Ending Job-Killing Regulations

The first step toward achieving a thriving economy is getting government out of the way.

America First Policies believes that the first step toward achieving a thriving economy is getting the government out of the way of American workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Placing a moratorium on new federal regulations and identifying and repealing outdated, burdensome, and job-killing regulations are necessary to promote economic growth. If a regulation does not increase public safety, protect American workers, or look out for our national interest, then it must be eliminated. For the same reasons, regulation needs to be curtailed at the state and local level too. 

The Facts:

  • In 2015 alone, federal regulations cost the American economy approximately $1.86 trillion.
  • Increased regulation is detrimental to potential entrepreneurs, and it costs jobs: Doubling regulation in an industry leads to a 9 percent decrease in new business start-ups, and a 5 percent decrease in new hires.
  • Regulations have a damaging effect on economic growth over time: Economic growth in the United States has, on average, slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 due to the effects of regulation.
  • If regulation had held constant at 1980 levels, the U.S. economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012.
  • This means that in 2012, the economy was $4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth.
  • This amounts to a loss of approximately $13,000 per capita. In other words, in 2012, the average American was $13,000 poorer than he or she would have been.


James Bailey and Diana Thomas, “Regulating Away Competition: The Effect of Regulation on Entrepreneurship and Employment,” Working Paper, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, September 2015, summary: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Bailey-Regulation-Entrepreneurship-summary.pdf, full report: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Bailey-Regulation-Entrepreneurship.pdf

Bentley Coffey, Patrick A. McLaughlin, and Pietro Peretto, “The Cumulative Cost of Regulations,” Working Paper, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, April 2016, summary: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Coffey-Cumulative-Cost-Regs-sum-v1.pdf, full report: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Coffey-Cumulative-Cost-Regs-v3.pdf

“Current Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs & Regulatory Information Service Center, a component of the U.S. General Services Administration, https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain

George Washington University Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, Table of contents: statistics used to track aggregate regulatory activity over time, https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/reg-stats

Read More:

James Gattuso and Diane Katz, “Red Tape Rising 2016: Obama Regs Top $100 Billion Annually,” Heritage Foundation, May 23, 2016, http://www.heritage.org/government-regulation/report/red-tape-rising-2016-obama-regs-top-100-billion-annually

Rachel del Guidice, “13 Ways Trump Has Rolled Back Government Regulations in His First 100 Days,” The Daily Signal, April 23, 2017, http://dailysignal.com/2017/04/23/11-ways-trump-has-rolled-back-government-regulations-in-his-first-100-days/

Jared Meyer and contributor, “How asinine, job-killing regulations are holding Detroit back,” Washington Examiner, April 25, 2017, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/how-asinine-job-killing-regulations-are-holding-detroit-back/article/2621219

Paul Bedard, “Trump Kills 16 Regulations for Every New One, Crushing 2-for-1 Goal,” Washington Examiner, July 19, 2017, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-kills-16-regulations-for-every-new-one-crushing-2-for-1-goal/article/2629177


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