by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Trump, like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, now [has] a golden opportunity to embrace a reform agenda that could reignite economic growth, reassure conservatives, and resurrect the Constitution. He should make radical reform of the inner workings of the welfare state a central plank of his candidacy. By signing on to a platform to halt government, Trump can signal that he will devote his presidency not to venting populist anxieties, but to governing in accordance with core conservative ideas.
Stopping the growth of government will have immediate economic benefits, which sit high on any candidate’s agenda. Today’s federal regulations have cost the American economy approximately $38.8 trillion. They have decreased economic growth by about 2 percent per year between 1949 and 2005. The median American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have earned had we not suffered through those six decades of accumulated regulations — we’d have a median household income of $330,000 rather than $53,000 today.
Obama did not begin this death by regulatory sclerosis – it began with Woodrow Wilson’s progressive government and took permanent root with FDR’s New Deal. But Obama has put big government on steroids. Over the past seven years, his administration has turned its back on the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and federalism to engineer a massive expansion in the size and power of the national government. Some of the nation’s leading scholars, government officials, and policymakers are coming together to chart Obama’s mistakes and develop a plan to unshackle the economy. They provide the leading presidential candidates, who are often accused of flip-flopping, with an off-the-shelf manual for their first days in office.