About the Problem

Most Americans agree we need common sense rules and regulations to protect citizens, preserve our environment and protect public safety. But the U.S. regulatory system is increasingly complex and incomprehensible and the costs are adding up.


About the Policy

The next president should undertake a comprehensive review of all major federal programs that would be more efficiently and effectively handled by state or local government.

Public Support

81% of All Polled
75% of Democrats
91% of Republicans
77% of Independents

Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

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If you’re reading this in Montana, your commute to work was probably different from someone reading this in Atlanta. And if you’re in Los Angeles as you read this, the local coffee shop whose drink you’re sipping is likely run much differently than the one serving our readers in Concord, New Hampshire.

That states and municipalities face different demographic, economic and even legal realities is common knowledge, but little attention is paid to how federal regulations impact Americans living in those vastly different communities.

The American regulatory code is massive and growing. Since 1950 the Code of Federal Regulations has grown to over 175,000 pages. The code is becoming so large and complex that experts believe government officials can be barred from acting sensibly.

As the code grows and grows, the merits of laws and regulations are subject recall debates introduced in the Federalist Papers: who knows our needs best, our national legislators or our locally elected officials?

Many, if not most of our national laws apply to all of us equally, and suit us all equally well, but in an effort to make the Federal Code more effective, legislators should look for opportunities to transfer nation-wide regulations to the hands of states or municipalities.

Though issues like civil liberties and access to public utilities are quite obviously suited for federal jurisdiction, topics like education or small business development may need better tailoring to communities and could possibly be better regulated by states.