Economy & Business

Nixing Regulations Saved Taxpayers $1.3 Billion This Year

President Trump cuts a red tape while speaking about deregulation at the White House in December 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
When businesses have to worry about complying with too many rules, it makes it much harder for them to operate.

President Trump’s decision to do away with a number of federal regulations has saved taxpayers $1.3 billion this year, according to the American Action Forum.

That $1.3 billion number is actually double the goal that Trump had set for these savings, according to the Washington Times. Casey Mulligan, chief economist at Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the newspaper that the reason the figure wound up being double the administration’s goal was because Barack Obama’s administration had actually far underestimated just how much its regulations were costing Americans.

“President Trump is not getting rid of all regulations by any means,” Mulligan said. “But some of the most problematic ones, he’s getting rid of them.”

When Trump became president, one of the first things he did was issue Executive Order 13771, which demanded that federal agencies repeal two existing regulations for every new one created. This has resulted in agencies eliminating 22 regulations for every new rule by the end of the 2017 calendar year, according to the Wheaton Business Journal. The Journal also reports that the White House estimates that the lifetime savings due to those rollbacks will be around $8.1 billion.

You might not like everything that President Trump says or does (I know I don’t), but you really have to agree that this is one area where he deserves credit. After all, extensive regulations are bad for the economy. When businesses have to worry about complying with too many rules, it makes it much harder for them to operate — and it makes it harder for entrepreneurs to open a new business from scratch. A more relaxed regulatory environment, on the other hand, makes it easier for existing business and makes it simpler for someone with an idea for a start-up to be able to make that idea a reality without having to worry about so much red tape. Having more businesses leads to there being more jobs available, which is obviously a positive thing for any economy. What’s more, since complying with regulations can be so costly, having fewer of them also gives businesses the opportunity to pay their workers higher wages than they would otherwise be able to pay.

Really, the only bad thing about all of this is that it doesn’t go even further. As the Wheaton Business Journal notes, it costs Americans a whopping $1.9 trillion to comply with federal regulations every year. President Trump’s administration has already been eliminating those regulations in record numbers, but let’s just hope that this trend continues so that we can give businesses — and the Americans associated with them — the best shot at financial prosperity.


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