President Donald Trump will “slash” regulations in a bid to jumpstart the economy as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen around the country. The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein and Robert Costa reported earlier today that “senior administration officials are planning effort to relax rules” perhaps as soon as late April, which is just days away. The reporters spoke to two people “familiar with the internal planning” who told them that the “initiative is expected to center on suspending federal regulations for small businesses,” as well as “expanding an existing administration program that requires agencies to revoke two regulations for every new one they issue.” The changes could affect “environmental policy, labor policy, workplace safety and health care,” among others.
I say, “Bring it on.”
Today, the Democratic Congress and the Republican Trump administration are looking at various bailout and stimulus packages because sadly, that’s the kind of government we have now — and have had for a long time. As [Lee E.] Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics, warned, “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.” But it isn’t often anymore that I mount my mighty steed to go crusading against bigly government spending, because frankly, almost no one cares.
But there is good news coming out of the crisis caused by the Chinese coronavirus from Wuhan, a city in China ruled by Chinese Communists where the Chinese-sourced Sino-virus came from. There’s even good news coming out of Washington.
In our proper haste in fighting the virus, Washington is eliminating a lot of red tape.
Deregulation got put on hold in Washington, as there were more urgent measures to take care of, like injecting the economy with enough liquidity to keep things from going completely Tango Uniform. But now that various states are preparing to loosen up on business closures and the like, the Trump Administration is getting serious about getting “the hell out of my way,” as John Galt would put it.
“… the federal response rests largely on state and local government and private enterprise, with a wave of deregulation…” C. DeMuth-Wall Str Journal. Rather than exploit Coronavirus to seize more power, this administration is responding with deregulation and decentralization.
— Lee F Cheshire (@leefcheshire) April 21, 2020
Trump’s really bad at this whole authoritarian thing, isn’t he?
Also under consideration are a payroll tax cut, more infrastructure spending, and more aid to state and local governments. But those, unlike eliminating prohibitive regulations, would be temporary stimulants instead of permanent ones. We learned during 2009-2010 that brief payroll tax cuts don’t provide much stimulus and that sending state governments metric craptons of cash is usually just an invitation to state governments to indulge in pet projects.
Not everyone is excited by that as I am, of course. The WaPo report I linked above felt the need to frame it this way:
Still, the Trump initiative will probably be fiercely criticized by congressional Democrats and other economic experts, who say the administration’s attempts to repeal business regulations reflect long-standing conservative priorities rather than a measure that will help Americans survive the current public health and economic emergency. Trump has for years celebrated a massive deregulatory push under his administration as an economic boost, but opponents say the efforts have created more environmental and labor hazards for workers and consumers.
Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig didn’t even wait for the actual announcement from the White House before leading with “Republicans Pounce!” The headline to his story reads: “The Trump administration is seizing on the coronavirus pandemic to roll back business regulations as it pushes to reopen the economy.” Yes, shame on that nasty Trump White House for trying to help during a crisis.
There hasn’t been much pushback — yet — but only because the White House hasn’t announced anything officially or specific. That will change quickly, probably by the end of the week or early next week at the latest, if the administration sticks to its leaked timeline for late April/early May.
So stay tuned, because the howls of outrage will be beautiful music to our ears.
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