Trump’s State of the Union Fiction About Regulation Debunked

Jan. 29, 2018

Contact: David Rosen, drosen@citizen.org, (202) 588-7742
Michell McIntyre, mmcintyre@citizen.org, (202) 454-5156

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump is expected to repeat many of his most frequent fabrications about regulation, and in anticipation, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards released a one-page fact sheet today debunking these misleading claims. The goal is to help reporters, policy advocates and voters push back against this misinformation and correct the record.

The administration’s deregulatory agenda endangers us all and is setting the stage for large-scale disasters that could devastate communities and disrupt the lives of millions of Americans, the coalition maintains. This agenda is premised on a series of misstatements and inaccuracies that reporters should not allow to go unchallenged. The one-pager shows that:

  • The benefits of regulation to the public vastly outweigh the hyped-up costs to industry;
  • The vast majority of federal regulations are not contested by anyone;
  • The cost savings from regulations repealed and rulemakings withdrawn by the Trump administration aren’t even a drop in the bucket compared to the size of our economy;
  • Deregulation kills jobs by letting big corporations recklessly endanger our economy; and
  • Deregulation imposes enormous costs and burdens on regular Americans.

Arguably the biggest lie of all was Trump’s campaign pledge to drain the swamp. Instead, his administration has allowed big corporations to capture federal agencies in an unprecedented fashion. Senior political appointees at nearly every federal agency have come straight from the industries they are supposed to be regulating, and some agency heads were picked on the basis of their opposition to the agencies they’re now directing.

“The regulatory protections the Trump administration has rolled back, delayed and abandoned not only save lives, prevent injuries, stop consumer rip-offs and protect our planet, they make our economy stronger,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen and chair of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards. “Trump’s deregulatory agenda has nothing to do with aiding the economy and everything to do with enabling big corporations to prey on and endanger the public in service of their single-minded, short-term focus on profits.”

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