Trump Administration Issued Fewest New Regulations In Decades

President Donald Trump delivers an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol. This is the President's first Address to Congress of his presidency.Editorial

President Donald Trump delivers an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol. This is the President's first Address to Congress of his presidency. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

One of President Trump’s cornerstone promises that he ran on in 2016 was that he would drain the swamp. He would cut through all the red tape and make it easier for American business to thrive. Costs of running the government would decrease under his administration, and the burden on taxpayers would be eased.

Regulatory costs by G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.
Regulatory costs by G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

When You Take Food From A Bureaucrat’s Table

Since his election, Trump has been fighting to do what he said he was going to do. Let’s face it, when you threaten a bureaucrat’s paycheck they’re going to fight.

Many, not all, of the bureaucracy, have learned nothing else but how to push paperwork, make rules and run the other people’s lives and businesses. They never learned what it means to take risks and start a company to put food on the table like the rest of us, i.e., actually live under the onerous regulations under which they want us to live. Yes, some bureaucracy is necessary, but much of what the government does is, arguably, unnecessary.

When you threaten a system like the Federal Bureaucracy with the possibility that they are not going to be able to make a living as easily as they have in the past, that their gravy train is coming to an end, you will encounter resistance. It hasn’t been easy for Trump or his team.

Keeping His Pledge

The good news is that Trump appears to be keeping his pledge to “massively” reduce regulation. According to Diane Katz (@Dianeskatz), the Trump administration has issued fewer “significant” rules than the Obama administration or the Bush administration.

The Trump administration on Wednesday reported $23 billion in savings from 176 deregulatory actions in fiscal year 2018. Even more consequential, the administration has issued 65 percent fewer “significant” rules—those with costs that exceed $100 million a year—than the Obama administration, and 51 percent fewer than the Bush administration, after 22 months in office [1].

The Other Side

Detractors point out that just repealing the number of regulations does not necessarily lessen the burden on Americans. They point out that many of the rules are necessary to operate the government.

Cary Coglianese, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faulted the list for including many deregulatory actions that were relatively minor, compared with the more substantial regulatory actions. “It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that administration officials are removing 22 ‘Peter Rabbit’ books from the regulators’ shelves for every one ‘War and Peace’ they add,” he wrote [2].

Keep It Up, Mr. President

Whatever the case may be, the Trump administration needs to continue fighting ahead and pulling back as many regulations as they can and not add more burdens than are necessary to administer his office using the powers given him by laws passed by Congress and the Constitution.

No matter who is in the Oval Office, there are just too many Federal regulations. I know people are concerned with issues of ecology, fraud, workers rights, among many other causes, but states can step up and cover some of these bases.

Not enough money in state coffers to pay for all these services and enforcement? Yes, I know states would have a hard time paying for all the things the Federal government does. The Federal government, if anyone noticed, doesn’t have the money to do all the things the Federal government does.

Congress could pitch in and help too, but don’t hold your breath– the Republicans under Boehner, Ryan, McConnell didn’t do anything when they had control. Now that the Democrats are in control of the house, it looks like Trump is alone in his quest to draw back unnecessary regulations.

The number of regulations that the Federal government has enacted through the unelected bureaucracy since the early 1990s is astronomical and is dragging down the American economy.


  1. ^Katz, Diane. “Here’s How Much Red Tape Trump Has Cut.” Heritage Foundation, 7 Jan. 2019, (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Kessler, Glenn. “Analysis | Has the Trump administration repealed 22 regulations for each new one?” Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2018, (go back  ↩)

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