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Trump Brags About Deregulation, but a Huge Number of His Deregulatory Actions Were Started Under Obama

Trump has slowed new regulations to a trickle, but has largely failed to cut back the regulatory state.

Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto/Sipa US/NewscomMehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto/Sipa US/NewscomPresident Donald Trump likes to brag about his record of cutting regulations. Yet new data from his own administration suggest that the rules he's managed to eliminate have had a minor impact at best—and many began under the Obama administration.

That doesn't mean that Trump's deregulatory agenda is a myth, as some critics have claimed, but it does show the limitations of what any one administration can do unilaterally to pare back the administrative state.

"No president has ever cut so many regulations in their entire term, O.K., as we have cut in less than a year," said Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.

"Regulatory reform is a cornerstone of President Trump's agenda for economic growth," wrote his regulatory czar Neomi Rao in October 2018. "The first two years of the Administration have produced unparalleled reform, and we project even more significant results in the coming year."

Reports from the administration tout its success repealing 22 rules for every regulation passed, or its elimination of thousands of pages from the federal register. Reason has reported on the number of libertarian-friendly policy wonks the president has appointed to prominent positions.

Yet according to Stuart Shapiro, a professor at Rutgers University and regulatory policy analyst in the Clinton and Bush administrations, this all doesn't amount to much of a policy change.

"Claims of both extensive deregulation and a major impact on the economy weaken considerably upon closer scrutiny," Shapiro wrote in Regulatory Review yesterday.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the Trump administration chalked up 176 deregulatory actions. This includes everything from allowing more telemedicine at the Veterans Administration to repealing animal welfare regulations for organically farmed cows and chickens.

Of these, 57 were rated significant—meaning their repeal saved the economy over $100 million, or was a major change from previous policy.

On the flip side, the administration took 14 regulatory actions, all of which were significant. That gives Trump a 12-1 ratio of deregulatory to regulatory actions, or a 4-1 ratio of significant deregulatory actions compared to regulatory actions.

On paper that sounds pretty good. But as Shapiro points out, the numbers obscure the middling impact a lot of these rule changes have had.

Of the 57 significant rules Trump eliminated, 11 were merely delayed, and another five were withdrawn—meaning the rules were not in effect in the first place. Four deregulatory actions were initiated by the Obama administration.

Of the remaining 37 regulations, Shapiro notes, the cost savings are either negligible or unreported. The 21 deregulatory actions that did come with measurable cost savings saved some $23 billion in net regulatory costs, or about $1.6 billion in regulatory costs per year. That's something, but, notes Shapiro, not much when compared to the $20 trillion U.S. economy.

Looking back at past tallies of Trump's deregulatory actions shows a similar pattern.

The federal government releases a report on regulatory actions twice yearly, one for the spring and fall. Looking at the 142 deregulatory actions taken from the Spring 2017 report up through the Spring 2018 report, Reason found that 44—or nearly a third—were initiated by the Obama administration.

Interestingly, a good chunk of these Obama-initiated rule changes involved loosening restrictions on imported fruits and vegetables, something at odds with Trump's more protectionist trade agenda, which has imposed tarrifs on a whole host of imported foods.

Another 41 rules were either delays or withdrawals of pending rules, meaning while some rules were stopped from going into effect, no existing rules were taken off the books.

Of the deregulatory actions Trump did initiate that were changes to existing rules, many were minor.

One deregulatory action counted by the Trump administration was the elimination of Department of Education rules governing the Troops-to-Teachers grant program, which subsidizes veterans who are pursuing teacher's certification. The program still exists, but now it is administered by the Department of Defense.

The story is similar with the administration's repeal of rules for a Department of Commerce program that gave grants to local governments setting up TV and radio stations. The Trump administration axed these rules in September 2017, about six years after funding for the program had been discontinued.

In one interesting example from earlier this year, the Department of Labor counted as a deregulatory action the changing of the mailing address for its Benefits Review Board.

In another supposedly deregulatory move, the Trump administration compiled all the Department of Agriculture's import restrictions on plants into one "Plants for Planting" manual, without changing any of the underlying rules.

Even some of the truly significant changes the administration likes to talk up are not the result of Trump's deregulatory drive, but were rather policies that had been in the works for years, and that the Trump administration just happened to be in office for when they came into effect.

Take fishing regulations. In its Fiscal Year 2018 regulatory report, "Cutting Red Tape, Unleashing Economic Freedom," the administration included a whole section on "freeing America's fisherman" which notes that "large areas off the coast of New England have been opened to commercial sea scalloping for the first time in year," a move that is supposed to produce $654 million in economic benefits.

The change the report is referring to is known as the Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 (OHA 2), which did indeed open up new fishing grounds for the commercial fishing industry.

Missing from the "Cutting Red Tape" report is the fact that most of the deregulatory changes included in OHA 2 had actually been recommendations from the New England Fisheries Management Council, which had been working on an update to federal law since at least 2004.

"As thrilled as we were that OHA was implemented, I think that was more of a staff determination after years of review. I don't think I could call that something that came from the oval office or from the cabinet," says Bob Vanasse, executive director for Saving Seafood, the media relations arm of the commercial fishing industry.

This kind of puffery has led Shapiro to treat Trump's deregulatory drive as essentially meaningless. He's been joined by other critics of the administration like Washington Post's columnist Jennifer Rubin, who has called Trump's deregulation "a myth."

As much as the administration deserves criticism for its inflated stats however, writing off Trump's deregulation is a bit premature.

For starters, it misses the more informal character of relations between federal regulators and the industries they are tasked with creating rules for.

"There's no question that the people that President Trump has appointed are far more business friendly, and far more willing to listen to the concerns of people in industry," Vanasse tells Reason, which he says is a significant when it comes to developing and implementing policy.

The Obama administration he says, was far more interested in going it alone: "[Their] ideas were cooked up at the Center for American Progress and they were going to happen no matter what. It was a roadshow."

When assessing the Trump administration's record on deregulation, it's important to look at the rules that are not getting proposed, in addition to those being repealed or replaced.

"There are a few elements to trying to deregulate. One is just slowing down what is happening. The second is getting rid of what's come before," says Clyde Wayne Crews, a regulatory scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "In terms of stopping the flow, Trump, I thought did a magnificent job."

In its final year, the Obama administration issued 83 economically significant regulations. In its first year, the Trump administration issued just four.

Crews says that there are limits to how much regulation any president can repeal unilaterally. Going after bigger regulatory fish inevitably leads to litigation from supporters of the old rules.

"For the rules that were in place and subject to rapid modification, Trump has done that," Crews tells Reason. "Now that he tries to go after the larger items like the Clean Power Plan or the Waters of the United States rules… it gets tougher and you have to go through brand new regulatory proceedings. And then what happens is all of the lawsuit flurries start."

There are some Congressional regulatory reform efforts that would give the president more power to unilaterally get rid of more rules, or restrict the powers of agencies to issue new rules.

Some of these, like the Regulatory Accountability Act—which would allow parties affected by major new regulations to propose alternatives, and then require agencies to adopt the most cost-effective alternatives—managed to pass the House but has stalled in the Senate.

There is almost no legislative appetite for deeper reform, like eliminating the federal departments all these rules are coming out of.

The Trump administration is definitely inflating the count of its deregulatory actions—taking credit for rule changes it did not start, or which have minimal effect at best—in order to promote itself as some sort of red tape-slashing, bold reformer.

That said, those who feel the brunt of federal regulation do report a far better working relationship with the federal government, and the flow of new rules has slowed to a trickle.

In short, there are few significant wins for human freedom or economic liberalization in Trump's deregulation record. But his administration has gotten rid of a few dumb rules, made compliance with a few others more managable, and limited the pace at which the regulatory state is adding new restrictions. That ultimately adds up to the economy getting less free at a slower pace. In this political climate, that is probably the best we can hope for.

Photo Credit: Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto/Sipa US/Newscom

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  • Don't look at me!||

    Lol. These guys just can't shake the TDS.
    Sad!

  • esteve7||

    They are ideologically possessed. No wonder they dislike Jordan Peterson

  • SQRLSY One||

    So then, Der TrumpfenFuhrer hasn't delivered NEARLY as much deregulation as we'd be led to think, by His Bragging! What a surprise!

    Not only are there TONS of asinine regs still in place, but neither Der TrumpfenFuhrer nor Reason.com have bothered to tell us exactly what NOT to do, so as to NOT allow us to inadvertently fall into the snares of the Flute Police or other over-regulators!!!

    Therefor I must perform my public duties as usual...

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

  • AustinRoth||

    Obama-God is responsible or goodness and light.

    Trump-Devil is Bad Orange Man.

    There, just cut-and-paste this for every one of your articles and save time n

  • Rat on a train||

    Clinton!

  • ||

    Yeah, apparently Buttplug doesn't remember Bush's daughters got picked up for underage drinking like a month after getting picked up for... underage drinking. The story I recall was that they in real hot water because they were going to have to answer to Granny Bush.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|11.14.18 @ 11:08AM|#
    ""White Trash" is an attitude - not a race characteristic."

    And you certainly own it, turd.

  • JWatts||

    Well, for once in a really long time, I have to agree with you.

  • JWatts||

    "This includes everything from allowing more telemedicine at the Veterans Administration to repealing animal welfare regulations for organically farmed cows and chickens."

    Even a casual observer would note that the article contradicts your opinion.

  • TuIpa||

    Well that certainly proves that the article doesn't contradict your post....

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    His tariffs have caused FAR more harm than a few puny regulation relaxations.

    Nope and I hate his tariffs and they are hurting us, but nothing beats getting cited by MOSHA (MD OSHA) for a guard rail that is 2" short and it isn't even in the active job site but at the GC's job site trailer and I am the HVAC/Plumber on site. I shit you not.

  • JWatts||

    Yeah, this is good news, but it's spun as if it's not.

    Headline:
    "Trump Brags About Deregulation, But a Huge Number of His Deregulatory Actions Were Started Under Obama"

    Then from the article:

    "Of the 57 significant rules Trump eliminated, 11 were merely delayed, and another five were withdrawn—meaning the rules were not in effect in the first place. Four deregulatory actions were initiated by the Obama administration."

    So 4 of 57 is a "Huge" number. Or did the author mean a "YUGE!" number?

    "In its final year, the Obama administration issued 83 economically significant regulations. In its first year, the Trump administration issued just four."

    It looks like this is one area that the Trump administration is doing as advertised. But TDS is so rampant that Reason can't manage to label it correctly.

  • Ron||

    Math is hard for those afflicted with TDS

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    Apparently you stopped reading when you got to that mention. Further down the article says that 44 out of the 142 deregulatory actions taken between Spring 2017 and Spring 2018 were initiated by the Obama administration. O

  • Headache||

    Yes, Obama was good at initiating but sucked on follow through.

  • JWatts||

    "says that 44 out of the 142 "

    Ok, so 30% is Huge?

  • MoreFreedom||

    Not stated: how much worse it'd be if Hillary was elected.

    Compared to what we'd have gotten with Hillary, Trump is deregulating in a huge way. There, that's like Obama's statement the economy would be much worse if his stimulus spending wasn't passed. The difference being the economy was worse under Obama than he said it would be if the stimulus didn't pass, and the economy under Trump is better than what the establishment said it would be if Trump was elected. And I voted for Johnson.

    Britschigi writes: "That ultimately adds up to the economy getting less free at a slower pace. In this political climate, that is probably the best we can hope for."

    Congress writes the laws, and the executive branch enforces them. The only deregulation Trump is doing, is within the wiggle room Congress gave the executive branch expecting no one like Trump would be elected. I'd say we're lucky Trump has that wiggle room, at least until he's out of office. And Congress will only pass bloated budgets for two years, which is where our freedom is mostly eroding.

  • sarcasmic||

    Another article not praising Trump. That just proves that Reason is a leftist rag.

    Though when the Democrats retake the White House and Reason has articles that don't praise that president, it will instantly become a conservative rag.

    If you don't love my team you're on the other team. Nobody is on the sidelines. No one.

  • JWatts||

    "Another article not praising Trump."

    No, the article does praise Trump. But it is another article where the headline doesn't match the actual contents of the article.

  • sarcasmic||

    That ultimately adds up to the economy getting less free at a slower pace. In this political climate, that is probably the best we can hope for.

    That's not exactly praise. "Hey, we're still heading for a cliff, we're just not going as fast! Woo hoo!"

  • TuIpa||

    No actually it is praise, especially when you have two parties both actively working against progress in that area.

  • Mickey Rat||

    You are aware that in most media, not pumping out regulations at a high pace is regarded with incredulity and a bit of horror?

  • DiegoF||

    Trump's deregulatory cred is probably being overhyped by himself, his defenders, and his enemies. Shocking, I know!

    The only president whose actions are seriously misremembered (since Hoover) is probably Carter. I think he's a good candidate for "most underrated presidents" list, which is all the more remarkable an achievement given that he was, in fact, awful.

  • ||

    The only president whose actions are seriously misremembered (since Hoover) is probably Carter. I think he's a good candidate for "most underrated presidents" list, which is all the more remarkable an achievement given that he was, in fact, awful.

    Remember that time when Kennedy almost started WWIII? Good times!

  • DiegoF||

    OK, his ability to almost start nuclear Armageddon was seriously underrated.

  • Headache||

    Underrated! It was reported he saved the world from nuclear war.

    The real story is Marilyn Monroe was responsible for preventing Armageddon. You know it takes two people to launch a strike. Jack pressed the left nipple and Bobby the right. Since she didn't moan, Jack cut a deal with Khrushchev.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Remember when Johnson was shoveling boys into Vietnam like coal into a furnace?

  • DiegoF||

    Indeed we all do (well I wasn't around). Presumably these observations aren't meant to refute my point though. Vietnam is hardly an asterisk of history.

  • ||

    Presumably these observations aren't meant to refute my point though.

    Is the list for the awfulness of their Presidency or the size of the gulf between their perception and the awfulness?

    Carter certainly deserves a spot but I think it's the "The only president whose actions are seriously misremembered (since Hoover)" part that's in dispute.

  • MikeP2||

    Johnson!?! Surely you jest. Nixon, that evil Republican was the only POTUS responsible for the evils of that war.

  • Bubba Jones||

    "In another supposedly deregulatory move, the Trump administration compiled all the Department of Agriculture's import restrictions on plants into one "Plants for Planting" manual, without changing any of the underlying rules."

    That's actually a huge deal for someone trying to comply with the regulations.

  • Red Tony||

    Bubba: It's easier to comply with rules if they're all in the same place.
    Buttplug: Trump changed the title and declared victory!
    Everybody else: There seems to be a disconnect between the comment and the response.

  • TuIpa||

    Screech does that a lot. He has exceptionally poor reading comprehension and tries to hide it by being unhinged.

  • DiegoF||

    Yes, I would characterize it more as cutting idiocy and needless, value-neutral incompetence than cutting regulation. Which of course, hey, more power to him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    In its final year, the Obama administration issued 83 economically significant regulations. In its first year, the Trump administration issued just four.

    Fuck it. I'll take it.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Forgot the fact we suffered through a terrible economy at the time due to his incompetence.

  • John||

    Job creation was stellar under Carter.

    http://historyinpieces.com/res.....-president

    The first two-and-a-half years of Carter's presidency saw slow by steady improvement in the unemployment rate, but the 1979 energy crisis, along with spiking oil prices that came with it, push unemployment back up to just under 8 percent.

    Go you are a laying sack of shit. Everything you say is a lie. It is demonic how much you lie on here.

  • Ron||

    none of which was implemented until Reagan took office so the win goes to Reagan. why do i say Reagan because the left still blames Reagan for deregulating airlines. If he gets the blame he gets the credit

  • Robert||

    But, as I brought up below, Carter's dergul'ns were mostly in process since Nixon & kept up thru Ford before taking effect under Carter. Many required Congress to legislate—which they did, adopting recommend'ns from commissions started by Nixon.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Trump Regulations: Federal Register Page Count Is Lowest In Quarter Century

    http://cei.org/blog/trump-regu.....er-century

    "The "problem" of assessing magnitude is even worse this year, because many of Trump's "rules" are rules written to get rid of rules."

    "As it stands, since a rule has to be written to get rid of a rule, the Federal Register and rule counts can both grow even in a deregulatory environment, unless Congress short-cuts the process with healthy reform legislation."

  • Mongo||

    I'll give someone a dollar if they smell Trump's finger.

  • Don't look at me!||

    How much to smell Clinton's cigar?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Deregulation is the best thing Trump has done. For goodness' sake! Better than the tax cuts.

    Some of the ObamaCare regulations that punished companies for hiring people to work more than 24 hours a week were especially egregious--especially for unskilled workers who only compete on cost.

    Here are the stats from Forbes:

    "The rules-out to rules-in ratio for significant regulatory actions was four-to-one, with 14 significant new regulatory actions and 57 significant deregulatory ones. This is compared to 22-to-one last year (December 2017), when three new regulatory actions were imposed while 67 deregulatory actions were taken."

    ----Forbes

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/wa.....abf8da3d40

    We libertarians should all hope the trend continues.

    TDS is about not being able to see the truth when Trump is standing in the picture. I remain opposed to Trump's trade and immigration policies, but for Pete's sake, you lose credibility on all issues when you demonstrate to your opponents that you're willfully blind.

  • DiegoF||

    Jeez it had better be more impressive than the tax cuts!

  • Ken Shultz||

    The tax cuts were the best we could get at the time, and the economy has responded to that--and deregulation--as expected by those who advocated them. We don't have a libertarian Congress or president, so there's no reason to expect libertarian style tax cuts. Still, they were a good thing.

    The huge upswing in hiring, increases in pay, etc.--especially among the unskilled--are largely a function of those two things. I'm certainly not about to let the perfect be the enemy of the good on taxes or deregulation.

    And what's the alternative? It isn't like Hillary Clinton was campaigning on this stuff. She wouldn't have implemented any tax cuts--she campaigned on raising them. She wouldn't have deregulated either. We got that stuff because Trump won the general election.

    I'm not about to pretend otherwise just because I oppose Trump's immigration and trade policies.

  • TuIpa||

    "UE has steadily gone down but job creation has been level"

    Jesus Christ you're an idiot.

  • Headache||

    Buttplugs are inanimate objects.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "UE has steadily gone down but job creation has been level."

    The reason unemployment has been level is that more previously unemployed people are being drawn into the job market. Once people who had stopped looking for work start looking again, they go from not being counted at all to being counted as "unemployed".

    "The June pop in participation was sufficient to help drive unemployment higher: The jobless rate rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent a month earlier. Of the 500,000 newly unemployed people who caused that increase, 204,000 were labor market re-entrants. That's the biggest jump in unemployed re-entrants since May 2014."

    ----Bloomberg

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....et-mystery

    This has been the trend. It's more pronounced among unskilled workers, especially in the rust belt.

    It's also important to make sure you're looking at the participation rate of 25-54 year olds. 17 year-olds exiting the workforce because summer vacation is over or because they're 75 isn't about deregulation or corporate tax cuts.

  • DiegoF||

    I have certainly come around about Obamacare Lite. At the time I was outraged about the failure to pass a straight repeal, or anything remotely close to it; I did not realize it was that or absolutely nothing. I thought the Republicans would be forced to "own" 100% of a (albeit now more slowly) doomed system, and the Democrats would point to all its failures as an indictment of not only them but "the free market" (since that is what the Republicans represent in the public discourse whether we like it or not). Instead for some reason I am still not clear about, the failure to repeal instantly turned the public from heavily against Obamacare to heavily for. And of course the Democrats will have no trouble bashing their own plan when the national dialogue is fully ready for single payer. It's already happening.

  • Red Tony||

    Somebody didn't read the article.

    I think there are three ways that this situation might have come about:

    1.: Christian didn't write his own headline, and some other staffer thought that this (some deregulatory actions were started under Obama) was the most important takeaway.
    2.: Christian did write the headline, and thought that this (some deregulatory actions were started under Obama) was the most important takeaway.
    3.: Christian did write the headline, and chose the takeaway that would be most likely to get outcry from Trump defenders.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Not sure Trump is being defended as much as slanted stories are not well received.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm going to suggest that the way we're looking at how significant deregulation has been is absurd if it's only accounting for how much money in regulatory fees we're talking about--and how many of them exceeded that level.

    To what extent did eliminating the penalty for hiring someone to work more than 24 hours a week and not offering them health insurance contribute to millions more Americans rejoining the work force instead of sitting on their asses?

    The primary benefit to eliminating that regulation isn't in whether it saved businesses more than $100 million in regulatory fees. The primary benefit is that it made hiring unskilled workers make far more sense than it did before.

    That's just one example.

    My understanding is that the labor participation rate has skyrocketed. My understanding is that wages for unskilled workers have increased. My understanding is that this impact on the economy is especially being felt in the rust belt. The takeaway from this is that deregulation has one hell of a huge impact on the lives of average people and their ability to participate in economic growth. And why would we tell newly reemployed people in the rust belt to not believe their own lying eyes rather than some policy wonk?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I work in the blue collar trucking business and while no regulations have been eliminated the rules have been modified making them easier to comply with and making my business more efficient. I'm not sure how to put a dollar amount on that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The definition of unskilled workers are workers who can't differentiate themselves on much other than price. They become like a commodity good. A bushel of corn is a bushel of corn. The question isn't whether one bushel is better than another; it's which one costs less. People without high demand skills are like that--they can only compete on price. When the government comes in and tells companies they can't hire them full time unless they also give them health insurance, it means they're less competitive on price. Given that observation, I'd expect to see the effects of such deregulation in terms of increased demand for unskilled labor (OTBE), and that's what we're seeing. If it costs more to hire a warehouse worker than a warehouse worker is worth to your bottom line, he doesn't get hired.

    The way ObamaCare (and other regulations) artificially inflated the cost of hiring unemployed people (coming out of recession, no less!) amounts to cruel and unusual punishment as far as I'm concerned. It was both naive to think that businesses would pay more to hire someone than their labor is worth and it morally unconscionable.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    The employer mandate (30 hours, not 24) has not been eliminated yet, so it hasn't contributed anything to more Americans rejoining the workforce.

  • ||

    The voice of reason.

    Hardly. Plenty of the regulations enacted before even Obama was president without any standard or metric by which to judge their effectiveness. You're insisting that the burden of proof only applies in the deregulatory direction, which is obviously stupid.

    For instance, if nobody was fishing with mercury in their bait then enacting a ban on it was just as pointless as repealing the ban on it, except for the fact that nobody can enforce a whimsical ban.

  • DiegoF||

    I am normally against the nanny state but I think New Mexico's new Democratic governor should follow New Jersey's recent lead and push hard for a total ban on smoking and vaping on all state beaches, no exceptions. The time to put off protecting the health of its families is over.

  • John||

    New Mexico is a funny place. For all of their big government inclinations, Hispanics have very little respect for the law and trying to enforce nanny state rules on them is hopeless. Meanwhile, all of these clean living busybodies have moved there from California. They of course want to regulate every aspect of life for people's own good. They love rules and only ban things they hate and would never want to do in the first place. It never occurs to them that other people might not be so interested in following rules. At some point, those two groups are going to run into each other head on and it is going to be hysterical.

  • John||

    Shreek is retarded and makes up for it by constantly lying. The talking point he spews is that the government can regulate anything it likes on any basis. But anyone who wants to repeal a regulation must make a huge showing why doing so is necessary even though he would never require that of a regulation being created.

    He is a real Libertarian like that.

  • MikeP2||

    Only a virulently stupid person would consider something like this "As we have noted, the Trump spinners defend voting for a racist, anti-democratic know-nothing " the "voice of reason".

    Trump may be accurately described as a blowhard, braggart, nationalist, or any number of other derogatory adjectives. But there is overwhelming clear evidence that he is not a racist, not anti-democratic, and most certainly not a 'know-nothing'. To frame him in such a way just clarifies the writers' and your absurd partisan fever dreams about Trump, when in reality he is fundamentally well within the range of prior POTUS administrative directions and policy.

  • John||

    The nature and extent of federal regulation has expanded under every President since Carter. It even expanded under Reagan although not by much. After Reagan, the only significant derregulation was under Clinton when they repealed Glass Steagall. It is debatable to say the least whether that was a good idea.

    So that fact that Trump isn't exanding regulations puts him above every President since Reagan. The fact that he seems legitimately committed to reducing regulation not just in a few areas but across the board puts him above every President of my lifetime. Carter grudgingly derregulated Trucking and natural gas but regulated the hell out of lots of other areas and those can be seen as exceptions and not any kind of general commitment to deregulation.

    Trump is repealling all of the easy regulations first and is then going after the bigger ones that take longer and will involve court fights to repeal. I don't see how it being hard to repeal regulations and liberals being willing to tie such actions up in court for as long as possible can be blamed on Trump or somehow make it that he doesn't really mean to deregulate.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Classic Obama, never finishes what is started.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>the limitations of what any one administration can do

    he has another ten years

  • Tony||

    Every face on Mount Rushmore is there because the person depicted vastly expanded the scope of the United States Federal Government. One established it, one grew it to consume a continent, one expanded federal protections over millions and fixed the country as indivisible, and the last created the regulatory state as we know it.

    You people all believe in absolute fantasy horseshit. Just give it up.

  • TuIpa||

    So your argument is... that government wastefully lionizes people who advocate for expansion of that same government, and that is a GOOD thing?

  • Tony||

    The judgment of history seems to think so. What have you people got to show for your work?

  • TuIpa||

    Government bureaucrats are history?

  • Sevo||

    Shitbag judges presidents by whether they have statues!
    How
    .
    .
    .
    .
    imbecilic.

  • Tony||

    I didn't realize the greatness of these 4 was particularly controversial. But sometimes I forget I'm in nutfuckland.

  • TuIpa||

    I'm sorry you are upset by blasphemy against the government you worship.

  • soldiermedic76||

    You didn't realize the greatness of those four was controversial? Either you are lying or you or willfully obtuse. Teddy Roosevelt has been controversial since he was elected to the New York assembly. Progressives love to remind everyone how evil Washington and Jefferson we're because they owned slaves, and I have often seen them even label Lincoln as a racist.

  • ||

    You people all believe in absolute fantasy horseshit. Just give it up.

    Said the guy who's pro-state but anti-police.

  • Tony||

    What can I say, I'm a fan of British detective shows. Lots of bureaucracy, but very little shooting people. Even when there are serial killers about. Seems to work for them.

  • TuIpa||

    Tony inadvertently admits he thinks fiction is real life.

  • Tony||

    Like how arming teachers will result in fewer gun deaths?

  • sarcasmic||

    For the first hundred years or so of this country a good president was one who didn't do much. Skepticism of government was an American virtue. Libertarians are trying to preserve and spread what was once commonplace.

  • Tony||

    Not true, not from day 1. Jefferson to whom I referred was perhaps intending to be the prototype of a libertarian president but still failed miserably at being one. The best things this country have done involved expanding the reach of the federal government. It's done some terrible things too, but nothing good has ever come from leaning in to laissez-faire. All I ask is that you consult the evidence.

  • sarcasmic||

    Jefferson is proof that power turns people into dicks. You want evidence of laissez-faire working? Look at the Internet. Yeah, yeah, yeah, some government money was involved in the beginning. What is government not involved in? But after that the government has been hands off. The protocols, servers, ISPs, DNS and everything else has all happened only because the government has kept it's dirty paws off of it. Once the government gets involved, innovation comes to a standstill. Everything must be cleared by some idiot at a desk in a government building. The Internet is one of the greatest innovations ever, and it only exists because the government left it alone.

  • Tony||

    Oh the government only invented the thing. And it's not the government that puts autoplay videos on every fucking website in the world.

  • Headache||

    The government did not invent the internet.

    To explore this, in 1965 working with Thomas Merrill,
    Roberts connected the TX-2 computer in Mass. to the Q-32 in
    California with a low speed dial-up telephone line creating the
    first (however small) wide-area computer network ever built

    ARPANET(DOD) began in 1968.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Under that metric, the most laudable president would be the one who declared himself emperor and made it stick.

    I don't think that is the proper way to determine the worth of the executive of a republic.

  • Tony||

    Not mentioned is perhaps the only other man deserving a place on Mt. Rushmore, FDR, who won a world war and more or less invented the modern world via the American federal government. Later on we saw some of the atrocities of local rule smashed by the feds to a preferable end. Face it, what you're selling is not being bought.

  • Nardz||

    FDR did not win a world war.
    Truman beat the japs, and FDR capitulated to the soviets

  • Headache||

    Eisenhower commanded the allied forces in Europe. Soldiers fight and win wars, NOT politicians!

  • soldiermedic76||

    In addition, it can be argued that FCRs refusal to see the threat the axis posed made America unprepared and that resulted in heavy casualties during the early portions of the war. Just like Wilson, he did not properly prepare the military for a possible war, campaigned for re-election on keeping us out of the war and the. Looked for an excuse to get us into the war. Granted Pearl Harbor was a pretty good excuse, but it is little secret that FDR was acting more belligerent towards both Japan and Germany in the lead up to Pearl Harbor. Much like The Wilson, FDR was actively supporting Britain while declaring neutrality. This included providing material support and even military support (US Navy was providing convoy protection in the Atlantic before the US entered WWII and actually attacked and sunk a German U boat in international waters and attacked a German weather station located outside the US). FDR was a racist authoritarian asshole, who is on record praising Hitler and the fascist economic policies before 1939, who turned away a ship full of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi prosecution (most of which ended up dieing in the Holocaust) who locked up American citizens without due process, who took American property (gold) without due process by an executive order, etc. I wish to know exactly what it is that Tony finds so redeeming about this asshole?

  • loki||

    Ok, Trump. You repealed a handful of regulations. Good job, now get the fuck back to work!

  • JWatts||

    " Good job, now get the fuck back to work!"

    What? No. Go take a vacation Trump. Don't sign anything that makes the government bigger. It's fine, it will survive on it's own.

  • loki||

    Lol! I meant to work making it smaller but, yeah, I see your point.

  • Benitacanova||

    Two legs bad.

    I guess that means obama is four-legged.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Now that Trump is deregulating and it has popular support, the media was to spread the lies that their chocolate jesus to get their lefties elected.

  • Juice||

    So if lefties campaign on deregulating even harder and then start doing it, this is a problem?

  • Nardz||

    "So if lefties campaign on deregulating even harder and then start doing it, this is a problem?"

    It's a moot point, as it has nothing to do with reality

  • ||

    Yet...records were set by Obama on regulations.

    https://bit.ly/2PTnskD

    As for Trump taking credit for things, yeh well hello. The guy before him was/is a master of that. Yawn.

  • JWatts||

    "The guy before him was/is a master of that. Yawn."

    Obama won a Nobel Prize! A Nooobeellll. I can't even ...{walks away}

  • Robert||

    It's always like that. It was only yrs. after the fact that I learned a lot of Carter's deregul'ns had started under Nixon. It was in a book that was a collection of essays either by Reason or CEI, & it was ... Mann...someone. Seems Nixon inaugurated a bunch of commissions that bore fruit mostly after he was out of office. We know about the one that never got implemented, deregulating mj, & then there were some that led to deregul'n during his term, but more in Carter's, & a little left over for Nixon's. Commissions do work.

  • TJJ2000||

    TOTALLY AWESOME PRESIDENT TRUMP... Stupid author. As someone else pointed out -- starting 44 over 8-years versus finalizing 176 within 1-year hardly makes news unless its some kinda propaganda. Trump has every right to be VERY PROUD of his de-regulatory accomplishments. I've seen presidents since Carter promise us a "limited" government but only ONE -- TRUMP has really gone after it after being elected.

    I'd have to say; even though I didn't vote for Trump he is the BEST President I've seen.

  • Headache||

    You need to visit "The Modern Libertarian Re-Education Camp", NOW, dummkopf.

  • Ben of Houston||

    As an environmental professional, I can say that Trump is definitely cutting some of the more bothersome of the newest Obama regulations. It's not a huge divestment, but it removes a lot of the overzealous ideas that sounded good but were not viable.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    As usual, making The Perfect the enemy of The Good.

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