Bureaucracy: Some rules are made to be tossed out

Last month, President Donald Trump issued an order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one they establish. It was in keeping with his pledge to reduce the cost and intrusiveness of government.

But, two organizations and a labor union have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the order. It is unconstitutional, they insist. It is not.

According to the lawsuit, Trump’s order will repeal rules needed to protect the environment, along with the health and safety of Americans. But look back at what Trump did not do: He did not order any specific regulation be repealed. It is impossible to say, one way or another, how the mandate will affect health, safety and environmental protections.

Trump’s order also said agencies cannot create new net costs for companies or consumers. This goes further than even Ronald Reagan’s admonition that costs of any “significant” new rule — $100 million or more — could not outweigh its benefits.

In fact, a memo from Trump’s Office of Management and Budget instructs agencies to look at the “opportunity cost of regulation” — sales and economic growth a new regulation might prevent, according to “Bloomberg Business Week.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are claiming, in essence, that every rule on the books, no matter the cost or benefit, is absolutely vital to our well-being. That is the definition of a bureaucracy run wild.