Soon after taking office Jan. 20, Biden scrapped a Trump deregulation rule that had helped save the U.S. about $160 billion, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum (AAF), a think tank that focuses on economic and fiscal policy issues.
"I wager in saying that, going back in the modern era of presidents, even back through Reagan, this is probably the most deregulatory administration we’ve seen in terms of being able to quantify the economic savings that it produced," AAF report author Dan Bosch, the group’s director of regulatory policy, told the Times.
The group’s findings were reported Thursday by the Washington Times.
Trump’s deregulation efforts as president were highlighted by a "one in, two out" rule that required two existing regulations to be scrapped every time a new regulation was enacted, according to the report.
The nation’s 45th president also set limits on how much a regulation could cost.
Trump’s actions saved the country $155 billion to $165 billion between 2017 and 2021, the AAF estimates, according to the Times.
"The range is in terms of economic impact, which is almost entirely borne by the private sector," Bosch told the newspaper.
In practice, however, the Trump administration wasn’t always able to stick to the "one in, two out," rule because regulations in complicated areas, such as immigration, made implementation difficult, Bosch said. Nevertheless, the Trump administration was able to tackle regulations more aggressively than other administrations in the modern era, he said.
The Times noted that Trump’s Office of Management and Budget pegged the savings at an even higher amount: closer to $200 billion between 2017 and 2020, with $144 billion saved in 2020 alone.
As of last April, Trump had issued 277 deregulation orders and his administration had added the fewest new rules to the Federal Register since records started being kept in the 1970s.
"We’ve cut far more regulations by a factor of a lot than any other administration, any other presidency," Trump said last May. "So, it’s really something."
"We’ve cut far more regulations by a factor of a lot than any other administration, any other presidency."
After Biden took office, the new president quickly rescinded Trump’s executive order, saying his administration needed more flexibility in order to address big issues such as the coronavirus, climate change, racism and the state of the U.S. economy, the Times reported.
Biden also announced a temporary freeze on and review of regulations finalized by the Trump White House as the incoming administration assessed whether any existing rules would conflict with Biden’s policy agenda, according to the report. The practice is typical whenever a new administration enters the White House, the report said.
Advocacy groups like the environmental organization Evergreen Action have signaled support for greater use of the government’s regulatory powers under Biden, the report noted.
Earlier this month, progressive columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel praised Biden, claiming "the era of small government is over," after Biden’s tally for executive orders since taking office had reached 45.
But Clyde Wayne Crews, a vice president with the free-enterprise think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said such groups didn’t seem to take into account the full impact of regulations.
"I don’t think progressives think regulations have any cost," Crews told the Times. "They always claim a net benefit, which means there’s no stopping point, there’s no governor or brake."