Not All Regulations Are Bad, Mr. Trump

Donald Trump had a lot of fun last week at a ribbon cutting ceremony in which he celebrated his administration’s agenda of aggressive deregulation.

The papers he stood beside appeared to be props rather than specific deregulatory ideas, harking back to that time he stacked a lot of folders on a desk to show how he was divesting from his business interests, but then wouldn’t let reporters take a look at any of the papers.

“We’ve begun the most far-reaching regulatory reform in American history,” trumpeted Trump. “The never-ending growth of red tape in America has come to a sudden, screeching and beautiful halt.”

His proclamation is in line with what he said at the start of his term, pledging to cut 75 percent of governmental regulations and instructing his agencies to suggest two regulations that can be removed for every one they want passed.

Are regulations really holding America back, though? While the word seems to connote excessive restrictions, regulations have served a lot of positive functions for the citizens of this nation, as Demos explains:

  • They keep us safe. By updating car safety standards, banning certain toxic pesticides, establishing building and fire codes, the government has improved public safety in a way corporations and landlords might not feel compelled to do on their own.
  • They establish workers’ rights. By setting a minimum wage, overtime laws, and eliminating child labor, the government has ensured that the labor force is not nearly as exploited as it used to be.  
  • They protect the planet. By attempting to mitigate water and air pollution, the government is doing its part to ensure that.
  • They hold corporations accountable. If you think corporations already hoard all the wealth, influence the political system and can cheat consumers with little recourse, just imagine how bad it would be if the existing governmental regulations weren’t in place!

Generally speaking, these regulations rarely have negative effects on the average people, and more so put extra burdens on big businesses – businesses that are already raking in record profits and shouldn’t consider it a burden to pay fair wages and keep their employees and consumers safe.

Trump’s excuse for needing to slash regulations is that it’s hurting the economy and killing jobs. However, economic research repeatedly indicates that regulations have not stunted job growth, they just sometimes push the jobs to other sectors due to safety concerns. (That seems like a reasonable trade off.)

Much like the GOP tax plan where Republicans are pitching it as a necessity for the middle class even though it really benefits America’s wealthiest, Trump is arguing that regulations are an impediment to the middle class when they’re really just an inconvenience to the 1%.

When it comes to regulations, a lot of Americans already see through Trump’s talking points. At the beginning of the year, a Quinnipiac poll demonstrated that the majority of Americans did not want Trump to get rid of existing corporate regulations. An even larger majority of Americans opposed eliminating regulations pertaining to climate change, deeming them “worth the cost.”

Stuart Shapiro, who worked for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs during both the Clinton and Bush administrations, thinks Trump’s calls for deregulation could prove to be “a lot of bluster.” He explains that deregulatory actions still have to go through review processes in the way that creating regulations do, so there’s not a guarantee it’ll work.

As Politico points out, most presidents embrace the opportunity to create regulations since it’s one of the best methods they have available for establishing policy and changing the path of the country. Trump throwing his hands up over making some crucial changes is unprecedented.

Of course, Trump has arguably never been interested in governing in the first place. He prefers to do things like cut ribbons for photo ops while allowing the business sector to take the reins.

40 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill10 months ago

While some regulations are good, there are WAY too many and much too ownerous.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven11 months ago

Thank you.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven11 months ago

Thank you.

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Jerome S
Jerome S11 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S11 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y11 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jack Y
Jack Y11 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Colin C
Colin C12 months ago

Laws that protect society are neccessary

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Winn A
Winn A12 months ago

Jail tRUMPie for Christmas. What a gift that would be for the entire world.

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