Donald Trump reminded a lot of older Americans of Ronald Reagan when he was on his remarkable tear through the Republican primaries. The two men were not particularly similar in their mannerisms or rhetoric, or even their policies, but they were both insurgent candidates loathed by the mainstream establishment. And both of them captured the imagination of conservatives from sea to shining sea in a way that none of their opponents could hope to match.
Now to be sure, the comparisons between Reagan and Trump are not always easy to make. They are, to be sure, more different than they are the same. But on certain policies, they are of a like mind, and one of them is the issue of financial regulation. Trump, like the Gipper, has been a fierce advocate for cutting the red tape out of federal regulations that keep businesses small and large from making the most out of the American dream. And in this particular area of concern, he’s actually doing a better job of gutting those regulations than any president in modern history – including, even, Ronaldus Magnus himself.
A few weeks ago, Trump said in a speech: “We have stopped or eliminated more regulations in the last eight months than any president has done during an entire term. It’s not even close.”
Trump is known for his penchant for hyperbole, but on this subject, he wasn’t too far from the mark. As Peter Boyer put it in The Weekly Standard, Trump is doing an amazing job pulling burdensome regulations out of the economy, thus setting the stage for an unprecedented period of growth. In the piece, Boyer noted that of everything Trump has done to turn the economy around, his executive order requiring any new regulations to be balanced by the elimination of two others was his most significant move to date.
From the Weekly Standard:
It was a clever ploy; the process of combing through old regulations is a time-consuming burden, as is the companion Trump order that the cost to the economy of any new regulation must be offset by savings from canceled regulations. Together, the effect has been to greatly delay new regulations. The government keeps track of the regulatory pace of its agencies through a semi-annual report called the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, and one White House official who has reviewed the autumn edition says that new regulatory output is effectively nil.
Trump, like Reagan, has managed to coalesce most (but not quite all) of the conservative base around his agenda. And there’s a very good reason for that. Think what you want about the man’s personality, his Twitter habits, or his predilection for picking a fight, but you can’t argue with the results: One of the most effective conservative administrations in history.