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Peeling back Obama's 'onion': It's going to take time

| Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

The good news is that President Donald Trump has begun to peel back the massive regulatory onion that the Obama administration dumped on the economy. The bad news is that an effective rollback could take considerable time.

Last year alone Team Obama issued more than 3,800 rules. Just the so-called “midnight” regulations issued near the end of Barack Obama's presidency cost an estimated $157 billion, according to the American Action Forum.

Under an executive order by Mr. Trump, every new regulation proposed by a federal agency, such as the Labor Department, has to be followed by eliminating two existing regulations, The Washington Times reports. Trouble is, it's the type of rules, not just the sheer volume of regulations cut, that matters.

“It is important to focus on eliminating the equivalent regulatory burden rather than a specific number of regulations,” says Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under Trump's order, government agencies will have a “cost cap” set by the Office of Management and Budget; agencies will be barred from issuing new rules after reaching their caps.

Naturally, liberal elites insist that the regulatory rollback will wreak havoc; some advocacy groups are suing the Trump administration over the president's executive order. But for all their hand-wringing, nothing's going to happen overnight.

After all, it took Mr. Obama years to build up this veritable mountain of federal red tape.

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