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Grading the Regulatory Agenda After 6 Months

Eakinomics: Grading the Regulatory Agenda After 6 Months

Then-candidate Trump promised a dramatic rollback of the Obama-era administrative overreach. After six months in office, how does the record match up with the campaign rhetoric? New research by AAF’s Dan Goldbeck gives a simple answer: very well. New regulatory burdens are a fraction of those under President Obama’s first six months; overall regulatory volume has slowed to historically low levels; and deregulatory measures have been initiated. In particular, compared to the preceding administration, the Trump Administration has imposed: 5 percent as much lifetime cost, 9 percent as much annual cost, and 12 percent as many paperwork hours.

This is due to both fewer rule-makings, and less onerous rules. This Administration set record lows in overall rule-making (only 41 rules) and “economically significant” rules (16 rules costing $100 million or more).

It is due to actual deregulation. Examining the six-month window, executive agencies have published roughly $207 million worth of annual cost savings. This is a process that is slowed by the need to follow the same lengthy procedures as making a new rule. The more significant deregulatory action is the fact that Congress passed and President Trump signed a historic 14 Congressional Review Act (CRA) “resolutions of disapproval.” These resolutions overturned a series of rules, and produced annual cost savings of $1.1 billion ($3.7 billion in lifetime cost savings).

And there is likely more to come. Via executive action, President Trump has ordered the review of at least a dozen substantial rules worth roughly $55.1 billion in total costs. The original rule-makings took years for the Obama Administration to complete; the same time will be needed to revise or repeal.

The bottom line is clear and simple: the Obama regulatory onslaught is over. The only outstanding questions are how quickly and completely the legacy will be rolled back.


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