Unlocking the American dream
In his 1989 farewell address, then-President Ronald Reagan offered a simple message that we would be wise to reflect on nearly 30 years later: “As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Since before the Great Society” programs of the 1960s, our country has seen a disturbing trend of just that — government expansion, leading to a bureaucracy with heavy involvement in the lives of Main Street Americans.
The explosion of regulations — 229 major regulations since 2009 at a cost of $108 billion annually — has led to increased taxes, declining labor participation rates and a skyrocketing debt that will strap future generations with a crushing bill to pay if not seriously addressed.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that we look back to the core principles that made America the exceptional nation it is — namely, the system of limited self-government of the people, by the people and for the people, as our Founding Fathers intended.
When it comes to the promise of scaling back our out-of-control regulatory state, President Donald Trump has done nothing short of deliver.
From the very beginning of President Trump’s term, we’ve seen a notable shift from a bureaucracy that bogs our economy down in regulation to an administration that assertively returns power back to the people. President Trump has initiated an aggressive rollback of unnecessary and burdensome regulations, including an executive action that requires two existing regulations be eliminated for each new federal regulation implemented.
Last week, I introduced a bill to codify this directive into law — a bill that would establish a system for easing old regulations off the books and requiring agencies to pursue smarter, more efficient regulatory action.
The results thus far speak for themselves. The American Action Forum estimates that President Trump’s executive regulatory actions to date could deliver more than $86 billion in savings for taxpayers.
Additionally, we’ve seen President Trump show admirable leadership in guiding Congress through his regulatory rollback agenda. To date, the president has signed 13 Congressional Review Act (CRA) bills into law — the most of any president in history — removing destructive Obama-era regulations and saving more than $10 billion in the process.
These successful CRA votes are noteworthy because these regulations that were rolled back through the legislative process can never again be issued by an executive agency EVER. Actions like these pushed by the White House will last well beyond the end of the Trump administration to benefit the American people and economy.
One particular example comes to mind of how President Trump has already changed the culture of Washington through regulatory action. At the beginning of this year, my staff and I crafted a roadmap of more than 200 rules, regulations and executive orders for the incoming administration to examine, revoke and issue. Many of these recommendations in the report came at the suggestion of constituents in my Western North Carolina district.
Included in that report were regulations on school lunch programs. Earlier this month, President Trump’s team began the process of scaling back those very rules on school lunches. I had received comments on this issue from several constituents at schools I’ve visited back home, telling me that the school lunch regulations were often costly and ineffective.
A comment on burdensome regulations came from Western North Carolina and went all the way to the president’s desk. This process represents exactly how our government is supposed to function, and how President Trump, in a few short months, has helped begin to change the culture of D.C.
As believers in limited self-government, conservatives believe that you — the business owner, the factory worker, the teacher — can have a better opportunity to thrive if government operates in a more limited role and simply gets out of your way. That’s how you unleash the potential of the American worker. That’s how you unlock the American dream.
Thus far, this president has delivered — and I remain confident that he will continue to do so until the job is finished.
U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows represents North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Reach him through his website, meadows.house.gov.
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