Reducing the Regulatory Burden

In his April 29 speech marking his first 100 days in office, President Trump touched on the subject of regulations only briefly. Indeed, it took up all of one sentence.

“We have slashed burdensome regulations, and imposed a policy that for each new regulation, two regulations must be erased from the books,” he said.

It’s understandable that the topic rated little more than a mention. Trump had other accomplishments to tout, and his speech was meant to be more of a rallying cry than a detailed description of any one subject. But the good work his administration is doing on regulations deserves more attention.

Why? Don’t make the mistake of assuming regulations don’t affect you — or that they do only if you run a business. Regulations function as a kind of hidden tax, affecting all of us in numerous ways, both direct and indirect.

By making it harder to start a business, or continue to operate one, they interfere in the free-market enterprise that has been the hallmark of the American economy from the beginning. Every dollar that goes toward regulatory compliance is one less dollar that can be used to hire new workers or find ways to improve a business.

And the extra costs that these companies find themselves facing? They get passed along to everyone else in the form of higher costs. Not just their direct customers, mind you, but others down the line. After all, if a regulation forces a local business to spend more than it budgeted for, it’s going to have to raise prices…