A I have said many times over the past several months – that left to his own, President Trump is getting a lot accomplished, and virtually all of it is conservative-friendly. I’ve also stated ad nauseum, that I wasn’t a Trumpster, but have begun to come around. I will still never be a Trump apologist or mouthpiece. You know – those who go on Fox News and excuse everything the man has ever done, or will do. That’s just absurd.
But let’s give credit where credit is due. With all he’s had to contend with this past year, he’s done a remarkable job. Just imagine where we could be if the establishment would have given up their quest to torpedo his Presidency and come along for the ride.
One thing he’s begun, but not near completed, is government regulatory restraint. It is not as glitzy, and seemingly not as important as elections or scandals, but in fact, it as at least as important, if not more so, in the grand scheme of things.
And why is this? Well, I’ll you why.
In 2016 the Mercatus Center at George Mason University published a study on the cost of regulations. Their findings should floor anyone, except of course, those in government.
The first thing I noticed was their use of proper terminology. They did entitle their piece as “The Cumulative Cost of Regulations,” but went on to describe it as “the effect of government intervention on economic growth.” I would have added the word “negative,” as the cost of their intervention is rarely if ever positive, but no matter.
The study spanned from 1977 to 2012. They found that by 2012, the regulatory burden had become great enough to have caused the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to be “$4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth since 1980.” That works out to costing every American $13,000.
And this figure was derived only half way through the Regulator-in-Chief Obama’s eight year term. One could comfortably add another $1 trillion by now.
In 2016, America’s GDP was $18.57 trillion, which means that regulations alone are costing the nation approximately one quarter of the total. That’s like forcibly taking a 25% percent pay cut.
Mercatus adds that the most insidious part of the regulatory State is that once the framework for a regulation is in place, bureaucrats are free to pile on more rules to the existing framework, making them even more onerous.
This past January, Forbes interviewed National Small Business Association (N.S.B.A.) Chair Pedro Alfonso. He said that, “Our current regulatory burden is not only a strain on job growth, but it is preventing many would-be entrepreneurs from starting their own business.” Forbes calculated that just the first year regulatory cost of a start-up averages $83,019. Imagine the additional innovation were it not for government intervention.
Then enter President Donald Trump and his campaign promise to slash regulations. He exclaimed that for every additional regulation enacted, two current regulations must be slashed.
And has he been as good as his promise?
I’ll say he has. Last week Trump announced that, “Earlier this year, we set a target of adding zero new regulatory costs onto the American economy. Today, I’m proud to announce that we beat our goal by a lot… for the first time in decades, we achieved regulatory savings. We blew our target out of the water. Within our first 11 months, we cancelled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions. And instead of eliminating two old regulations for every one new regulation we have eliminated 22 — 22 — that’s a big difference. We aimed for two for one, and, in 2017, we hit twenty-two for one.”
Trump also challenged his cabinet members “to find and remove every single outdated, unlawful, and excessive regulation currently on the books.”
This, my friends (h/t: John McCain), is a Yuge deal, and will further accentuate business and job growth.
Job well done Mr. President. Keep it up.