Sustained economic growth requires regulatory reform from Congress
Former President TrumpDonald TrumpJD Vance says he regrets past criticism of Trump Five Big Questions on Jan.6 Select Committee First Republican announces his bid for Massachusetts governor MORE was the first president in 30 years to take a serious interest in regulatory reform. You may have to go back to former President George HW Bush Competitiveness advice for part of the passion.
Trump’s innovations included removing two old rules for every new one added, capping total compliance costs at current levels, and creating guidance documents, which often have de facto force of law despite the fact that they rarely go through the standard regulatory process, available to the public.
Many of his positive reforms have been canceled on Biden’s very first day in power since Trump enacted them with executive orders instead of working with Congress on legislation to make them permanent. Major regulatory reform last took place in late 90s.
Another problem was Trump’s own regulatory impulses that offset deregulation, such as the increase charges on trade, reinforced antitrust law enforcement, threats muzzle the media, price control, subsidies and corporate welfare with regulatory effect and even new social programs.
Trump’s failure to engage Congress was a huge missed opportunity, especially since his party held a majority in both houses of Congress for its first two years. The regulatory “tax” is at least as important like the tax reform that he highlighted. Did Congress codify “Trumpian” reforms in law – and GOP members had tabled several bills to do this (and even did again, with greater futility, in the Biden era) – they would still be in place.
Now, as the recovery from COVID and the political response to it continues, the regulatory relief would be a powerful economic stimulus that would not add to the deficit like everything that has been and is being pursued, like the plans to Biden’s expensive, interventionist jobs and families. .
The recently released 2021 edition of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual conference Ten thousand commandments report puts regulatory costs at at least $ 2 trillion per year, more than double the total cost of the House infrastructure spending bill past last Thursday.
That’s a magnitude equivalent to over $ 14,000 per household, or more than what is typically spent each year on food, clothing, education, or any other expense except housing – it- even more expensive due to steel and timber tariffs, zoning and land use regulations.
Reducing even a fraction of regulatory burdens would lower consumer prices, make healthcare more accessible, make it easier to start new businesses, and help existing businesses adapt to a post-COVID world.
The Biden administration’s focus on COVID has mostly meant high-visibility spending, such as infrastructure projects that are easy to show on camera. There are two problems with this. First, deficit spending and debt are already at record levels. Taxpayers may not want to learn what comes after a trillion. Second, most of the recovery is happening outside of Washington, thanks to private enterprise and initiative.
This is a big request given President BidenJoe BidenFive Big Questions on the January 6 Select Committee While Afghanistan remains in limbo, can the global South trust the West? When should the president be able to fire a watchdog? AFTERWashington’s clear preference for expanding Washington’s jurisdiction, but Congress and Biden should incorporate regulatory liberalization into the recovery agenda and into policy in general. the Code of Federal Regulations now exceeds 185,000 pages. Many of its rules are outdated, redundant or too onerous. Biden could push for a commission to review them, heeding rules slowing or preventing a lasting recovery. Congress could vote on cutback plan, a process echoing the federal government Base realignment and closing commissions shutting down post-Cold War military bases when Biden was a senator.
In that vein. Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) And Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) Last week introduced the Unnecessary Agency Regulations Act instruct the Management and Budget Office (OMB) to report the rules it reviews in the event of redundancy, obsolescence and excessive loads and notify Congress. If Biden supported this idea, it would help and support the recovery, and not simply represent a lonely nod to bipartisanship. This regulatory reform of the 90s mentioned above happened under former president Bill clintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton Hailing FOIA on his birthday McConnell says Biden would be his “desert island” Democratic President Florida Fear: Why Biden Not Taking Action on Cuba MORE, and was predominantly bipartisan.
Regulatory reform would also free up agency resources to focus on their core missions and be more resilient in terms of preparing for the inevitable crises of tomorrow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, was caught off guard at the start of the COVID epidemic in part because much of its staff were busy spending millions of dollars on anti-vaping campaigns, rather than disease control.
There are many good ideas for reform. As we have known from the Trump era, implementing them through executive orders is not enough, as they can be reversed when power changes hands. Congress is the first branch of government and only its legislation has the power to remain.
Biden is expected to work with reform-minded members of Congress on both sides on a revival of deregulation to aid the current recovery and increase resilience against future crises.
Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. is Vice President of Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and author of the Annual Report Ten thousand commandments report. Ryan Young is a senior fellow at CEI.