by Jonathan Decker
Although much attention has been focused on the Republican Congress routinely setting-and-missing arbitrary deadlines to repeal Obamacare (remember: it will collapse by itself), our lawmakers’ inability to rollback Obamacare has actually given Americans a blessing in disguise — it has diverted attention from the total regulatory genocide the Trump administration has initiated.
Congress’ apparent fecklessness to repeal health care regulations provides near-perfect cover for an administration that has proven itself ambitious in its efforts to “deconstruct the regulatory state.”
Remember when President Trump announced that he would eliminate two regulations for every new one added? Just six months into office, the administration is already eliminating an average of 16 regulations for every additional one — and the safe money says they won’t stop running up the scoreboard any time soon.
The Trump administration is increasingly positioning itself as a deregulatory dream team; they are the New England Patriots of cutting red tape. As the Washington Examiner reported, by this time in office President Obama had imposed over $3 billion in added regulatory costs on the U.S. economy, but the Trump administration’s new regulatory burden is less than $0. The dream team has already withdrawn or eliminated 860 regulatory actions.
This dramatic shift in federal rulemaking was underscored by Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney, who told reporters:
I cannot express to you enough how much things have changed when it comes to the regulatory burden, the attitudes towards regulations, in this country, and you are just going to see more of that for the next eight years … Our philosophy has been that the previous administration fudged the numbers — that they either overstated the benefits to people or understated the costs — and we are going to look at it in a much more pragmatic perspective.
The economic benefits of Trump’s regulatory rollback are amplified by the OMB’s report touting “a 50 percent drop in ‘economically significant’ regulations — rules costing $100 million or more.” Just yesterday, Trump’s Interior Department announced the elimination of a fracking rule that cost oil and gas companies $45 million a year.
In addition to shrinking the bloated layers of bureaucracy in the federal government, the Trump administration also promises greater transparency in the rulemaking process. According to the Washington Times:
“Of the 860 rules or proposed rules that the Trump administration has killed, 179 came from what he called Mr. Obama’s “secret” list. As Trump aides combed through the books, they found pending proposals that included rules on hardwood plywood research and new requirements for contamination control in cattle slaughter operations.
“They had a bunch of things that they wanted to regulate,” Mr. Mulvaney said of the Obama administration’s first term. “They just didn’t want to tell you about it. They thought it would be bad for their re-election prospects in 2012, so they created a secret list of regs that were not disclosed to you folks. We are disclosing it.”
“There will be no more of that,” said the Office of Management and Budget director. “We will not have a secret list. We will not have a hidden list of regulations that we’re thinking about doing but we’re not going to tell you about. That’s going to end effective immediately. In fact, it already has ended.”
The ongoing distraction of Obamacare has cloaked Trump’s team from undeserved scrutiny as they work to repeal regulations that, as Mulvaney points out, are not very sexy. The administration’s determined push to eliminate burdensome regulations, coupled with greater transparency in the rulemaking process, is a promising sign that MAGA-nomics will soon lead to a Tom Brady-esque comeback for our economy.