Confidence among chief executives of U.S.-based companies — and relative to other CEOs around the world — just experienced one of the largest single-quarter gains in history, up by 4.2 points in the quarterly YPO Global Pulse survey. Why? By now it's easy to just say "Trump." Here's an underappreciated part of that business optimism story.
Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation that's adopted, two old ones must be scrapped. This goes a step further than Canada's One-for-One Rule, implemented in 2012. It managed to save Canadian businesses more than $22 million and 290,000 compliance hours between 2012 and 2014 alone, according to the Government of Canada.
Such a rule has been long overdue in U.S. regulations — or indirect taxation, as I call them — which often stand in the way of growth and create economic friction. The libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates that the annual cost of regulations amounts to a jaw-dropping $1.9 trillion, a figure that in 2014 exceeded the $1.7 trillion collected in federal income taxes.