was recently asked for an example of regulatory rollback that helps them and he couldn’t think of one.

        Not one single regulation rolled back.

        Like most everyone else he doesn’t give a shit about transgender bathroom rules.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|10.2.17 @ 6:03PM|#
          “It is just a narrative people are buying into. I hear it on CNBC all the time”

          Hey turd!
          “Significant rules issued, generally those with an impact of $100 million or more, are down an astonishing 58 percent compared to Obama. Trump’s agencies issued 116 significant final rules during his first nine months, while Obama’s issued 274 over the corresponding nine-month period in 2016.”

  11. The same ones that will be astounded when you pay off your bet?

  12. Being bad at being an executive is a kind of deregulation, I suppose, in that it creates chaos and failure.

  13. Come on, Matt! I’d have thought you would have learned by now that a president’s image is far more important (to most people) than what he actually does while in office!
    Nobody remembers that JFK got us into Vietnam, or that Nixon got us out of Vietnam (regardless of his reasons for doing so). Reason should do more image vs reality stories, by the way, to stress this difference.

  14. This *actual* libertarian moment brought to you by the God Emperor.

  15. “19th century protectionism”. The part that keeps getting left out is that we do not have a level playing field. Even with open borders for trade, jobs go to the country with the weakest occupational regulation. Products come from the country with the weakest environmental regulations. Any trade policy that doesn’t factor this, is pointless policy.

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