Saturday, May 23, 2020

Trump Is Having a Deregulatory Moment | RealClearPolitics

According to White House numbers, shredding red tape during his first three years and before the pandemic cut regulatory costs by $50 billion. They estimate that once those rules are fully implemented, they will amount to nearly $220 billion in savings. More lies on the horizon. Combined with tax cuts, this is the sort of thing that thrills the GOP base. It has been conservative orthodoxy since at least the Reagan administration to curse the heavy hand of regulators and condemn administrative agencies for hamstringing markets. In this way, the president has all but grabbed a giant pair of scissors and wrapped himself in the Gadsden flag of the last Tea Party.

Trump has certainly primed the pump to flood the economy with no less than $2 trillion in relief aid. In this way, he appears a necessitous Keynesian. But Trump has also rescinded federal authority in the middle of a crisis. In that way, he looks more like an emerging Randian. Historical comparisons naturally follow.

“From antiquity to the present day, emergencies have been used by those in authority to expand their power, too often at the expense of the liberty of the people,” said Paul Ray, the OIRA administrator.

“The unique thing about this president is that his approach is fundamentally different than the way Washington thinks,” Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and the one holding the knife, told RCP.  “He understands that in order for Americans to get back to work and ultimately have more freedom to live their lives, deregulation is key. It’s the American people, small businesses, churches, and communities who will jumpstart the Great American comeback — not the government.”


Deregulation is certainly one of the keys. Regulation isn't really about regulation. It's about cementing in incumbents and insulating them against competitors. At least if you're not talking about airlines or heart valves and even then most of it is about competitors. Deregulate and you allow competition. Competition means more people can start or expand businesses.

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