January 27, 2020
Op-Ed: The Lurking Red Tape Problem
The Trump Administration’s deregulatory policy has been one of its most successful domestic initiatives, with the administration claiming nearly $51 billion in regulatory cost savings since January 2017. Yet at the same time, the paperwork burden has grown substantially during the last three years, AAF’s Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck writes in a new op-ed published by The Hill. In fact, by one calculation, the cost of rising paperwork wipes out all of the regulatory savings the administration has achieved.
For the administration, there should be a renewed focus on avenues for reform, such as winnowing out government forms attached to outdated regulations and statutes, using more common forms including data that applies to multiple agency missions, and providing greater public access to electronic forms. If any paperwork requirement does not have a direct effect on the core mission of an agency, it should be ripe for reviewing.
All of this could be a part of an paperwork budget similar to its regulatory budget that has been so successful in limiting regulatory expansion. One of the most notable achievements of this administration has indeed been regulatory reform. As it now moves into the final year of its term, a much more assertive approach to reducing paperwork would be a fitting move.