Regulatory Reform


"A necessary condition of a healthy economy is freedom from the petty tyranny of massive government regulation. We are wasting literally millions of working hours costing billion of consumer's dollars because of bureaucratic red tape."

President Gerald R. Ford

State of The Union Message, 1976

One of the major goals President Ford has set for his administration is to cut big Government down to size, ". . . to make it more manageable, more responsive, more efficient, and less costly."

The President has been particularly concerned over the need for reform of regulatory agencies which over the years have intruded to an increasing degree into the lives of the individual and of businessmen. There are now more than 5100 Federal forms that have to be filled out by individuals and businesses at all levels, from the small businessman to the large corporation. President Ford has said that:

". . . Although most of today's regulations affecting business are well-intentioned, their effect, whether designed to protect the environment or the consumer, often does more harm than good. They can stifle the growth of our standard of living and contribute to inflation . . . "

There are four principle [principal] objectives of President Ford's regulatory reform program which can be summarized as follows:

1. To benefit consumers by encouraging increased competition;

2. To increase understanding of the costs of regulations;

3. To improve methods of achieving the objectives of regulation;

4. And, to substitute increased antitrust enforcement for administrative regulation.

To reform regulation of the transportation industry, President Ford's Administration developed landmark legislative proposals:

Other Administration legislative initiatives have been passed by the Congress and signed by the President:

To assist him in carrying out his regulatory reforms, President Ford has already appointed new chairmen for ten of the twelve independent and regulatory agencies -- Civil Aeronautics Board, Federal Trade Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Maritime Commission, National Labor Relations Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Federal Trade Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, charging each with the task of revitalizing and modernizing the procedures of their agencies.

In October 1974, President Ford initiated his reform program by asking Congress to sponsor jointly a National Commission on Regulatory Reform to study the problems of Government regulation; but so far, the Congress has taken no action. The President knows that the nation can't wait for the Congress to move, so he has undertaken his own independent actions. Since taking office, President Ford has:

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