NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Bush Administration's More Prudent Regulatory Philosophy

August 3, 2001

Rather than battering the private sector with command-and-control regulations, the Bush administration is following a more moderate and measured course, political observers note. Costs versus benefits are being weighed and compared to a much greater extent than during the Clinton presidency.

Just as district attorneys decide which crimes to emphasize and how aggressively to enforce them, individual agencies are doing the same thing.

  • In the field of health care, over-zealous enforcement of rules against fraud by participants in Medicare and Medicaid programs which characterized the Clinton approach has been replaced with more reasoned and practical approaches.
  • Following complaints from some banks that money-laundering regulations were too burdensome, the Treasury Department is considering ways to lower the number of currency transaction reports they must file on cash deposits exceeding $10,000 -- perhaps by granting more waivers for regular customers not considered money-laundering risks.
  • At the Federal Communications Commission, Bush regulators are backing away from a number of Clinton-era requirements that appeared to be excessive and costly to telecommunications companies.
  • In the labor arena, Clintonian favoritism toward unions and a "gotcha" style of regulating are being replaced with the practice of helping companies comply with the laws.

Source: John Harwood and Kathy Chen, "Under President Bush, Regulatory Rollback Has a Major Impact," Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2001.

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