Deregulation

Regulations at 'Lowest Count Since Records Began Being Kept in the Mid-1970s'

Economy advances while administrative state recedes; lefty commentators hardest hit.

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As the economy and stock market continue to chug along nicely, many analysts and presidents are giving at least partial credit to the Trump administration's aggressive regulatory reform efforts.

Unsurprisingly, this is driving some commentators insane.

"Trump's Deregulatory Binge Makes the Bush Years Look Like Stalinist Russia," runs the headline in The Daily Banter, a website that was "started in 2007 when Editor in Chief Ben Cohen got fed up with watching the corporate news not doing its job properly," and that further claims "not do viral content" or "trick readers with misleading headlines." (Cohen's misleading subhed, by the way, begins: "The Bush years were characterized by a deregulatory binge that saw deep cuts to virtually all aspects of government with little to no reasoning behind them," despite the fact that people who actually study this stuff will inform you that Bush increased the reach, budget, and staffing of the administrative state—including on financial regulation—at a far greater clip than his Democratic predecessor, while overseeing an eight-year government spending bender.)

Who's smirking now? ||| Reason
Reason

An infinitely better reported, yet ultimately even more unintentionally amusing effort came in Monday's New York Times, which contained plenty of now-hold-on-there sentences like "The evidence is weak that regulation actually reduces economic activity or that deregulation stimulates it," and "There is little historical evidence tying regulation levels to growth," and "Regulatory proponents say, in fact, that those rules can have positive economic effects in the long run, saving companies from violations that could cost them both financially and reputationally."

Why is that funny? Because much of the rest of the article is composed of quotes and data from actual business humans about why they're investing so much more money during the Trump presidency. Stuff like, "That [regulatory] burden has slowed down economic growth, it's slowed down investment in infrastructure [in the past]. And what we've seen over the last year is a big deregulatory environment." The preponderance of feel-good evidence is such that the Times headlined the piece "The Trump Effect," and began it with these two almost startlingly upbeat paragraphs:

A wave of optimism has swept over American business leaders, and it is beginning to translate into the sort of investment in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation — and may finally raise wages significantly.

While business leaders are eager for the tax cuts that take effect this year, the newfound confidence was initially inspired by the Trump administration's regulatory pullback, not so much because deregulation is saving companies money but because the administration has instilled a faith in business executives that new regulations are not coming.

As you can imagine, this conclusion by the Gray Lady could not stand. "The front-page story is so egregious," thundered Think Progress, "that one of the the paper's leading columnists, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, eviscerated it in a series of tweets on Tuesday morning."

You should always take bold assertions of political cause and economic effect with massive grains of salt, particularly at a time when almost the entire global economy is doing pretty well in unison. You can, however, make at least some preliminary measures of Trump's regulatory reform activities. And what you see there will indeed make a progressive recoil and a libertarian smile.

There he goes again! ||| WhiteHouse.gov
WhiteHouse.gov

As the year closed out last week, the deregulators over at the Competitive Enterprise Institute took a look at the final page- and regulation-count in the 2017 Federal Register. This is what they found:

The calendar year concluded with 61,950 pages in the Federal Register […]

This is the lowest count since 1993's 61,166 pages. That was Bill Clinton's first year, and his own lowest-ever count.

A year ago, Obama set the all-time Federal Register page record with 95,894 pages.

Trump's Federal Register is a 35 percent drop from Obama's record, set last year.

Bush and Reagan had lower Federal Register page counts than Trump; but every president since has easily outstripped Trump. […]

[T]he Federal Register closed out with 3,281 final rules within its pages.

This is the lowest count since records began being kept in the mid-1970s.

Emphases in original. To be sure, those number-counts don't tell you about quality or size of impact. For some of that, here's a useful Daily Signal list of the administration's 10 most significant regulatory moves.

For the opposing view, try the National Resources Defense Council ("Trump Turns Back Regulatory Clock to 1960") or Consumer Affairs ("RIP: The regulations that Trump killed in 2017").

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84 responses to “Regulations at 'Lowest Count Since Records Began Being Kept in the Mid-1970s'

  1. And conservatives are called “reactionary”…. all the reactionary loons I see are on the left. That regulations and government intervention are at historic levels means nothing to them. It’s as if people were dying before Obamacare, the internet was a disaster in 2014 before net neutrality, the economy just years ago was the wild west in terms of regulations… jesus fucking christ.

    How can anyone take these loons seriously?

    1. Take a lot of drugs first, that’s how

      1. CNN should not be consumed while operating heavy machinery.

        1. As should Fox News

          1. Fuck off, troll

      2. Or perhaps, attend government university lectures from progressive activist professors, as a student, and become brainwashed so that one reacts emotionally and is incapable of using reason.

    2. I just started 7 weeks ago and I’ve gotten 2 check for a total of $2,000…this is the best decision I made in a long time! “Thank you for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to make extra money from home. go to this site for more details….. http://www.startonlinejob.com

      1. Do you find that the current deregulatory climate has made it easier for you to do this type of work? Will the corporate tax cuts make you more likely to invest in your business?

    3. Set up a straw man there did ya? I’ve met plenty reactionary people from both parties. Not a brain between the two.

    4. I just started 7 weeks ago and I’ve gotten 2 check for a total of $2,000…this is the best decision I made in a long time! “Thank you for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to make extra money from home.
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    5. I just started 7 weeks ago and I’ve gotten 2 check for a total of $2,000…this is the best decision I made in a long time! “Thank you for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to make extra money from home.
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  2. Because much of the rest of the article is composed of quotes and data from actual business humans about why they’re investing so much more money during the Trump presidency.

    Those are self-serving, greedy corporate shills, not impartial economists in white lab coats.

    1. “Not leftist funded, government controlled economists is expensive suits.”

      1. Speaking of people who should never be taken seriously

        “Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never”
        – Paul Krugman 11/09/16

        1. This should be scrolled on the screen every time that ugly mug appears on video.

        2. I’m sure his second and third pass answer corrected his error.

          1. And yet, I’ve never seen his ‘other pass’ answer, the fucking imbecile.

        3. I hope he put his money where his mouth was and shorted the market.

        4. “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” – Laurence J. Peter

  3. Deregulation doesn’t stimulate economic activity? Tell that to airlines and freight trucking. Tell it to any city that loosened its grip on ride sharing. There are tons of other examples.

    1. How about show me a regulation that has stimulated the economy…

      Going back to Shapiro’s point — we need to stop arguing efficient arguments with leftist government types… they don’t care.

      The problem with regulation isn’t that it sucks, it’s that *most* of it is evil. You have no right to tell me I can’t braid hair without a license, and you have no right to make it illegal for me to pump my own gas, you have no right to tell me I can’t open a moving company because there’s already a moving company in the same area, etc.

      1. How about show me a regulation that has stimulated the economy…

        I don’t know if mandatory insurance stimulates “the economy” but it sure stimulates insurance companies.

    2. It’s Bastiat’s Parable of the Broken Window in action. Deregulation by itself doesn’t necessarily stimulate economic activity. But it does mean that firms can spend the time, effort, and capital that they’d be previously spending on regulatory compliance on other activities. That could be hookers and blow, but it’s far more likely to be hiring, production, and investment.

      It’s the same basic reason why the Laffer Curve is what it is and lowering corporate taxes works to stimulate economic activity in firms. Anyone posting on a libertarian site should have an idea on how economic rent works, even if they disagree on what level is mathematical optimal to cut out or political viable to allow to let operate.

      1. If it is hookers & blow, the hookers and drug dealers are unlikely to hide that money in a mattress. They’re going to buy goods and services with it, and stimulate economic activity.

        1. Now I’m simulated

  4. (Cohen’s misleading subhed, by the way, begins: “The Bush years were characterized by a deregulatory binge that saw deep cuts to virtually all aspects of government with little to no reasoning behind them,”

    Whaaa? This isn’t like being confused about history from 80 years ago and thinking Herbert Hoover was a champion of laissez faire who caused the Great Depression with deregulation. It’s ludicrous to say that with the PATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, and Medicare Part D in very very recent memory. What conceivable metric could one use to make a claim like that?

    1. Party affiliation?

    2. The great depression happened because of overbought stocks, just like 87, just like the tech bubble, just like overbought land speculation and imaginary financial vehicals in 2008, just like imaginary coinage and overly bought stocks in 2018

      1. Maybe the market crash. That, and the sustained economic depression are two different things.

  5. Believe it or not-I’ve heard many progs, including in my own family, complain that we have too many choices now. They long for the days when there were only three TV networks, one or two supermarket chains, and only the legacy carrier airlines that wouldn’t charge you to check a bag and give you a hot meal on every flight. They seem to forget that not only were there fewer choices back then, the choices also all sucked. But don’t let that stop them.

    1. Progs are the most ungrateful, spoiled people on the planet.

      Some people just don’t want or deserve freedom. Tell them not to fuck it up for the rest of us.

    2. The choices sucked AND they were expensive.

      1. Just what poor people need more of.

        1. I’ve known several people back when I still lived in hell (Massachusetts) that explicitly said poor people are too stupid to make choices.

          1. Yet I bet they all believed that the poor should be encouraged to vote.

          2. In all fairness many poor people ARE too stupid to make GOOD choices, that’s why they are poor in the richest country in history. BUT the majority of people are competent enough to make good enough choices that it works out 10000000000000 times better than idiot politicians making the choices for them!

            It’s comparing two completely fucked up systems. Freedom and markets are a total cluster fuck, a complete disaster! But a complete disaster that’s infinitely less disastrous than top down control. This is the thing left wingers can’t grasp. The world is not perfect, and it never will be, but freedom is the best of the all awful options that we have on the table for how to do things. Commies all think things can somehow be perfect, but they can’t be.

            That some people are too dumb to do the right things is why most societies in history have been controlled top down. All the heroin junkies, bums, and general idiots in Seattle WOULD be better off with me owning them as slaves because I’m a nice guy and would do right as their master, but the other 90% of the population is better of being free. Commies want to enslave everyone because of that small chunk of the population that’s too incompetent to run their own lives.

    3. The only choice progressives have ever really supported is the choice to abort a baby. For everything else, they’d rather have someone make the choice for them, or (more to the point) THEY want to make the choice for YOU (since obviously, they know better than you do.)

      1. You forgot, that progressives also supported sexual “freedom”. Including sex with subordinates (e.g. Monica Lewinski), drugged minors (Roman Polanski), children (Woody Allen – legal children not biological), and similar things like men dressed as women entering the women’s bathroom. They’ve also endorsed supporting sexual allegations and punishment without the accused having the right to confront the witnesses against them.

  6. Good. Great. Awesome. Thank you.

    Now kill Dodd-Frank.

    Not the people, the bill.

    …though accidents do happen…

  7. The headline in the dead-tree version was:
    “New Rule to Undercut Obama’s Law”, but here’s the gist:
    “WASHINGTON ? Striving to fulfill a campaign promise, the Trump administration on Thursday proposed regulations to facilitate the interstate sale of health insurance policies that cost less but may not cover as much.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a…..474409.php

    So by reducing the regulated content and market for medical insurance, there’s a good chance the costs for medical insurance will drop, thereby “undercutting” the bogusly-named “Affordable something something”.

    1. A lot of people I heard focused on the fact that the insurance that is cheaper might cover less. No mention of people now being able to have some choice was examined. Just that if they do but the cheaper plan they’ll die of copays on abortions or something.

      1. Yes, if Obo didn’t mandate it, you’re gonna DIE!

    2. I think one regulation that is needed is that medical providers have to give people that pay at the time of service for medical care are entitled to the lowest price the providers offer to any payor.

  8. Libertarian positives of the Trump Presidency so far:
    1) Substantial reduction in regulations
    2) Withdrawal from Paris UN climate change agreement
    3) Approved Keystone pipeline
    4) Ended net neutrality
    5) Cut taxes
    6) Ended Obamacare individual mandate

    Please feel free to add and/or correct the above.

    1. 3) Approved Keystone pipeline

      Denying property rights (through “eminent domain”) is NOT a libertarian positive.

      (Just because liberals hate it, and for all the wrong reasons, doesn’t mean the blind monkey missed the peanut.)

      1. Oil pipelines, like dams and other traditional “internal improvements” in the John Marshall sense are the sort of eminent domain uses where folks of a liberty perspective, I think, can make often a case-by-case argument on how that measure applies (provided that enough actual value, instead of dramatic low-balling, obtains). That argument probably depends where on the spectrum of “libertarian” one is, of course (I refer to myself as a classical liberal, so I’m going to have a different perspective than an an-cap, for example).

        1. I’m saying ED is a last-resort measure.
          That oil is getting to market regardless of any ED claims. The ED claims in this case are crony; to be rejected.

    2. Betsy Devos, Scott Pruitt, Scott Gottlieb, etc…

      1. …and arguably Gorsuch…and promoted Pai, though that overlaps with #4

      2. Also there is entertainment value in how he pisses off so many progressives and closet socialists. My cousin has gone absolutely around the bend. Sweet sweet schaedenfreude.

        1. Remember the old SNL skit where Ronald Reagan greeted visitors to the Oval Office like an amiable old grandfather, but then, when there was no one to see, he became an all-business, detail-oriented, leader of men? I’m ALMOST to the point of suspecting that Donald Trump is not really as much of an vulgar, immature asshat as he seems to demonstrate on an almost daily basis, but is actually just trolling his critics along, much the way I think obama dangled false leads about his birth certificate for years, just to drive the crazies to distraction (and I use the word “distraction” intentionally.) I still can’t stand the thought of the “The Donald,” but he has nevertheless managed to do a helluva good job in his first year; SURELY the universe balances out that paradox somewhere.

          1. Maybe he’s just smart enough to appoint the right people and tell them to deregulate the shit out of everything.

            Being the smartest and most detailed oriented manager seldom provides the best results. Carter was smarter and much more cognizant of the policy and technical details than Reagan was. Nixon was brilliant and very hands on, he was so smart he thought he could run the entire economy with wage and price controls.

            1. Maybe he’s just smart enough to appoint the right people and tell them to deregulate the shit out of everything.

              I’m kind of amazed that there’s anyone who can think this reasonably describes Trump’s administration.

              To be sure, he has installed a few people who have pursued their narrow, ostensibly “deregulatory” interests with a kind of cynical, expert zeal. Pruitt at EPA. Mulvaney at OMB and (somehow also) at CFPB. Sessions at DOJ. But then there are others, adrift atop their agencies, isolated by their own inexperience and incompetence: DeVos at DOE. Tillerson at State. Carson at HUD. And then everyone else is just trying to keep the world from exploding.

              Trump defenders just can’t deal with reality. They can’t admit that his greatest “accomplishments” have happened despite his efforts, rather than because of him. They like some of what’s happened since he was elected, and so they stretch to find some way to give him credit, even though any reasonable person has to acknowledge how little interest he has in anything they give him credit for. He had no view on the tax cut bill – he would have signed anything Congress sent him. Ditto on any Obamacare repeal. His judicial appointments are hand-picked by lobbyists and briefly vetted for “loyalty.”

              1. Piss off, dead thread-fucking progtroll.

                1. These kinds of responses only inspire me to fuck some more dead threads.

              2. Simon, here’s the thing though… Without him in office, NOBODY would have been pushing to make those people do those things at all.

                Maybe some kind of tax cut… But would it have been 20% corporate taxes demanded as a benchmark? I doubt it.

                And the deregulation efforts, can you imagine any of the other Republicans demanding 2 regs removed for any one added? Hell no.

                So he’s not doing the nitty gritty details of things, but the “orders from on high” and the types of goal posts I can’t see anybody else having set at all, including other Republicans. Gary Johnson or another libertarian might have been as, or more, extreme, but nobody else that realistically could have been elected would have been close to as good as Trump has thus far turned out to be.

                He’s been awful on other things to be sure, but in some areas he’s being braver than any president of the last hundred years really. He’s ACTUALLY trying to shrink the size and scope of government for realz, other than the military and a few other pet projects. That’s bold as fuck in 2018 America.

                1. Maybe some kind of tax cut… But would it have been 20% corporate taxes demanded as a benchmark? I doubt it.

                  The impetus for the 20% threshold came from Congress. Trump’s main contribution to pushing it through was (i) an irrational demand for a “win” within his first year in office and (ii) increasing dread on the right that it was a “now or never” moment, anticipating losses in Congress in 2018.

                  And the deregulation efforts, can you imagine any of the other Republicans demanding 2 regs removed for any one added? Hell no.

                  No, because that’s a stupid policy that will be easily gamed and just result in a lot of uncertainty for market actors.

                  So he’s not doing the nitty gritty details of things, but the “orders from on high” and the types of goal posts I can’t see anybody else having set at all, including other Republicans.

                  But the “orders from on high” are, frequently, just window dressing. He issues an executive order, drafted for him by actual lawyers, the scope of which is actually quite limited and tentative. But he signs it and spins it as a great “win,” and Trumptards just lap it up. They don’t read the orders. They don’t understand the orders. They just assume that, when Trump says he’s ordering a regulatory rollback, it’s actually happening. That’s not the way any of this works.

                  He’s not really acting as president. He’s playing one on TV.

                  1. Whatever Simon. If Jeb had won or something stupid they wouldn’t have pushed for as low of taxes as they did. Which BTW I would have preferred far more radical changes, but oh well. And also spending cuts BEFORE tax cuts would have been nice.

                    As far as the other stuff, whatever proggie. We’re waaaaaay over regulated. Maybe 10-20% of very basic and broad regulations are anything that could be considered remotely useful or sane. The behemoth we have now is out of control. I’d rather we accidentally get rid of a moderately useful/beneficial requirement along with 10 horrible ones than keep the whole lot of them because something semi sane might get tossed out along with the bad ones.

                    He hasn’t done as much as I’d like, but he’s done more good than any other president in my lifetime… So I’ll take it.

            2. I very much disagree with your assertion that “Carter was smarter and much more cognizant of the policy and technical details than Reagan was”. Anyone who studied the writings of Reagan in the decades prior to his run for the office of President knows he had the most fully formed and reasoned policy positions of any POTUS in the past 3/4 century. More heavily on foreign policy, but much in the way of macroeconomics as well.

    3. His Supreme Court appointment and Dept of Education Secretary.

    4. I’ll translate this into reality for you:

      1) Substantial reduction in regulations

      5-10 years of market uncertainty as legal challenges pick away at these “reductions,” in many cases leading to mandates to issue new or revised regulations in order to satisfy statutory requirements.

      2) Withdrawal from Paris UN climate change agreement

      End of any meaningful US involvement in setting global standards on carbon dioxide emissions, disadvantaging US companies that must still comply with standards imposed by every other nation that is a party to the Paris Accord.

      3) Approved Keystone pipeline

      More oil for global markets and pollution in the heart of the country, more business for certain US refineries, but less oil supply for the US market.

      4) Ended net neutrality

      Federal over-reach limiting state authority to regulate internet service providers and increased exposure to deceptive practices by ISPs. But these monopolistic actors can be trusted, right? At least until Congress acts.

      5) Cut taxes

      Increased deficit spending during a period of economic growth and strong employment, undermining our ability to deal with future downturns.

      6) Ended Obamacare individual mandate

      Introducing new market uncertainty in the individual health insurance market, as insurers must still comply with all of the ACA’s other requirements.

      1. Well you sure are an idiot left winger! Shouldn’t you be posting at WaPo instead instead of wasting your keystrokes here? You’re wrong about basically everything above, and taking the typical one sided left wing view on all those items that have positive factors to them as well.

        1. Well you sure are an idiot left winger! Shouldn’t you be posting at WaPo instead instead of wasting your keystrokes here?

          Are my keystrokes wasted here? Isn’t that kind of up to you?

          You’re wrong about basically everything above,…

          So put up or shut up.

          …and taking the typical one sided left wing view on all those items that have positive factors to them as well.

          I recognize that libertarians might be in favor of lower taxes and being freed by the individual mandate. But I can’t say that the commenters here seem to have a very clear picture of the tax cuts or the implications of undermining Obamacare piece by piece, which was the point I’m trying to make. It’s totally fair to be for increased “liberty” and decreased “regulations,” but let’s be realistic about the discussions we’re having about these things, instead of petty and ideological.

          1. Well I don’t agree with the exact way all of those things have happened, but they’re all better than the previous status quo. So as a proponent of less government in general I’m a fan, even if it’s not all perfect.

            The thing is that your criticisms are literally vacuous. You didn’t explain how any of them will do any real harm based on reality. You just spouted off incorrect left wing talking points. I’ve noticed some of your other posts on other articles, and a few actually had substance. How somebody can read even the janky and imperfect articles at Reason and not have a few of the ideas/concepts sink in is beyond me. Keep reading here and other libertarian sites and perhaps some of the reasons the left wing views are wrong will sink in.

  9. Like Stalinist Russia

    Full stop. Peak stupid. No need to read further.

    1. Well, during the Bush years, the US was much closer to Stalinist USSR.

      1. Plus, a lot of young people think W killed more people than Stalin.

        Perceptions are reality, aren’t they? Stop invalidating my truth!

  10. Regulatory proponents say, in fact, that those rules can have positive economic effects in the long run, saving companies from violations that could cost them both financially and reputationally.

    We’re putting in these here regalations so you can obey them because if you don’t obey them we’ll fine you to death, so there here regalations actually save you money, ain’t that right boy?

    1. I tried understanding the logic in that, but gave up.

    2. If there weren’t regulations for specific activity X, what exactly would they be fined for violating if they performed said activity?

  11. Matt, it’s that “quality and size of impact” that I’m worried about. The CEI says:

    “The present value cost savings from these rule rollbacks is said to be $8 billion, or around $600 million on an annual basis. That’s important, remarkable, maybe unprecedented and even a little astounding, but not a gigantic dent in a regulatory state costing hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

    When all is said and done, the pro-regulatory nature of the regulatory state cannot be said to have fundamentally changed; agencies like FCC, EPA and CFBP have done insincere about-faces with the arrival of Trump; such phenomena are transitory.”

    CEI report

    1. And easily redone in a moment by the next president.

  12. So a good friend of mine recently argued that any “bad” regulation would be corrected eventually and therefore to be reflexively anti-regulation was simple minded. After seeing the pace of regulatory rollback so far I’m inclined to agree with him, even if that’s not what he meant.

  13. Trump admin just suspended payment to Pakistan.

    If not for drugs and immigration, Trump would be a poor man’s Ron Paul. It’s happening! A little.

  14. XM|1.5.18 @ 10:20PM|#
    “Trump admin just suspended payment to Pakistan.”
    I did not see that, but I see no reason my (taxpayer) money should be sent to Pakistan.
    Maybe Old Mexican in Speedos can tell me why Trump is a big poopyhead here.

  15. These are counts of new federal regulations right? That’s not the count of total regulations?

    1. It’s not even that. In an ironic twist, a post criticizing the quality of the NYTimes’s reporting carries a misleading headline supported by an “analysis” consisting of counting the number of pages in the Federal Register.

      For those who don’t know (which evidently includes Reason’s contributors), most of the “bulk” that appears in the Federal Register is not “new regulations,” but statute and court-mandated analysis and reasoning. A “regulation” may in fact only be a page or two long, but carry ten times as many explanatory pages describing each section, why it’s needed, its economic and bureaucratic impact, etc. So the mere bulk of pages is already an extremely poor proxy, as a measure of regulatory rulemaking.

    2. What’s more, a leaner Federal Register can spell trouble in other ways: Less analysis or defense of new regulations (or of repeals of regulations, which have to go through the same process) makes those new regulations (or repeals) more vulnerable to legal challenge. It can also reflect a failure to repeal regulations, since repealing or revising regulations also produces a lot of bulk. Finally, the absence of materials in the Federal Register doesn’t mean that regulated actors don’t still need guidance on their existing statutory or regulatory obligations. When agencies can’t promulgate regulations, they tend to rely instead on issuing “non-binding” guidance, which for practical purposes market actors treat as effectively binding – but without the benefit of legal protections designed to make sure that it’s reasonable, etc.

      Basically, wasting a bunch of paper to demonstrate an “historic regulatory rollback” is tantamount to engaging in a kind of kindergarten-level degree of analysis. It’s naive in the extreme to think that a lean Federal Register is a “win” for freer markets.

  16. Maybe Reason (or some other group that watches these things) could make some testable predictions now, and that could be assessed a year from now, about which industries should see relatively more job growth or investment based on the greatest reduction in costly regulations?

  17. Maybe someone can convince Trump that he could double his revenues from his hotels resorts and casinos if they legalized drugs and prostitution and gambling. Nothing wrong with doing the right things for the wrong reasons.

  18. Nice to see Reason and Welch giving Trump his due, as opposed to Reason’s anti-Trump tone when he was elected (speaking as a voter for Johnson).

    Libertarians should judge politicians on whether they increase or decrease our freedom, and Trump is on the pro-freedom side, though he’s restrained by an anti-freedom Congress (including by the RINOs who dominate the GOP). And Trump could do a lot better on reducing spending, but growing the economy goes a long way to resolving the debt and deficit reductions in our liberty. Trump has turned out to be much better than I hoped. Still it’s not a huge change, and I wouldn’t be surprised there’s a big Fed induced financial crisis under Trump (it wouldn’t be his fault but the establishment will blame him of course).

    Thank you Matt!

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