August 28, 2017

The Long Road to Regulatory Reform

Patrick McLaughlin

Director of the Program for Economic Research on Regulation

Michael Wilt

Former Senior Policy Writer and Editor
Summary

Executive orders by state governors and President Trump are a good start, but more must be done.

The governors of Nebraska, Missouri and Wisconsin recently announced new regulatory reform initiatives, adding three more states to a growing list of governments prioritizing red tape reduction. While these are necessary actions, there is still much more to be done at every level of government.

Perhaps the highest-profile efforts came swiftly after President Donald Trump took office. These federal regulatory reforms – required of executive branch agencies by executive order – include the "one-in, two-out" regulatory reduction plan; the placement of expert committees inside each agency to identify ineffective or overly burdensome rules; and a plan to reconsider whether regulatory programs or even agencies themselves have outlived their usefulness.

Broad regulatory reform could have a significant, positive impact on the economy. Over time, regulations build up and impose significant costs on society. As these regulations accumulate, they slow economic growth, resulting in higher unemploymenthigher priceslower wages and lighter wallets for Americans.

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