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Trump administration’s deregulation will cost $2.1 trillion, with costs of nearly $840 a year for each household over the next two decades

RegulationsThe Trump administration’s deregulation would deprive American consumers and the economy of more than $2.1 trillion in benefits, according to a Public Citizen report released Wednesday. The report shows that the potential losses to the U.S. economy, consumers, and workers exceed any cost savings for regulated industries, highlighting how President Donald Trump’s unpopular war on regulation is the product of corporate lobbying rather than a serious effort to promote economic growth, said Alan Zibel, research director for Public Citizen’s Corporate Presidency Project and author of the report.

Public Citizen’s examination of 13 public protections repealed, delayed, or targeted by the Trump administration found that, on average, more than $105 billion in benefits to society will be lost every year through 2040 if the rules are erased or replaced with less effective alternatives. These at-risk benefits will cost American households nearly $17,000 over the next two decades, or nearly $840 a year. These benefits far exceed the average annual costs of the rules, estimated at nearly $21 billion.

“Trump’s obsession with deregulation is a yuuuge [the way New Yorkers, including Trump, pronounce huge] tax on the same ordinary Americans he claims to represent,” said Alan Zibel. “Trump’s war on regulation will cost American households thousands over the next two decades, and that’s only if we ignore the damages to our well-being and safety that are impossible to quantify.”

Regulatory protections examined in the report include the clean car standards, fiduciary rule, energy-efficient lightbulbs rule, ozone rule, and overtime pay rule, among others. Public Citizen’s findings mostly use the same cost-benefit numbers developed by the Obama administration when the rules were proposed or enacted, rather than the dubious numbers used by the Trump administration to justify their repeals, Zibel said. In some cases, the analysis uses sources that calculate the benefits to consumers, rather than to the entire economy.

“When doing a regulatory cost-benefit analysis, the Trump administration and its corporate allies almost always leave out the benefits side of the ledger – a brazenly dishonest approach designed to paint a badly distorted picture,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

Weissman said the truth is that deregulation is the real threat to the economy, as most Americans have experienced firsthand.

“Wall Street deregulation in the 1990s and 2000s led to the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, which cost Americans up to $14 trillion and killed almost 9 million jobs,” he said.


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