Trump is plowing and salting the fields of a bureaucratic oligarchy
President Trump is doing several things no Republican president would do (unless his name rhymed with Treagan). One that deserves attention is cutting the rules and regulations that strangle America.
Long overdue is his assault on the bureaucratic oligarchy, which has grown from taking orders into bossing businesses around.
His latest rein thrown on the wild horses of the bureaucracy is the appointment of Neomi Rao as head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Like General Mattis running the Pentagon, and billionaire Wilbur Ross running Commerce, Rao is an expert on the way the bureaucracy "promulgates" seemingly innocuous and beneficent laws into harsh restrictions on the freedoms of the people.
When the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it has the authority to fine a chicken plucker in West Virginia because there are feathers in the ground that might wash off in the rain, then we no longer have environmental protection of navigable waters.
We have a monster.
Trump's appointment of Rao drew praise from Jonathan H. Adler in the Washington Post:
Trump’s selection of Rao suggests the administration is serious about regulatory reform, not merely reducing high-profile regulatory burdens. The selection of a well-respected administrative law expert further suggests the administration recognizes the need to be attentive to legal constraints on administrative action and that meaningful reforms require more than issuing a few executive orders. Rao is a superlative pick.
Glenn Reynolds praised the tactic as well:
As Abner Mikva later reflected (gloated?) one reason why so many Reagan Revolution reforms foundered in the courts was insufficient attention to the niceties of administrative law. I’m glad to see that the Trump Administration is taking the right steps to avoid that error.
The media and the Washington Establishment have dismissed President Trump as an outsider who does not understand government.
But as a builder who dealt with building codes, safety, and politicians for the last 45 years, he understands the whole concept of the hidden levers of government. Plus Newt Gingrich schooled him well.
Gingrich gave us the Congressional Review Act of 1996 to repeal bad regulations. Control both houses of Congress and you can repeal the final regulations of your predecessor.
Bush 43 was able to use it but once, due to Democrats taking back the Senate in 2001. The law allows the repeal of regulations less than a year old, so its only going to help a Republican repeal Democratic regulations that first year.
President Trump has used it seven times.
Trump has executive orders -- and he uses them wisely. The Heritage Foundation has his ear.
From January 30:
President Trump signed an order Monday aimed at cutting regulations on businesses, saying that agencies should eliminate at least two regulations for each new one.
The White House later released the text of the order, which added that the cost of any new regulation should be offset by eliminating regulations with the same costs to businesses. It excluded regulations regarding the military.
From February 13:
President Trump’s Jan. 30 executive order got plenty of attention for the provision that would eliminate two regulations for every new one that’s issued. “So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two,” he told reporters when he signed it last month.
But the real power of the measure — if it’s strictly implemented — is a different provision. That provision dictates that “the total cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.”
In other words, no more putting a chicken plucker out of business because feathers might harm the Chesapeake Bay a hundred miles downstream.
From February 24:
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to place "regulatory reform" task forces and officers within federal agencies in what may be the most far reaching effort to pare back U.S. red tape in recent decades.
Trump signed the directive in the Oval Office with chief executives of major U.S. corporations standing behind him including Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., and U.S. Steel Corp.
The sweeping order directs every federal agency to establish a task force to ensure each has a team to research all regulations and take aim at those deemed burdensome to the U.S. economy and designate regulatory reform officers within 60 days and must report on the progress within 90 days.
"Excessive regulation is killing jobs, driving companies out of our country like never before," Trump said before signing the order. "Every regulation should have to pass a simple test; does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers?
I like the scary quotes around regulatory reform. When democrats reformed health insurance, the media deployed no scary quotes.
From March 16:
President Donald Trump's administration is proposing a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, eliminating its climate change programs and trimming back core initiatives aimed at protecting air and water quality, according to budget documents released on Thursday.
The White House's proposed 2018 budget for the agency comes as Trump seeks to clear away regulations he claims are hobbling U.S. businesses -- like oil drillers and coal miners. The proposed cuts are a starting point in negotiations with Congress, and could be tempered.
The proposal would eliminate 3,200 EPA employees, or 19 percent of the current workforce, and effectively erase former President Barack Obama's initiatives to combat climate change by cutting funding for the agency's signature Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Fewer bureaucrats, fewer regulations.
And since layoffs work Last In, First Out, a whole slew of Barack Obama's buddies will be the first sent packing.
This is conservatism. This is limiting government. The knock on him a year ago in the Republican primary season was he was not a small government conservative.
The experts got that wrong too.