McCaughey: The biggest news in Washington: Deregulation

McCaughey: The biggest news in Washington: Deregulation
McCaughey: The biggest news in Washington: Deregulation

If you want to start a business, the World Bank says you’d do better to move to Canada than setting up shop here in the U.S., where mind-numbing government regulations smother entrepreneurs.

That was true, anyway, before Donald Trump became president. In his address to Congress last week, Trump announced that “a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations” is under way. In a mere six weeks, Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have rolled back 90 regulations, and they’re just getting started.

Business leaders are cheering. “Relief is finally on the way,” says Thomas J. Donohue, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

While the media obsess about Russian conspirators, people who make things for a living — burgers, bridges or buildings — see that the real story unfolding in Washington, D.C., is the unprecedented pace of deregulation. It’s helping to fuel the stock market’s record-shattering optimism. And in the nick of time.

By every measure, the United States has been sinking into economic mediocrity over the last decade because of excessive regulation.

When Barack Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. ranked third among all nations as a place to do business, but since then the U.S. has plummeted, according to the World Bank. Why? Eight years ago, it took 40 days to get a construction permit in the U.S. Today, it’s double that.

Regulatory overkill started long before Obama. But Donahue calls the last eight years a “regulatory onslaught that loaded unprecedented burdens on business and the economy.”

The Heritage Foundation, which grades nations on economic freedom, now puts the U.S. 17th in the world, our lowest ever ranking. Below Chile, and former Soviet states like Estonia, Lithuania and the Republic of Georgia. Government bureaucrats here are choking us with compliance costs.

Small businesses get hit hardest because they lack legal departments and market clout to maneuver around the rules.

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