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October 13 2017

President Trump’s Anti-Regulation Crusade may be Working in Americans’ Eyes

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump touted his plan to scale back job-crushing regulations and he followed through on that promise with one of his earliest executive orders.

Americans took note and it may be changing the way they view government regulation.

A plurality of Americans thinks there is too much government regulation of business, but that share is falling from one year ago.

Gallup’s annual poll measuring Americans’ perception of government regulation finds that 45 percent say there is too much government regulation of business and industry. However, that is down two points from one year ago as more people think we are at the right level of regulation (29 percent). Only 23 percent say there’s too little regulation.

Among Republicans the dip is undeniable. Some 68 percent of Republicans say government regulation of industry is too much, down eight percentage points from 2016. Whereas just 20 percent of Democrats agree and that has barely changed.

Republicans’ perceptions have steadily fallen from a high of 84 percent during the height of former President Barak Obama’s administration. During that time, enacted a large number of significant regulations including the Affordable Care Act in healthcare; the Dodd-Frank Act in financial services; and environmental agreements on carbon emissions, oil drilling, and fracking.

Fast forward to 2017 when President Trump promised to cut two regulations for every new one imposed. His administration has slashed 16 regulations for every new one – far more than promised. It has also set a record low for issuing rules especially compared to the previous administration.

In August, the American Action Forum found that in the president’s first 200 days, the reduction in the number of hours of paperwork equaled about 3,000 full-time employees.

Gallup added a caveat to their analysis about the dip in perceptions:

Trump touted his plan to remove government regulations to boost economic growth during his presidential campaign. Since taking office, he has rescinded Obama-era environmental measures. However, there has been little change in Americans' views of government regulation of business this year, perhaps because it is too soon for the effects of Trump's policies to be felt, or because Americans are not highly familiar with Trump's actions on regulations.

It seems then that there’s room for perceptions about the reach of government in business to fall even lower.

If the Administration continues to make Washington leaner and frees up industry, that can boost growth, wages, and spur our economy forward.

For every day Americans, the bottom line will be lower prices at the store and the gas pump, bigger paychecks, and better opportunities. For that they will welcome the regulatory drawdown.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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