For over two-and-a-half years, President Trump has worked with his administration to reduce or eliminate burdensome regulations that stifle job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship. In doing so, his policies have accommodated an economic boom that has significantly reduced unemployment, boosted wages for workers and ushered in a new economic environment that has generated over 6 million new jobs.
This week, Mr. Trump brought a renewed focus on regulatory dark matter — the guidance that accommodates regulation and too often enables bureaucratic abuse. His new “Bringing Guidance Out of Darkness” and “Transparency and Fairness” executive orders will stop unaccountable government agencies that hinder Americans with excessive guidance documents from attacking the American people with unexpected and unfair penalties for so-called non-compliance.
Often, guidance documents are not published in the federal register or sent to all parties that are expected to comply with them. What follows can be unfair fines or punishment for Americans that did not even know the guidance documents existed.
The executive orders Mr. Trump signed on Wednesday will help those at the bottom of the economic ladder the most. Think about those Americans who do not have an army of compliance lawyers or the resources to fight back against powerful government bureaucrats. These individuals and small businesses are the economic engine that differentiates between an economy supporting strong 3 percent GDP growth and an economy struggling with a 10 percent unemployment rate.
Increasing transparency to guidance documents will allow for the public to fight back against big government. The executive orders ensure that Americans are only subject to following duly-enacted statutes and regulation lawfully promulgated under them — the requirements associated with the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs notice and comment rule-making.
The economic benefit of these executive orders is enormous for individuals and small business owners that do not have the resources to navigate the federal bureaucracy associated with regulation. Despite the Obama administration’s belief that government should pick winners and losers, discourage competition and knock down those trying to climb the economic ladder through risk-taking and entrepreneurship — the Trump administration continues to work to rescind the obstacles that hinder economic opportunity.
It’s the difference between government dependency and dignity. Reducing the size, scope and cost of the federal government allows for individuals to make their business as big as their talents allow. A free market hindered by regulation and confusing guidance documents written by bureaucrats is not a free market at all.
Government should help people reach the American Dream, not suffocate them with a regulatory nightmare. As President Obama notoriously said “you didn’t build that,” because he didn’t believe American ingenuity could create a job, President Trump has stepped in and responded with a plan of action that pushes unaccountable government bureaucrats aside and allows all Americans and communities to prosper.
• David McIntosh is president of Club for Growth and was a congressman from Indiana.