Regulatory Reforms and Counter-Reformations

How should we best understand President Donald J. Trump’s approach to regulatory reform, relative to President Ronald Reagan’s approach nearly four decades ago? Not in glib terms of dramatic departure, but in the subtler terms of continuity, reform, and counter-reformation. In some ways, President Trump’s approach echoes and elaborates President Reagan’s approach, especially on questions of cost-benefit analysis and White House oversight. But in other ways, the Trump Administration’s innovations differ starkly from the Reagan Administration approach, especially in the creation of regulatory budgets and the “one in, two out” standard in Executive Order 13,771. Why has the Trump Administration chosen to innovate and differentiate itself from some Reagan reforms? The answer, quite simply, is that the Trump Administration has the advantage of learning from the Reagan Administration’s experience, and from the experience of four…

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