Trump has been occupying the White House for 324 days, and with zero legislative wins, he has taken to making grandiose, fictitious claims to try to counter the optics of abject failure. Now he’s claiming historic presidential prowess with his sweeping regulation cutbacks, but even that has been shown as an exaggerated unsubstantiated claim in a report from Bloomberg.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ claimed nearly 1,000 cut-backs were coming, which will go down in history as on par with from former Press Secretary Spicer’s claim that Trump inauguration had the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.”
“In the history of our country, no president, during their entire term, has cut more regulations than we’ve cut,” President Donald Trump said last month.
White House reporter for Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs, commented on the new report:
Is the Trump admin really killing nearly 1,000 regulations?
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) December 11, 2017
From the Washington Post:
[Trump] said he’d cut more regulations than any president other than Abraham Lincoln and would be cutting more every week. “Honest Abe Lincoln, he was a regulation guy,” Trump says. “Abe Lincoln was a regulation cutter. Can you believe that?”
Trump likes to conjure comparisons to Abraham Lincoln, who he acclaims for cutting government regulations. Now he’s trying to say he’s exceeded Lincoln already in the deregulation department, but the truth is what you’d expect: Trump is a blowhard.
Bloomberg reports that there is “only a handful of regulations have actually been taken off the books,” due to laws that serve as a check to sweeping changes by new administrations. Hundreds of regulations Trump would like to take credit for shelving were already shelved or hadn’t made their way “through the machinery of government.”
“Of the 469 regulatory actions the Trump administration said it had “withdrawn” this year, 42 percent were as good as dead already.”
Even in the cases where Trump has succeeded to cut regulations if you look at how those regulations intended to help protect the environment or the American people, it’s clear his “win” in cut-backs is actually extremely dangerous –an outright assault on the majority of Americans.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) noted that in the case removing a regulation on transporting oil by train, it actually endangers whole communities:
This is outrageous. The Trump Admin is once again willing to sacrifice the safety of Americans in the name of undoing regulations. This is a senseless decision that endangers our communities by making oil by rail transportation less safe. pic.twitter.com/VWzXEHk1Ez
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) December 8, 2017
The Brookings Institution lists only 12 existing rules that were already removed or rewritten since Trump took office. When you read this list of what those rules were in place for, it’s clear this is not a “win” for any sane rational person.
Here’s a short-list of a few of these rules that were delayed, or repealed:
- Rescission of a rule requiring coal-burning power plants to reduce carbon emissions.
- Nullification of a rule allowing class action lawsuits against banks and credit card companies to resolve financial disputes.
- Nullification of a rule requiring internet service providers to explicitly obtain customers’ approval to use and share their information.
- Withdrawal of guidances concerning sexual assault on college campuses.
- Delayed: A rule expanding the rights of defrauded students seeking federal student loan debt relief.
- Nullification of a rule to improve federal contractor compliance with labor laws.
- Nullification of a rule prohibiting the possession of firearms by the mentally ill.
- A rule loosening the standards for occupational exposure to toxic beryllium in the shipyard and construction sectors.
- Withdrawal of guidances concerning transgender student rights by the Secretary of Education.
Though Trump can’t honestly take as many credits as he’d like for rescinding regulations in 2017, in the cases where he was able to do so, what he did is clearly not something to brag about. Certainly, it isn’t a valid reason to make a comparison to Abraham Lincoln. With Trump, the Republican party has taken itself so far below the bar set by past Republican presidents that they are now virtually unrecognizable. Apparently tearing apart and degrading our government and then sickly calling that a win is the best Republicans can offer in 2017.
One area the Republicans can perhaps validly claim they did something is in electing Mencken’s moron.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken
In the short video below, you can see that he considered himself “more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office, that I can tell you,” he told a rally of supporters in Ohio in July.
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube