When President Donald Trump declared his plan to cut regulations down to a pre-1960s level, the world just scoffed. Then, he proceeded to cut through so much red tape, it was hard for Americans to keep track of what was coming and going.
Repealing regulations can save the government millions in time and energy. However, it can also affect your money and livelihood in a big way. Exactly how many regulations has Donald Trump either eliminated or stopped from being fully implemented during his time in office? And what does that mean for you? Let’s find out.
How many regulations has Trump cut?
How many regulations has the Trump administration cut? Coming up with a solid number isn’t easy. The White House boasts the elimination of 22 rules for every new rule enacted, which results in $8.1 billion in lifetime savings via 67 regulatory cuts. They also tout a number as high as 1,500. Critics deem that number fake news as it pertains to other rules and regulations that have not been officially taken off the books, but rather withdrawn, delayed. or marked as pending.
Still, there’s no doubt President Trump has wasted little time doubling-down on his attack on costly regulations on everything from climate change to financial transactions. Eliminating these policies and enacting new ones are sure to have a lasting effect on you. Here are some of the biggest regulations Donald Trump has cut, and how they impact you.
Next: This rule affected how you used the internet.
1. Net neutrality
One of the most controversial regulations is the open-internet repeal otherwise known as “net neutrality.” The Federal Communications Commission reversed Obama-era protections barring internet providers from blocking or slowing down internet access. It also eliminated the rule that prohibits providers from prioritizing their own content for profit. Obviously, providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable are against this regulation that precedes price controls and affects business.
What this means for you: This repeal has consumers worried about more than just their streaming capabilities. Critics say that a lack of net neutrality regulations will make it harder for new providers to compete. The telecom industry says getting rid of net neutrality will actually encourage innovation. Providers support the repeal since they want fewer rules and regulations that affect their bottom line. That, in turn, could potentially change your internet experience, like this one.
Next: How well do you know your retirement?
2. The fiduciary rule
One of President Obama’s initiatives, the new fiduciary rule was supposed to ensure financial advisors adhere to an “impartial conduct standard.” This means they must only charge reasonable fees, avoid misleading statements, and provide advice that is in the best interest of the investor. For example, say an advisor moves you from a low-cost 401(k) to a more expensive IRA. He must justify his fee to remain compliant with reasoning and pricing disclosures, especially since IRA rollovers out of retirement plans are usually pretty profitable for advisors and their firms. The new rule was supposed to take effect in June 2017, but it has been delayed until 2019.
What this means for you: Many believe implementing this rule will help protect American’s retirement accounts. However, it could also create a more complicated and in-depth relationship with your financial advisor. Senior policy analyst Duane Thompson tells CNBC, “In order to demonstrate compliance with the standard under the new rule, advisors will have to develop a paper trail.” As a result, you may pay higher fees as advisors begin to review your all your accounts more holistically to better serve you. Whether this rule will ever take effect now is up in the air.
Next: What about workplace safety?
3. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule
The Trump Administration also pushed forward with canceling the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. This rule barred companies with a history of wage, labor, and workplace safety violations from earning federal contracts valued at $500,000 or more. Sean Spicer said in USA Today, “The rule simply made it too easy for trial lawyers to go after American companies and American workers who contract with the federal government.” They argue this puts profitable businesses on an unfair “blacklist” and blocks their chances for a contract.
What this means for you: Service providers bidding on federal contracts are not required to disclose recent labor law violations that may hinder their chances for money. The rule is also more lenient on paycheck transparency and forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination claims. How this will affect working environments moving forward isn’t yet clear. However, many worry this regulation cut was one giant step backward for workplace protections.
Next: A change in how servers get paid.
4. The tip-pooling rule
The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule allowing workplaces to share tips among more employees, meaning employers could gather all tips and disperse them among workers each day regardless of job title. This aims to decrease wage disparities between tipped and non-tipped workers. Currently, a controversial 2011 rule restricts that option. Should employers decide to tip pool, back house employees, such as cooks and dishwashers, would receive a share of tips received by servers and bartenders.
What this means for you: Some worry that tip pooling makes it easier for companies to steal from their employees, while servers and bartenders — who’s primary income is tipped income — could see a drastic decrease in wages. Then again, other employees stand to profit since they’ll get access to tips they arguably influence during shifts. All tipped employees should pay attention to how this rule would affect their wages moving forward if your employer decides to engage in tip-pooling.
Next: A change in how people sue banks
5. The CFPB arbitration rule
Trump also killed a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau arbitration rule that banned companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses that allowed consumers to engage in class action lawsuits. The now-overturned rule mainly impacted consumer credit card companies and bank accounts that place arbitration clauses in contracts that prevent consumers from collectively suing them for wrongdoing.
What this means for you: Former CFPB Director Richard Cordray fought the repeal, saying ordinary people will lose their voice to speak out against companies. “This rule is all about protecting people who simply want to be able to take action together to right the wrongs done to them. When people are wronged or cheated, they deserve the chance to pursue their legal rights.”
On the other hand, supporters view this as a victory for the everyday consumer and the economy. Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika said the repeal protects “Consumers and small and midsize banks by repealing a rule that would have cost millions, paved a path to expensive frivolous lawsuits, and lined the pockets of trial lawyers.”
Next: More power for police officers
6. Transfer of surplus military equipment to local police
More than $5 billion in surplus gear such as grenade launchers and armored vehicles have been transferred to law enforcement agencies since 1990. Obama issued an order banning the sale of surplus military equipment to police forces after unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015. Trump plans to scrap the restriction to hopefully increase safety in local communities.
What this means for you: The National Sheriffs’ Association says having equipment such as Kevlar vests, upgraded safety equipment, helicopters, and robotics will “Provide more resources to local law enforcement to keep their communities safe without any additional cost to the tax-payer.” The Justice Department cites papers explaining that “For every $5,800 in military aid given to law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program, society saved about $112,000 in costs due to prevented crime.”
Next: A climate change conundrum
7. The Clean Power Plan
The Trump administration is making moves to kill the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature climate change policy finalized in 2015. The goal was to limit power plant emissions by switching to natural gas, wind, and solar. It also made it even harder to build new coal plants in the U.S. moving forward. Americans are increasingly concerned with the environment. Some worry this repeal will make it impossible to lower greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2025, as previously promised. It also sparks speculation about the country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement
What this means for you: Though the Trump administration hasn’t yet officially repealed the plan, doing so could affect jobs, health, and climate change. Critics of the Clean Power Plan says it takes away potential coal mining jobs, and that repealing the plan would net $33 billion in savings by not complying with the regulations enforced during the Obama administration. Supporters say repealing this plan would be disastrous for both our climate and health.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.
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