Deregulatory Realities and Illusions

November 13, 2018

Last month, the Trump Administration published its semi-annual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Many aspects of the agenda received attention but none more than the claims that the Trump Administration has succeeded in an unprecedented degree of deregulation. President Donald J. Trump himself routinely cites his deregulatory accomplishments as a cause for the strong economy in his first two years in office.

But these claims of both extensive deregulation and a major impact on the economy weaken considerably upon closer scrutiny.

This is the second annual public announcement that the Trump Administration has made on the extent of deregulation. In last year’s highly touted event, President Trump claimed to have eliminated 22 regulations for every new regulation his Administration issued. That claim has been fairly thoroughly debunked, as many of the deregulatory actions were not completed or were very trivial.

Opinion Editorial by Stuart Shapiro, The Regulatory Review, November 12, 2018

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