Sunday, January 21, 2018

Record Deregulation in 2017

During the final days of the campaign in '16, candidate Trump said he'd ask department heads to remove regulations at 2:1, that is, two removed for every one added.  As the spreader of Tales From the Over Regulated State, I was very happy to hear that.  Instead, Trump revealed in December that they had achieved 22:1 regulations removed to added, which is really change I can believe in.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute noted by the end of last year that the Federal Register for the year had the fewest pages since 1993 - a quarter of a century.
The calendar year concluded with 61,950 pages in the Federal Register… This is the lowest count since 1993’s 61,166 pages. …A year ago, Obama set the all-time Federal Register page record with 95,894 pages. Trump’s Federal Register is a 35 percent drop from Obama’s record… After the National Archives processes all the blank pages and skips in the 2017 Federal Register, Trump’s final count will ultimately be even lower. [Bold added - SiG]
 Consider this graphic excerpted from the CEI
Wayne Crews of the CEI adds:
Of course, the Federal Register may be a poor guide for regulation, but Washington doesn't go out of its way to honestly measure itself and disclose regulatory impact.

The “problem” of assessing magnitude is even worse this year, because many of Trump’s “rules” are rules written to get rid of rules.
Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center Susan Dudely writes for Forbes on the differences Trump is making.
The pace of new regulation has visibly slowed in the Trump administration. A search of OMB’s database reveals that, between January 21 and December 20, 2017, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs concluded review of 21 “economically significant” regulations—those with impacts (costs or benefits) expected to be $100 million or more in a year. As the chart below shows, that is dramatically fewer rules than previous presidents have issued in their first years. This same database shows that Presidents G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush each issued 39 or 40 in their first years. President Obama issued 52 and even Reagan (considered the last deregulatory president) issued 36 economically significant final rules during his first year in office.
The Forbes article on deregulation opens with this photo opportunity shot of Trump showing the regulatory growth since the 1960s and promising to return federal regulations to 1960s levels.  Without dismantling yuge swaths of the Federal hydra, that's impossible.  Most of those regulations come from agencies that didn't even exist in the '60s; e.g., no EPA, no Department of Energy, no OSHA, no Department of Homeland Security, no Consumer Product Safety Commission and no Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. To name a few obvious offenders. 
The consensus is that it isn't within the president's powers to reduce the pile on the right to the size of the pile on the left.  But the consensus was also that Trump had no chance of being elected president.  A guy can dream, though, can't he? 


  1. Excellent infopost and for sure, let's dream. In a similar vein, let's also hope the FISA memo produces results and nukes the swamp.

  2. This is a key reason why the DJI is soaring. Obama remains clueless, taking credit for the Trump Economic Victory.

  3. Westerners would love to see Fish & Wildlife, Forest Service, and BLM take a real haircut in personnel, regulations, and budget.

  4. So what are these government employees who supposedly had the rules they enforced taken away from them doing all day? Trump didn't reduce budget or headcount, did he? Those are better measures.

  5. You are responsible for following all 62,000 pages of those regulations. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. THAT is why they need to go. How can anyone read, comprehend, and follow each of those pages of rules, and all of the nuances and court rulings that modify and explain them?

    Ayn Rand was right: "The only real power that a government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there are not enough criminals, one makes them. Governments pass so many laws that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking them."

  6. For Anonymous @ 1:55 AM, a few weeks ago it was noted that over 700 employees had left the EPA since President Trump was sworn in:

    And for indyjonesouthere, I expect they would like to see the same done to BATFE and the FBI as well. Fouler and more treasonous corrupt sewage has not existed.

    Of course, the Commie crowds in the hives LUVS them some FedPigs, so if anything proper were done, there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Egged on, of course, by Media's "finest"...

  7. I expect turnover when a president of the other party takes over. What is the net employee turnover? Prediction to continue the trend says this president will act like other recent presidents, campaign like a reformer and govern like an incumbent. What data suggests this president is different? Don't believe incoming missile warnings, campaign promises, or cartelized captive mainstream media quoting a government agency which says government is reforming. If you believe government PR you're making a circular argument.

  8. You mentioned the number of 'significant' regulations - beware that many of the cost estimates of rules are pure fantasy and have been adjusted to keep rules from being labeled 'significant'. There is no penalty for having a contrived cost estimate and nothing is done later to go back and check whether the estimates were accurate.

    1. That's a good point, and reinforcement of what the Competitive Enterprise Institute said, "Washington doesn't go out of its way to honestly measure itself and disclose regulatory impact. ".

      The same goes for the Congressional Budget Office and their assessments. Always held up as authoritative, but how accurate are they? Last I saw, the answer was, "not very".