Magazine December 31, 2019, Issue

On Deregulation, Trump Has Achieved Little

President Donald Trump cuts a red tape while speaking about deregulation at the White House in Washington, D.C., December 14, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
The administrative state remains

One of the first things Donald Trump did as president was to tell a group of business leaders that his administration would “cut regulations by 75 percent. Maybe more.” This was, surely, one of those “serious but not literal” claims, but still it seemed to signal deep ambitions. So, too, did a February 2017 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference by Steve Bannon, then the president’s favored strategist, which promised a “deconstruction of the administrative state.” 

It wasn’t just bluster, either. On January 30, President Trump had issued Executive Order 13771, which requires agencies to remove two old regulations for

This article appears as “Deregulatory Disappointment” in the December 31, 2019, print edition of National Review.

In This Issue



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