Casey Mulligan on Trump versus Reagan
By David Henderson
University of Chicago economics professor Casey Mulligan, fresh off his one-year stint as chief economist with President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, has an interesting comparison of Trump vs. Reagan on economic deregulation.
Here’s the opening:
Thanks to a book written in 1986 by former Reagan CEA member William Niskanen, it is easy for an economist from the Trump CEA to rigorously compare economic policies and processes between the two presidents. On these pages I will compare regulation, trade, tax, spending/deficit, and “draining the swamp.” I will also look at policy processes and personalities.
The results surprised me and will likely surprise readers too. The amount of deregulation in health, banking, environment, and employment is far greater during the Trump years than the Reagan years. Telecommunications were deregulated by both presidents, but probably more so during the Trump years. Natural gas may be a deregulatory area where President Reagan exceeded, although it seems clear that natural gas benefits were not enough to outweigh the deregulatory benefits generated in the other areas during the Trump years.
The whole thing is interesting. His comparison on trade is yet to come. I expect that Trump will look way worse, but maybe Casey will surprise me. I always said, looking at Reagan’s record, that on trade, Reagan talked a good game but it was mostly talk. Maybe Casey will fill in the reasoning on that.