Channeling Reagan by Executive Order

President Obama famously boasted that he would use his “pen and phone” to enact his agenda if Congress did not go along. Indeed, the Obama administration has been characterized by aggressive executive actions that blur the lines of the separation of powers—and not just according to Republicans. Yet, if the “pen and phone” can expand government, there are also aggressive steps that can be taken to check the regulatory state’s expansion. To that end, the next president can limit the scope of future government growth by using a number of tools, such as an executive order similar to one issued by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Regulators can, and should, be regulated. The next administration will need to set the momentum for regulatory reform.

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