By Chris Queen
Tasked with a goal of cutting two regulations for every new one enacted, the administration has gone on a tear, slashing rules at a rate of 16 to one in its first six months.
Neomi Reo, the new administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, has called this first half-year’s actions “a beginning” and noted that the OMB is going after the “regulatory state.”
The 2017 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the OMB’s guidelines covering regulations, reiterates the administration’s commitment to reducing onerous burdens on businesses:
By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the Administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.
Fulfilling longstanding principles to review and assess existing regulations, the Agenda includes the withdrawal and reconsideration of numerous regulatory actions. Agencies have committed to careful assessment of the costs and benefits of each regulatory and deregulatory action, and to prioritizing the maximization of net benefits of regulations. The Agenda recognizes that reform will take time and require rigorous analysis, public input, and careful consideration of a variety of important legal and social values. To this end, the Agenda provides greater information and transparency about regulatory actions proposed by agencies.
The Unified Agenda website reports that 860 regulations have been rolled back so far, cutting economically significant regulations (those with an impact of $100 million or more) by 50 percent. This will not only save the burden of the red tape, but printing costs will drop dramatically as well.
Much has been made of the efforts by Congress and Trump to cut regulations. The Competitiveness Enterprise Institute on Wednesday said that lots of red tape and paper will be cut by Trump. As an example, it said that the typical 97,000 pages printed in the Federal Register under former President Obama is likely to be cut by a third.
The Obama administration imposed $6.8 billion in economically significant regulations over the last five months of 2016. By contrast, the Trump administration has imposed no costs in new rules. The first five months of the Obama administration established $31 billion in new regulatory cost, compared to a $22 million savings after five months of the Trump administration.
Needless to say, this is a big win for the Trump White House and an even bigger win for taxpayers. Here’s hoping the red tape slicing will continue.