President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday requiring government agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one adopted. The “one in, two out” rule also calls for the cost of any new regulation to be offset by eliminating regulations with an equal cost.
It will be up to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to determine those costs and to provide guidance to agencies scrambling with a rule that has been called “a childish mistake.”
At issue for critics of this seemingly arbitrary rule is the emphasis on quantity of regulations over quality. The “one in, two out” rule appears to be based more on a slogan than logic. As William Gale of the Brookings Institution, who served on George H.W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the Washington Post, “the number of regulations is not the key. It’s how onerous regulations are. This seems like a totally nonsensical constraint to me.”
As Trump signed the executive order Monday morning, he also spoke to reporters about his plans to roll back Dodd-Frank financial regulations. “We’re going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank,” he said. “The American dream is back.”