Trends in Government Priorities, 1960 – 2019
Eileen J. O'Connor
A new report – by Susan Dudley of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and Melinda Warren of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis – shows that President Trump plans to increase regulatory activity for border security and immigration in 2019, and to dramatically reduce the budgets of agencies involved in environmental regulation.
Every year, Dudley and Warren track the fiscal budget outlays and personnel devoted to developing and enforcing federal regulations. While these on-budget costs represent only a small fraction of the extent to which regulations burden society, the data in their reports offer useful insights into the growth and composition of regulation since 1960. For example, their data confirm that the last President to emphasize deregulation was Ronald Reagan. Other than a dip in regulatory spending in the early 1980s, however, regulatory agency budgets and staffing have been trending upward.
See their commentary on the new report in The Hill.