March 4, 2017

Despite the talk of the "deconstruction" of the administrative state....

... Trump's approach to regulatory reform is really quite reasonable and good, according to Cass Sunstein.

41 comments:

rehajm said...

Nudge Nudge. Know what I mean?

Hagar said...

"For every law, rule, or regulation specifying what to to do in the event of certain circumstances, there are at least three laws, rules, or regulations requiring something entirely else to be done."

This gives a lot of discretionary power to public officials, and they are not about to give it up.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump likely got the political commissar idea from Putin.

The Godfather said...

It took decades to construct the administrative state, and it will take decades to "deconstruct" it. The difficulty is illustrated by the fact that one of the first steps by the Trump Administration is simply to start enforcing regulations to restrain excessive regulation that were enacted by Clinton and Obama.

Rusty said...

Faster please.

YoungHegelian said...

I guess Cass Sunstein can now consider himself formally disinvited from the parties thrown by the best people.

Good things to say about the Trump administration! Well, I never.....

Hagar said...

Repeal the 17th Amendment!

Robert Cook said...

In other words, Trump doesn't really mean he will deconstruct the administrative state. He will just try to clean it up, unclog the drainpipes , get rid of the stacks of old newspapers and magazines in the garage, sweep out the cobwebs and dust bunnies, and do needed maintenance work.

Michael K said...

The real deconstruction will take the cabinet officers and their assistants. That's why he has got to lean out the Obama moles.

Bush didn't and they sabotaged him.

khesanh0802 said...

Sunstein is suspect because of his early work on Obamacare, however his comments here are welcome. No one ever thought (really) that Trump was going to throw out regulations wily nilly. However in this case when one is nominated to go we can be sure that it will go - and if the task forces are not active enough they will get a goose.

Cookie's description I think is supposed to be a put down, but I think it's accurate except for leaving out "throwing out the trash, unused tools and furnishings and cleaning out the septic tank"!

wendybar said...

rehajm said...
Nudge Nudge. Know what I mean?

3/4/17, 4:13 PM


Hahahahahah!! I do!! Funny...that was the first thought I had too!!

khesanh0802 said...

@Godfather Speaking of enforcing laws I saw a picture yesterday of the arrivals at Mexico City airport. The caption noted that 500 illegal immigrants are being returned to Mexico per day.

Original Mike said...

One simple example of the inanity of our administrative state.

I am visiting a friend who owns an outpatient GI endoscopy clinic. His waiting room has a water cooler, because it is mandated (whether by the state or the feds I don't know). But his patients are NPO (not allowed to drink because of the procedure they are about to receive). So he puts a big sign on the state-mandated water cooler, "DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!".

Sheer stupidity.

Charlie Martin said...

Sunstein will be punished appropriately.

Mark said...

The real proof of reform will be when Trump vetoes a bill where, instead of a full and complete law, Congress enacts a skeleton with a blank check and tells the unelected and unaccountable administrative agency to fill in the blanks and provide the flesh with a bunch of regulations.

Mark said...

They should abolish agencies' rule-making authority altogether and require that any proposed regs be sent to Congress for approval (rather than our current unconstitutional system of requiring a bill passed by Congress and signed by the president to overrule any regulation issued by the unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy.

Amexpat said...

Getting rid of unneeded regulations and government offices would be great. If Trump were truly serious about this he wouldn't have formed the VOICE office(Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) which duplicates the already existing OVC (Office for victims of Crime).

Jack Wayne said...

Inasmuch as the Federal Register is over one million pages, I suggest that these "reform czars" concentrate on the earliest regulations. I.E., starting with Washington. I expect that many regulations are built in top of others so if they get rid of #1, for example, that may well abrogate thousands of regulations. That would be a Nudge I could respect. But I notice that Sunstein is in favor of a scalpel. Whereas I like the meat axe.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie's description I think is supposed to be a put down...."

No, just pointing out that, as with other elected officials before him, Trump's votes-winning rhetoric will not be manifested in actual rhetoric-matching action, but will be watered-down, compromised, pragmatic. In other words, Trump is a politician, not the anti-politician many of his supporters believed him to be. This is probably to the better for the republic, though only time will tell how well it will satisfy his supporters.

Robert Cook said...

"They should abolish agencies' rule-making authority altogether and require that any proposed regs be sent to Congress for approval...."

This, of course, would that mean that nothing would ever be done, and Washington would be in perpetual deadlock. You might think that would be a good thing, until the deadlock resulted in negative consequences for you and yours.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Mark said..."They should abolish agencies' rule-making authority altogether and require that any proposed regs be sent to Congress for approval..."

Y.E.S.!!! Make the pussies stand by their "laws".

Original Mike said...

"This, of course, would that mean that nothing would ever be done, and Washington would be in perpetual deadlock."

Excellent.

"You might think that would be a good thing, until the deadlock resulted in negative consequences for you and yours."

Negative consequence from NEW laws NOT being passed? Please provide example(s).

Jay Elink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

then why didn't Cass do it when he was in Obama admin?

Jay Elink said...

Cook wrote:

"In other words, Trump is a politician, not the anti-politician many of his supporters believed him to be."

************

Yeah, we've been watching for months, as Trump makes a lot of campaign promises, but the first thing he does in office is not to follow up on them ----oh wait---

Earnest Prole said...

as with other elected officials before him, Trump's votes-winning rhetoric will not be manifested in actual rhetoric-matching action, but will be watered-down, compromised, pragmatic

Exactly. Rhetoric-matching action would be possible if the President were some kind of king with pen and cellphone, unconstrained by our pesky Constitution.

Robert Cook said...

"Yeah, we've been watching for months, as Trump makes a lot of campaign promises, but the first thing he does in office is not to follow up on them ----oh wait---"

What has he done but issue executive orders? They aren't law, but directives to federal agencies. If they aren't supported by statute or the constitution, they can be overturned.

Wait a while before we can see how many of his campaign promises he has kept, and to what unadulterated extent.

Robert Cook said...

"Exactly. Rhetoric-matching action would be possible if the President were some kind of king with pen and cellphone, unconstrained by our pesky Constitution."

This is what his supporters want him to be.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Burn it. Burn it all down.

khesanh0802 said...

@Cookie I am a Trump supporter and definitely do not want Trump to take on the monarchical characteristics of the late unlamented Obama. Trump's EOs have largely been in fulfillment of campaign promises undoing things that Obama did with his pen. So far I have approved. I would much prefer to see the Congress resume it's role as rule maker. First that is the way our system is supposed to work. Second, actually having to promulgate a law that they are accountable for might help legislators to focus on issues that they can successfully affect and stop trying to change the world.

Here's the White House scorecard on what executive orders have been issued so far. I'll leave it to you to compare that with his campaign promises. Many of the EOs are overturning Obama's so you are right that his can be overturned as well. Your point was: Has he begun fulfilling his campaign promises? The answer is yes. As you did yesterday you have raised the issue of action v. promise and when you get an answer yo don't like you move the goal posts; action now must be legislation. Get real!

Fred Drinkwater said...

I've read a lot of Sunstein. I wouldn't trust him with a dime.
His writing reeks of paternalism.

AprilApple said...

Democrats have a bloated corruption problem.

Mr. Majestyk said...

It will all come down to how seriously the heads of agencies take the idea of rolling back regs. We shall see.

Michael K said...

Cookie seems to not understand how the Administrative State has grown.

Regulations are subject to the old Congressional Review Act, which allows regulations to be cancelled within "60 legislative days after a federal agency submits a rule for review. "

It turns out that regulations have NOT been submitted for review since Obama took office. That means that Congress can cancel regulations going back to 2009.

The question is will they ? We'll see.

buwaya said...

Sunstein talked a lot about regulatory reform, without knowing much about actual regulation. When he got a look at the galactic-scale Gordian knots of the actual situation, he emitted ink like the squid he is, and fled back to abstract academia.

The process as defined will not work. The situation is vastly complex, even fractal at the edges. The business of evaluating each "regulation" for impact or value - even the definition of "regulation" is impossible - is humanly unfeasible with any available resources. Especially since every little case will be a battle.

A regulation could be anything in the chain of levels of the system - standards, reporting requirements, compliance procedures, oversight, and then there are handoffs to Quangos and NGOs, and then there are masses of judicial decisions, and then...

It is as I said above, Gordian knot upon Gordian knot, and the closer you look the more smaller and smaller Gordian knots you will find. The only way to reform this, in a manner possible for mere mortals, is to do as Alexander and abolish entire areas at once, and accept the howling.

The Godfather said...

One of the problems is judicial deference to an administrative agency's interpretation of the statute the agency administers. Coupled with the tendency of Congress to enact generalized feel-good statutes, this often gives the agency carte-blanche to impose its own policy preferences on us poor subjects. I would like to see Congress enact a statute requiring that all Congressional delegations to administrative agencies be strictly construed, with no deference to the agency. This could be packaged as a procedural reform, like the Administrative Procedure Act.

Failing that, I wonder if the President could issue an executive order to that effect? After all, under the Constitution aren't the administrative agencies subject to the Chief Executive?

Rusty said...

If anything we need MORE regulations, according to the usual suspects. Can't have you dipshits making decisions on your own. Something might actually get accomplished.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Simplifying/doing away with regulations, while in the long term absolutely the right decision, in the short term is equally hard on the businesses as new regulations are. Because they have to re-write software, etc. due to regulations that have now disappeared. So there is a cost to it.

Karen said...

Deconstruction can also be done with a scalpel rather than a meat axe. It's a good thing Steve Bannon has a tough hide. He's going to need it.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Yes, the action that Cabinet members do (or do not) take in their Departments is what counts. The "pass one, kill two" rule smacks of window dressing. Creating new positions, titles, and committees to reduce bureaucracy is laughable.