Near the end of his first year in the White House, Donald Trump hosted an absurd episode of reality TV. Standing next to enormous stacks of blank paper in the Roosevelt Room, the President snipped a red ribbon symbolizing all the “red tape” he claimed to have cut since his inauguration.
“For many decades an ever-growing maze of regulations, rules and restrictions has cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories and devastated many industries,” the President railed. “But all that has changed the day I took the oath of office, and it’s changed rapidly.”
You may have heard that Republicans, and especially Trump, hate regulations. All regulations. Of any type. Republicans insist that government regulations stifle economic growth and “kill jobs.” As the President has complained over and over again, they are little more than bureaucratic nightmares preventing America from becoming “great again.”
“We ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated,” Trump boasted. “As a result, the never-ending growth of red tape in America has come to a sudden screeching and beautiful halt.… For the first time in decades we achieved regulatory savings.”
The scripted scene in the Roosevelt Room was meant to highlight his having made good on promises like the one offered to a crowd of dupes in Ohio just before the 2016 election: “Excessive regulation costs our economy $2 trillion a year. You believe that?… I want to put that money back into the pockets of the American people, where it belongs.”