Last week I presented twelve ideas for a domestic economic policy Republican vision for a Bush second term. I appreciate all those who wrote with additional ideas, or who suggested they might write in my name for President.
I will add one additional proposal:
13. Cut the number of pages in the daily Federal Register by half.
The American economy is drastically overregulated. But do not get me wrong here. I do not wish to gut important environmental regulations, many of which supply valuable public goods. To take one example, my benefits from the ban on low-quality gasoline probably exceed the costs I pay for all other regulations. Try spending a week in Mexico City in December if you are not convinced.
But I do wish to gut the median regulation issued by the Department of Agriculture, or by the Federal Communications Commission, to name two examples. Browse through a typical issue of the Federal Register to find other candidates for elimination.
It is fair to ask where I would make regulation stronger. First, I would do more to tax pollution. Taxes on purely productive activities should be correspondingly lower.
Animal cruelty also leaps to mind; currently we do very little to limit cruelty to animals in factory farms. I don’t take an extreme animal rights point of view, but animals do count for something. There are billions of them held in captivity, and our treatment of them counts as a great shame.