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Thu May 28, 2020, 11:43 PM

Trump is all about deregulation -- except when it comes to his enemies

Source: Washington Post

Trump is all about deregulation — except when it comes to his enemies

By Catherine Rampell
Columnist
5/28/2020, 7:28:14 p.m.

Deregulation always, promises President Trump. Unless of course it comes to his political enemies.

Furious that Twitter deigned to fact-check him, Trump has threatened “big action” against the company, including through an executive order signed Thursday. He accused social media platforms of silencing conservatives and vowed to “strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”

Constitutional scholars point out that shuttering a private firm for producing speech the president dislikes would violate the First Amendment. Notably, it also contradicts a core plank of his economic agenda: reducing burdensome government interventions and regulations, wherever possible.

White House aides love to brag that Trump’s regulatory rollbacks have unshackled entrepreneurs and boosted the economy. They’re always a little vague on details, alas; they have yet to explain how allowing power plants to dump more arsenic into the water supply or legalizing a pesticide that gives children brain damage (yes, these are real Trump administration rules) is likely to turbocharge economic growth.

That’s because the pretense was nonsense from the start. Trump’s regulatory agenda was never about helping the economy; it was always about rewarding friends and punishing enemies. White House officials have weaponized the “administrative state” they claim to hate and have repeatedly tried to strangle disfavored groups with regulations and red tape.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-all-about-deregulation--except-when-it-comes-to-his-enemies/2020/05/28/dcfb9638-a116-11ea-b5c9-570a91917d8d_story.html

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