Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump promised to shrink the size of government — and to get the government out of the way of the American people.
Within a week of his Inauguration, during a meeting with business leaders (including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has since removed himself from contact with the Trump administration), Trump doubled down — promising a reduction in regulations by as much as 75%.
US News reported:
“Now, we're going to have regulation. And it'll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as we have right now,” Trump said from the White House. “But you're going to get such great service. There will be no country that's going to be faster, better, more fair, and at the same time protecting the people of the country.”
Though he didn't specify exactly what would be cut, he said his administration thinks it can streamline the government's involvement with the private sector by cutting regulations by “75 percent – maybe more.”
And just a week later, he took the first steps toward making good on that promise. On January 30, President Trump signed an order placing a cap on regulations and ensuring that for every one regulation his administration passed, two regulations would be rolled back.
And according to the Washington Examiner, Trump's efforts so far have been pretty successful:
And it appears that he is delivering big time, especially on his pledge to kill two regulations for every new one issued. According to a tally provided by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, the president has issued fewer rules than any other president since Ronald Reagan and cut the costs of those regulations significantly.
The American Action Forum, a conservative think tank that charts federal policy and rules, called Trump's regulatory freeze “historic.”
CEI's Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. said federal agencies haven't seen such a shift away from red tape since former President Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington in 1981.
In total, President Trump has issued 1,063 rules. That may seem like a lot, especially considering that amounts to more than 7 per day. And even thought former President Barack Obama's total is higher — 1,139 total and slightly more than 8 per day — it might seem to fall short of the promised 75% reduction.
But according to Crews, those numbers can be deceptive:
“Since rule reductions look like rules, too, the reduction in regulation under Trump is more dramatic than what the raw counts can depict.”
His point — that sometimes it takes a new rule to get rid of an old one — was that a number of the “rules” signed by President Trump were adopted to get rid of old regulations rather than to impose new ones.
And that trend — getting away from the typical red tape of government operations — is echoing throughout his administration, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson works to streamline the State Department and Jared Kushner doing the same in the Office of American Innovation.