Sarah Sanders kicked off a crowded White Hose briefing with an introduction to, Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney efficiently outlined what the Trump administration’s ambitious economic plans are. Utilizing two screens, “MAGANOMICS” (a play on Make America Great Again) was displayed as he explained the term embodies a “unifying theme of just about everything that we do” economically; Mulvaney expressed his confidence that a 3% economic growth yield could be achieved under this administration. Read the transcript from Mulvaney’s full discussion below:
Thirty-five years ago, the situation the country was in had some similarities to where we were as we ended the Obama administration. Things were kind of rough. I was in the home building business. My dad was; I was only 13 at the time. And I remember what it was like. We had stagflation, we had malaise, we had all these challenges that the country faced economically.
And in response to that, Ronald Reagan came out with Reaganomics — a term, by the way, that I’m not even sure he created. I think his opposition used that as a derogatory term to begin with, but it came to be associated with his presidency.
And I think if we look back on it, we know what its basic, fundamental tenets were. It was a monetary policy to fix inflation, tax cuts, spending restraints, and a little bit of regulatory relief.
Fast-forward to where we are today, here we are. It’s been more than 10 years since our last year of a really healthy American economy, which we define as greater than 3 percent — or 3 percent growth. And we think it’s time for the next iteration of that, the next plan. And that is what we’ve put together as MAGAnomics. It’s supposed to be this unifying theme of just about everything that we do.
You all have seen me up here before, when we walk through the budget. You say, “Mulvaney, why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?” And I talked about the importance of getting back to 3 percent growth.
I talked about the historical importance of that, the historical achievability of that — about how if you’re 30 years old in this country, you’ve never had a job during your adult lifetime, in a healthy American economy, and you think that 1.9 or 2.1 or 2.5 percent growth is typical, and it doesn’t have to be. It’s not.
I remember in the mid-1990s, when I had my first real job — if I had been fired, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal because I knew I could go find something else, because you could do that in a healthy economy. I actually ended up quitting my job so that I could start my own business, because you know you can do that in a healthy economy.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been there. And our fear is that if we don’t get back there quickly, there will be people who never know what 3 percent means. There will be people who have forgotten what 3 percent can be like. And I don’t think it should come as a surprise that there are some people who don’t want you to remember what 3 percent growth would be like, because it would be a tremendous sort of damnation of what happened in the previous administration.
So, what is MAGAnomics? It is tax reform. It is, what we’re calling the “regulatory accountability project” — regulatory accountability project. It’s longer, but it’s at least a little bit more descriptive than “unified agenda.” Took me about six months here to figure out what the unified agenda was. And they told me, and I said, what is it really? And they said, well, it’s a way to bring to some accountability to regulations. I said, great, it’s now the regulatory accountability project.
Energy dominance is part of this. Welfare reform is part of this. Infrastructure is part of this. Our trade policies is part of this. Even the spending restraint that we tried to introduce in the budget is part of this. All of those things are designed towards one common end, and that is 3 percent sustained economic growth in this country again. We’ve done it before. In fact, we’ve always done it. The last 10 years was the first time we have not been able to do it, I think, ever. We can do it again. We absolutely fully believe that.
And I want to talk a little bit today about one piece of that, which is our deregulatory agenda. The regulatory accountability project — used to be called the unified agenda — released — last night? Today?
CZWARTACKI: This morning.
MULVANEY: This morning. When the President came into office, he gave me some pretty specific instructions over the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs — what we call OIRA — O-I-R-A — part of OMB. In fact, I still think OMB should be called OMBRA — the Office of Management and Budget and Regulatory Affairs. That’s how important it is to us. That’s the priority that the President has set for it over at OMB. He said, look, get over there and tell everybody at all the agencies that we’re on a two-for-one policy on new regs.
You cannot put out a new reg until you get two old regs off the books. That was our two-for-one policy. He also said — and no new burden. No new financial burden. If you come out with a new reg that raises the burdens on the private sector by a dollar, you got to go find me a reg you get rid of to reduce that burden by a dollar. So, zero net impact on the regulatory financial burden in this country.
This is our first chance today to sort of get a temperature check on how we are doing on that. So the goal is two-for-one. When it comes to major actions — we’re at 16 to 1. Sixteen major deregulatory actions in the first six months of this administration. There’s one new one. Is anybody going to guess what it is? Does somebody know? No dentists here? You know what it is? Yes. The dental amalgam rule. Apparently we’re now regulating something to do with the stuff we put in our teeth when we get —
RESPONSE: Mercury and waste water.
MULVANEY: There you go. All right? So that’s the only significant new reg we put out in the first six months. We’ve gotten rid of 16. Twelve of those are CRAs you’re probably familiar with, and four of them have gone through the agency process and so forth.
But it doesn’t — it’s not just those big ones, okay? The number that I use — 860 regulatory actions removed or withdrawn — 860.
By the way, I asked for a list of them, and I got news for you: None of them are very sexy. None of them are very glamorous. None of them really rise to the level of getting national attention. But think about that — 860 of them. I describe it as that — sort of that slow accretion, that slow cancer that can come from regulatory burdens that we put on our people.
Ryan Zinke, over at the Department of Interior, has already made some changes on how they streamline the paperwork for outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen — people who want to go out in our national parks. That’s really small. We know that. It’s not going to change the world. But when you do that 860 times in the first six months, it can have a benefit. Plus, if you’re a citizen and you’re not out there and it’s now easier for you to use the national parks, to use our public lands, that’s got to have a positive impact on you. We think that it does.
By the way, of the 860, and this is one that I think — I don’t think anybody knows about this because I didn’t know about it until about 24 hours ago. The Obama administration had a secret list of regs. Back in 2011, they were doing their unified agenda. They had a bunch of things that they wanted to regulate. And what we’re hearing is that they just didn’t want to tell you about it. They thought it would be bad for their reelection prospects in 2012, so they created a secret list of regs that were not disclosed to you folks, and we are disclosing it.
And by the way, when we threatened to disclose it, a lot of the agencies came up with those 860 things that we got rid of. So there will be no more of that, by the way. There will be none of that in this administration. We will not have a secret list. We will not have a hidden list of regulations that we’re thinking about doing but we’re not going to tell you about. That’s going to end effective immediately. In fact, it has already ended. We’re not going to do that anymore.
By the way, where’s my stack? So I’d love a little graphics. This is the last week of the Obama administration — the regs put out by the Obama administration in their last week in office. This is ours from our first week in office. I can’t lift both of those together, can I? I don’t think I can.
In the last six months here, the Obama administration put on over $6 billion in new regulatory burden. The last six months, just over $6 billion. We had zero. In the first five months in their administration back in 2009, they had over $3 billion of new regs. We cleared the decks of $22 million of regs. So we actually went the other way.
So I cannot express to you enough how much things have changed when it comes to the regulatory burden, the attitudes towards regulations in this country, and you’re just going to see more of that for the next eight years.