For all of Donald Trump’s faults, he seems to be genuinely interested in boosting small businesses. His pick of former WWE CEO Linda McMahon for head of the Small Business Administration is excellent. He’s been promoting small business-friendly tax reform and has spoken about the need to cut regulations. Small businesses have been largely optimistic about a Trump presidency.
As the country remains divided over his refugee policy, Trump took the first steps to helping revive America’s battered small business community. He signed an executive order on Tuesday that requires the repeal of two regulations for every new one created by his administration.
From Business Insider:
President Donald Trump signed an order on Monday that will seek to dramatically pare back federal regulations by requiring agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new rule introduced.
“This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen. There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be normalized control,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office, surrounded by a group of small business owners.
Trump’s latest executive action will prepare a process for the White House to set an annual cap on the cost of new regulations, a senior official told reporters ahead of the signing.
America is in the midst of a long-term small business decline. The number of business startups in 2014 was only a little over 450,000, a 40-year low. The historical average is between 500,000 and 600,000.
At the same time, the number of federal regulations hit new highs under the Obama administration, which imposed more regulations than any other president in American history, along with policies such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that increased costs for small businesses. There is also growing evidence that shows regulations increase income inequality, a major problem under the Obama presidency.
According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, 13 out of 15 of the all-time highest annual regulation page counts have come since 2001. In 2015, the Federal Register reached more than 90,000 pages for the first time ever.
President Trump’s action on this is a good first step. But the rest of the deregulation process has to be done by Congress. The REINS Act, authored since 2011 by Senator Rand Paul, would require congressional approval for all new regulations costing $100 million or more. This would prevent Congress from passing the buck to the executive branch agencies and help restore its power. It would also help deter unnecessary regulations since the people’s representatives would have a say. It’s a start.
If Trump wants to open up the economy, his next move should be to ask Congress to abolish Elizabeth Warren’s unconstitutional monstrosity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And after that, there’s always Obamacare to look at.