Trump’s war on government regulation–that is, the government doing its job–continues.
What’s going on?
Trump has signed a new executive order stating that for every new regulation created, two more must be removed.
In addition, the costs of new regulations for fiscal year 2017 must be zero. This means that any new regulations put into place must be paid for by removing existing regulations.
Why is it important?
“Regulation” has been a dirty word in conservative circles for decades. That Trump has signed onto this policy is hardly surprising, but it is one more angle of attack in his overall assault on the functions of the US government.
The fact of the matter is that most regulations are useful and either prevent bad corporate behavior or offer penalties for ignoring the rules. Regulations are generally popular with the public, as well–Americans as a whole know that regulation is necessary for protecting the environment, workers, and the functioning of our economy.
This two-for-one idea is also senseless and arbitrary–government shouldn’t be based on raw quantities of regulations, but the specific qualities of each individual regulation. Are there regulations that aren’t serving any useful purpose and should be removed? Sure! We could all come up with examples of goofy, pointless regulations. But they are the exception, not the norm.
Ultimately, it is government regulations–however imperfect–that protect our water, air, and food supplies, and place restraints on corporations so that they cannot behave with impunity.
What can I do?
Educate yourself on regulations, for starters. Learn about regulations that affect your everyday life, and inform others. Here’s a good piece that illustrates just how much government regulation does in our daily lives. There will no doubt be opportunities to combat specific attempts at removing important regulations, and you will certainly hear about them on this blog. So stay alert!
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