“Drain the swamp!” It was the battle cry of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Many Republican members of Congress echoed that call as well, riding it to victory—and control of both legislative chambers.

The American people rallied around the cry because it reinforced their impression of what Washington had become: a swamp infested with special-interest groups and power-hungry bureaucrats.

They rallied, too, because it held the promise of getting our country back on track—by reforming the tax code, repealing Obamacare, cutting spending, and eliminating the needless red tape that stifles entrepreneurship and innovation.

But more than five months into the new Congress and the new administration, precious little draining has occurred. The delay in action is not only frustrating, it’s expensive: With the promised reforms, the U.S. could have created as much as $5 billion per day in economic output. If nothing changes, the swamp will end up costing more than 2 million prospective jobs over the next decade.

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Elites argue that piles of regulations and special rules keep everyone safe. But most Americans understand that these policies serve mainly to enrich special interests and keep upstart entrepreneurs from gaining a foothold.

All the regulation keeps new businesses from offering innovative goods and services at lower prices.

All too often, these regulatory schemes not only fail to protect consumers—they create huge problems, like financial crises and housing busts. And then the elites point to the problems as proof of the need for even further governmental intervention.

The bailouts lead to new programs and federal agencies and, of course, even more rules.

But most Americans don’t want more government. Rather, they want relief from big government so that they can make their own decisions and improve their own communities.

There is plenty of evidence that people thrive more under limited government than under a vastly more intrusive government.

Had the U.S. economy simply stayed on the same trend during the Obama years that it had followed over the previous 25 years, gross domestic product per person would be nearly 10 percent higher than it is now.

Instead, after years of ever-expanding government control and regulation, the economy dropped off a cliff in 2008.

Just getting back on the previous trend would be great, but Americans can do much better. At least three major reforms are now possible that can unleash the power of the American economy.

•Repeal Obamacare: A study by the National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that repealing Obamacare would provide a boost to real GDP of more than 1 percent per year over the next decade.

Based on these projections, personal income would increase by hundreds of billions annually, and the economy would add nearly 1 million jobs by the end of the decade.

A simple division by the number of days suggests that the cost of inaction is nearly $500 million per day in lost output. In terms of jobs, this could translate into as many as 250 lost jobs per day (a relatively small number unless one of those jobs is yours).

• Shrink Regulation: Admittedly, this is a herculean task. The federal government has been burdening people with innovation-killing rules for decades, and it is difficult to estimate the economic effects of a broad deregulation effort.

Two Heritage Foundation scholars have estimated the economic impact of reducing just one of the likely effects of Dodd-Frank: excess borrowing costs.

Their study projects that removing these excess costs would grow the GDP by more than 1 percent per year for the next decade, and boost capital stock by nearly 3 percent per year. Inaction on Dodd-Frank costs another $500 million per day.

 Reform the Tax Code: Estimates of tax reform benefits vary widely because there are so many ways to improve the U.S. tax system, but several plans are currently taking shape.

The Tax Foundation studied the House Republican plan and found that it would increase the long-run size of the economy (in terms of GDP) by more than 9 percent. It also projected that the Rubio-Lee plan would grow the economy by 15 percent over the long run.

Trump’s plan is not fully detailed yet, but a decent guess is that the benefits would be somewhere near these projections.

The increase in jobs, wages, and wealth from growing the economy through these types of tax reforms would be enormous. The cost of waiting on just tax reform can be conservatively estimated as approaching $2 billion per day in lost output.

Repealing Obamacare, rolling back the regulatory state, and implementing pro-growth tax reform would be a big shot in the arm to the U.S. economy. Over the next decade, the cumulative effect of making just those three reforms could boost GDP anywhere from $8 trillion to $18 trillion.

That translates to a cost of between roughly $2 billion and $5 billion for each day that Americans are denied these reforms. In terms of lost jobs, waiting costs nearly 1,000 jobs per day.

Some have said that because any legislative action taken this year wouldn’t take effect until at least Jan. 1, 2018, it doesn’t matter if it happens now or in September. False: The sooner investors and entrepreneurs can see the changes on the horizon, the quicker they can begin taking actions that benefit the economy.

A filled swamp is expensive to maintain. The American people are waiting for Congress to drain it. And they should expect their elected representatives to stay in Washington and make the real changes they were elected to do.

This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times

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Comments (15)

Bette Schaffel - July 14, 2017

Your asked that I share my thoughts on Ed Feulner’s column on draining the swamp.

I say that Republicans lied on repeal of Ocare. They are weak, inaffective and not deserving of our votes, with the rare exception a few thoughtful conservatives. To say I am disgusted with the R/s is mild and that is on only one issue. I imagine I could write a book about their failings. The preservation of our constitutional government is the last thing on their self centered minds.

Mark Koch - July 14, 2017

Arrest all involved during the Obama era for doing everything to destroy our country and shred our Constitution which they swore to uphold! Then remove their citizenship and deport them to any communist country of their choice! Then devolve the public school system and eliminate the teachers union and privatize our school system. Then have term limits and no pension plan or the fully insured benefit package they currently enjoy. They should never be allowed better benefits than their constituents!!!

Marilyn Kirkwold - July 14, 2017

Republicans act like they are the losers in the last election. They are afraid to take a stand–very afraid of all the false accusations of the Democrats. Seems only a few Conservatives are will to do anything. Too many seem to be only concerned with themselves. We need term limits! We also need for congress to have to live with the laws they pass! Please quit acting like losers!

Richard Singletary - July 14, 2017


Ronald Syren - July 14, 2017

Great to see you back. I certainly appreciate the personal and direct communicating that I again can enjoy. Your acumen of the issues, all so very important is appreciated and needed.

Ragnar Liljequist - July 14, 2017

one six-year term limit with no perks for both legislatures should drain the swamp and all its related corruption.

Mark Christensen - July 14, 2017

Hi Christie,
Thank you for your Email, as a long Standing Platinum member, I am looking forward to this segment of Hannity.

Gene Haberstock - July 14, 2017

The Republicans do not understand that they won the election. They do not know how to govern and the Democrats continue to be the guiding force in Washington. When are the Republicans going to get their act together? It is time to stop listening to the media and start doing what they were promising to do. Repeal Obamacare and then get us back to pre Obamacare with improvements and no government interference.

Peter R. Mare - July 14, 2017

President Trump is not a Republican. He is not a Democrat. President Trump is a N.Y.C. Street Fighter Of The 50’s. My wife, Terry, & I understand him because he is our age, (we are 3 years older) & we had to use common sense in growing up in East New York & Arthur Ave. Soros-Rothchild, Rockefeller, Ford, & Bildenburgh fund ISIS & Intafa. In order for our President to defeat the “Brutus” Assassins that call themselves Republicans are on Globalism’s side, Government must be shut down.
Yes! We must encourage our President to refuse to extend our borrowing limit unless his budget, is passed in full along with the extension. If that does not happen. VETO SHUT IT DOWN

Nancy Beutel - July 14, 2017

I appreciate all that we can glean from the wisdom, courage and watchfulness of Ed F, and I too am glad you are back, Sir! You oversee an astonishing array of scholars providing research into topics we would do well to consider. Indeed if your readers ignore the findings of Heritage we will be unprepared to do our duty. You furnish several disturbing facts here and sound the alarm to make us aware of the perils of complacency. Thank you!

The planned “draining” is a worthy and complex enterprise, promising great rewards, and I heartily endorse all such efforts. Especially, as the damaging leaks must originate in these pockets of resistance that must be drained away.

But now, when it comes to defining “Swamp” it would seem prudent to consider the spiritual dimension of this all-out war that we are waging. Who can deny we are locked in an unseen war for the soul of our nation? This is a war not of our making but which has been pitched against all who value their liberty under God, and the rule of law, unwavering adherence to founding prinicples of freedom and justice for all. Firing half the federal bureaucracy would be a start.

The Swamp out there encompasses people in all walks of life, it is composed of people beholden to an agenda originating in the Pit that Deceives, Divides, and Destroys. This agenda unfolds in subtle deceptions, by first beguiling then trapping its adherents into servile compliance. Eventually thus steeped in a sort of militant intolerance for anything outside the received agenda, deprived of their powers of reason, these Orc-like perpetrators of destruction ramp up to a fever pitch their collective thunder, coercively demanding total allegiance. Witness the brainwashing of our youth in our institutions of higher learning.

I believe – as did General Washington before us – that we will find the only sufficient recourse in God alone, and succeed only by appealing to our Father in heaven. The forces of darkness are many and mighty. But following the straight line of our founding prinicples, in a spirit of reverence for the One who made us, who leads and guides us, we too will find providential interventions as George Washington, with poorly clothed and clad ill-trained farmers, going on depleted reserves, and greatly outnumbered, we too will have proof that our God sees and hears, and that he fights for the one who appeals to him. We must humbly confess that without him we have no power and no wisdom, we can do nothing, not even take our next breath, but with him we have “all things” as the Apostle Paul has said. We know that if our aim as loyal citizens of this great nation is to re-establish our greatness upon the firm foundation of Eternal principles, of shared ideals of greatness that transcend all temporal and material considerations we will prevail. That is what is bringing the peoples of the world together under the exemplary leadership of our fine new President, and we know that on our knees we not only meet with the favor of heaven, but we rout our enemies and we embrace our like-minded friends. As regards our civic duty, I do call my members of Congress, sure, but then I continue fighting for the agenda of the House and Senate patriot conservatives in my prayer closet. Having called them all, the rest must be up to God.

D.C. is a wicked, dangerous place, and we are living in perilous times. But if we know the Lord, “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” So believing this, and banding together to reinforce it among each other, so that we are internalizing this principle of victory already secured, we will win every time. Even if we lose our lives and fortunes, the final battle over evil is won, as we shall see. And when the time comes, there will have been no cause for impatience, finger-pointing or alarm.

Every day, in the face of all alarms, “I Trust in God” then seal the connection by renewing that trust, keeping it alive throughout the day, so that my words and deeds align with His. He is fighting for all who trust in Him. That’s really the best we out here in the trenches can do, beyond the duty to be informed and contact our elected officials. Only God can change men’s hearts.

Thank you for encouraging us to comment! Keep up the Good Work ! I look forward every morning to your Daily Signal, and other communiqués.
Carry on!

w. June - July 14, 2017

Stop all salaries and vacations until they get the jobs done we elected and trust them to do! The swamp will dry up!

LeAnne Tillar - July 14, 2017

How about arresting the people who are leaking and file charges and carry through with them? How about arresting and filing charges on the media person or persons who choose to reveal classified information? Both of those instances are breaking the law and damaging our country. It’s treason. The swamp needs to be drained of these people immediatly. Let others take over their jobs until you find loyal replacements.

Cynthia R. - July 14, 2017

If fully repealing the Affordable Care Act mathematically will yield economic growth resulting in an increase in GDP, then what are we waiting for? Thank you for the invitation.

Glennie R Lawson - July 15, 2017

To Drain The Swamp Totally and Completely, First and Foremost The General Public Must be Convinced of the Fact That The Democrats Want Full Control of our Lives and Interests, and they Want 100% Control of All 💰 Money 🌎 Worldwide! And The Corrupt Democrats, Corrupted Republicans and Most Bureaucrats Constantly Deceive US (We The People) in Their Attempts (Gun Control, Healthcare Control, Education Control, Etc., Etc., Etc.Destroying Our Constitutional Rights, Liberties and Justice) To Get That Control. Then We The People Must “Scream Out, Shout Out VIA Social Networks, Wrtten Letters, Post Cards, Phone Calls, Texts Emails and Faxes Against Tyranny and Corruption and Demand an Article 5 Convention of States To Limit The Power of The Federal Government and Limit Federal Jurisdiction and Give That Power Back To The States and We The People.
The Government, Congress (House of Represenatives and Senate) and All of The Bureaucrats Will NEVER Be WILLING To Give Up That Power or Jurisdiction! Therefore, WE THE PEOPLE MUST DEMAND IT!
If We Fail To Have An Article 5 Convention of States Which Will Probably Be The Case Because When The Time For It IS Close At Hand, Congress Will Start Passing Agenda That Favors We The People In Order To Prevent An Article 5 Convention SO They Can Keep The Tyranny & Corruption They Have IN FULL FORCE!!!
I Believe That The Bureaucracy, IRS, Tyranny and Corruption Must End IN ORDER To Get True Democracy Back Under Control and Have A Republic Once Again, Like it Should Be.
ONLY We The People Can End The Tyranny, Corruption and Bureaucracy By Procuring An Article 5 Convention of States. Because The Majority of Americans Are Ignorant To What IS Actually Happening and ARE Blindfolded and Fooled By The Local News & News Media, Especially MSM’S With Their Changed Facts, Lies and “FAKE NEWS.”
The General Public Must Be Informed. They Don’t Understand That The Government IS Funded By Big Banks Via George Soros, Lobbyists, Special Interests Etc., To PAY-OFF The News & News Media To Lie, Change Facts, Leave Out True and Real News Stories and Add IN FAKE NEWS STORIES To Con, Blindfold and Fool The General Public. Little Do The People Know, That The Government Even Uses Movies, Shows and Programs on TV To Control OUR Emotions and The Way We Feel About Things!
That’s about all I can think of right now, as a way to “Drain the Swamp,” (End Corruption, Tyranny and the Bureaucracy) However it IS A Beginning!
I wish Heritage Would Have This Message Published Publically To Inform The General Public. They Have My Full and Complete Permission! Glennie R. Lawson

Geminiano Bulos - July 25, 2017

I heard a comment that, what we have in DC is not a swamp. It’s a cesspool. It has no outlet where it can be drained from. The creatures who are mostly BFFFs, reside there permanently. They hybernate in the mud before it dries out. Then, come out of hibernation every 2 – 4 years.

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