The republican President Donald Trump has been on a mission to roll back any and all regulations without adequate review and competent analysis. His need to accomplish anything at the direction of his chief strategist Steve Bannon who wants to blow up the US government may very well ending up costing US taxpayers more than any savings garnered by deregulation. A good example of this, would be how republican decision makers decided to save a few dollars by changing the source of water supply in Flint, Michigan. To repair the damage done by this change will cost the taxpayers more than a 1000 times of the supposed planned savings.
It would behoove the White house to follow the steps of how Great Britain saved millions of dollars by carefully reviewing their government regulations before making any adjustments.
Here is the rest of the story…
On 4/7/17, The New York Times Editorial Board published the following op-ed piece, “The Regulatory Wrecking Ball.”
“And yet, even without a big win (in the first 100 days), Mr. Trump has done significant damage with smaller-bore measures, whose cumulative impact will be felt for a very long time. Specifically, he has signed into law 11 regulatory rollback measures, passed by Republican majorities using the Congressional Review Act — a law that lets lawmakers use fast-track procedures to repeal rules completed in the last six months or so of a previous administration. Two more repeal measures await Mr. Trump’s signature, and 20 that have been introduced in Congress could be passed before fast-track procedures expire. At least there will be no more ugly surprises, since the deadline for introducing new rollback measures under the Congressional Review Act passed on March 30.”
“The wreckage has been extensive. Some of the regulations already repealed would have strengthened health, safety and fair pay protections for workers. Several others were environmental protections, including a rule, repealed this week, for protecting bears and wolves on federal refuges in Alaska from “predator control” techniques used by the state to accommodate hunters. Mr. Trump has also rolled back broadband privacy protections, anti-bribery standards for oil companies operating abroad, expanded background checks for mentally ill gun buyers and educational assessment standards for public schools.”
“Many of the measures that have been introduced but not yet passed by both chambers are environmental protections, including a rule that would limit emissions of methane, a powerful global warming gas, rules and regulations to protect wildlife habitats and endangered species, and safeguards against oil drilling in the Arctic and in national parks.”
“These regulatory rollbacks, enacted or proposed, generally favor a big corporate constituent, a narrow special interest or an ideological purpose. The broad public has not demanded the rollbacks — and will not be served by them. That is probably why Mr. Trump has signed many of these measures in private, without the pomp of presidential bill signings. There is nothing here for most Americans to celebrate.”
“Nor is the damage easily undone. When a regulation is repealed using the Congressional Review Act, agencies are blocked from issuing “substantially similar” rules without express authorization from Congress.”
“So far, Mr. Trump has signed most of the rollback measures Congress has sent him and given no indication that he would refuse to sign any of those under consideration in Congress. But one thing is clear. The more of these measures he signs, the worse off the public will be.”
On 1/27/17, Jitinder Kohli (managing director with Deloitte Consulting LLP and former chief executive of Britain’s Better Regulation Executive) of Forbes penned the following report, “What President Trump Can Learn From The UK About Reducing Regulations.”
In laying out his “First 100 Days,” President Trump expressed his desire to reduce regulations. He described his plan for regulatory reform in straightforward terms: “For every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.”
“This “One-in, Two-out” formulation, while bold, is not without precedent. In fact, in 2005 the United Kingdom (UK) government adopted targets for reducing regulatory burdens, later evolving into a “One-in, One-out” plan. Now, the UK runs a robust “One-in, Three-out” initiative. Between 2005-2009, I served as the lead official responsible for implementing this initiative and experienced firsthand what worked and what didn’t.”
“First, the good news. The effort to reduce regulatory burden in the UK has been largely successful. Since 2005 when the government committed to reducing the burden of regulation, UK businesses have benefited from £6.5 billion in annualized savings. These savings are not just for one year, but every year, which would be the equivalent of over $10 billion in U.S. regulatory costs. In fact, the success of the program has prompted Australia and Canada to experiment with their own versions.”
1. Focus on the cost of regulations, not the number.
“Taken literally, Trump’s announcement means: Every time a new regulation comes into force, two existing regulations should be removed. But there is a glaring problem with this interpretation. What if a new regulation costs business $1 billion, while the two eliminated regulations carry a burden of only $1 million each? That would hardly count as a meaningful offset.”
“Instead, measure the burden of a new regulation in its cost to business, providing a clear metric for success. For example, if a new regulation costs $1 billion, it needs to find $2 billion worth of regulatory offsets (with changes implemented within perhaps two years). While the “One-in, Two-out” formulation is a useful forcing mechanism, to have the intended impact, the focus should be on regulatory costs.”
2. Reducing regulatory costs doesn’t require gutting critical protections.
“In the UK, by focusing on how we regulated, rather than just what we regulated, we were able to drive enormous cost reductions without sacrificing protections. By simplifying forms and processes, compliance became much less costly without any underlying regulatory changes or compromising mission. For example, allowing publicly traded companies to use electronic versions of their annual reports saved British business more than £180 million. We also rationalized inspections, reducing the burden on good corporate citizens without diminishing outcomes.”
3. Avoid exclusions.
“A “One-in, Two-out” policy can only be effective if it covers everything the administration does.”
“If new controls on immigration become law, for example, and these involve new regulatory requirements on employers, a “One-in, Two-out” policy would require offsets elsewhere.”
“Some flexibility may be required, since new rules can stem from urgent measures that control new risks. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirement limiting liquids going through airport security called for swift implementation—you couldn’t wait for TSA to find offsets before changing the rules. You could, however, mandate that TSA find the savings in the following five years—encouraging faster identification of burden-easing initiatives such as TSA Pre-check.”
4. Focus on small business.
“Small businesses, especially entrepreneurs, are different. A “compliance department” for a small business is often the entrepreneur themself, struggling to navigate complex regulations.”
5. Don’t underestimate the culture change needed to carry this out.
“Those who work in regulatory policy often focus on designing new regulatory ideas. Typically, they don’t systematically look for ways to reduce the costs of regulations that are already on the books.”
“Reducing regulatory costs will require focused leadership and commitment. One approach the incoming Trump administration could take is to set up dedicated “SWAT teams” solely responsible for regulatory simplification. Driving culture change often means injecting new ideas from unusual sources. Try to listen to the businesses you regulate and reach out to your agency’s front-line enforcers, who know what’s not working, but who are rarely asked for input. Consider crowd-sourcing and innovation contests. Involve outsiders and other non-traditional stakeholders with expertise in service design, behavioral economics and digital technologies.”
“To some, this “One-in, Two-out” rule may sound simplistic. But in the UK, it became crystal clear that having a target can be an enormously powerful driving force for change. Ultimately, however, it is how we regulate, rather than just what or how much we regulate, that will be the critical determinant of success or failure.”