by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
The report reviewed the first 200 days of regulatory actions by the Obama and Trump administration:
- Total final rule costs: $24.4 billion for Obama vs. $1.2 billion for Trump.
- Annual final rule costs: $4.2 billion for Obama vs. $378 million for Trump.
- Paperwork burden: 6,803,249 hours for Obama vs. 848,239 for Trump.
“Compared to the Obama administration, the Trump administration has imposed: 1/20th of the lifetime costs, 1/11th of the annual costs, and 1/8th of the paperwork. With nearly 6 million fewer paperwork burden hours, that amounts to the workload savings of roughly 3,000 full-time employees,” said the AAF report.
Goldbeck also found that the number of costly rules imposed by Trump are very low.
“In terms of both overall rulemakings and only those designated as ‘economically significant’ (an annual economic impact of more than $100 million), the Trump administration has set record lows in overall rulemaking volume. Only 41 rules,” said the report, adding, “For perspective, the next-lowest amounts for either measure were 180 and 28, respectively (both in 2001). The highest amount for either measure was 460 (in 1994) and 80 (in 2016), respectively.”
Trump has also promised to cut rules, and so far has slashed 16 for every one imposed, far more than his campaign promise to cut two current regulations for every new one imposed. The report said that the administration is reviewing rules that cost $55 billion.
During the last week of July – just beyond the first 6 months window – agencies published proposals to roll back the Obama-era rules on ‘Waters of the United States’ and hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as ‘fracking’) that could collectively save nearly $350 million annually. Additionally, according to its first Unified Agenda, the administration sees the potential for up to $13.5 billion in annual savings from deregulatory actions in the pipeline,” said he report.