Today it appears the entire world is consumed with hysteria over the weekend’s executive order seeking to reel in or block immigration from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya, but this morning the Trump administration did something a whole lot more consequential to everyday Americans – namely, it instituted a policy of regulatory rollback by which for every new regulation federal agencies promulgate they’ll have to repeal two old ones.
That’s a very big deal, as it will surely result in a diminished presence of the regulatory state in American life – something which has been an increasing problem and a strangulation of our economic life for a long time. It’s not an accident that for eight years during the Obama administration, and for a couple of years previous to that, there had been fewer businesses extant in America than the previous year.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 30, 2017
Back here in Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is all kinds of fired up about this EO. From a press release this afternoon…
This executive order would require for every new regulation an agency puts forward that two be identified to be eliminated. This order also sets a $0 budget for new regulations in 2017 and places a cap on the cost of any new regulations going forward.
This executive order seeks to standardize the implementation and management of the regulatory process. It will reverse a regulatory system that has been steadily growing out of control in recent years. As the official state chapter for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, LABI is in full support of this order. It will undoubtedly advance the American free enterprise system by limiting government intrusion in the marketplace.
Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry stated, “This type of action is long overdue. The simple fact is that employers on a daily basis face stringent regulations and mandates from Washington D.C. that severely hinder their ability to compete in the market. This new policy will hopefully begin to bring some sanity back to federal agencies and lead to a less onerous environment for Louisiana job creators.”
Waguespack continued to say, “Less bureaucracy tying the hands of employers will be beneficial for all levels of the workforce. This is the first step to moving our economy forward.”
Renee Amar, LABI Director of Small Business added in a statement, “We fully understand the purpose regulations serve in the process, however, over the past eight years these regulations have not only been well beyond overly burdensome but have been costly to companies of all sizes, especially small businesses.”
Amar has it exactly right. Since the end of the Reagan administration, which was the last truly deregulatory administration this country has seen, we’ve watched the regulatory state become a venue for a predatory form of crony capitalism; namely, big business has armed itself with lobbyists and lawyers to team with politicians and bureaucrats in order to codify an ever-increasing supply of costly regulations covering everything from environmental impact to workplace conditions, most of which are anything but crucial to the ends they purport to pursue. And along the way big business has been more than happy to cooperate so long as they get a seat at the table in writing them.
What do you get? Simple – you get a complicated and costly regulatory environment that serves as a barrier to entry for the little guy with a big idea, and a protector of incumbency in market share for companies which no longer innovate. Economic sclerosis – the kind which results in eight straight years of growth under three percent annually – is the product.
So the idea that Trump won’t just slow down the creep of the regulatory state but actively roll it back is naturally a welcome one, and it’s no surprise LABI is giving it a thumbs-up. They won’t be alone – every chamber of commerce across the country is doing back-flips over this decision today.