What’s Behind GOP Attack on Product-Safety Database?

What is it about consumer protection that Republican lawmakers don’t like? Is it that they want to see their constituents fleeced and flimflammed by businesses? Is it that they don’t care?

Or is it something as craven as carrying water for corporate interests simply because that’s where the money is?

Whatever the reason, the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has approved a spending bill that not only slashes the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission but also cuts off all funding for a recently launched database of product-safety complaints.

The online database is one of the most important consumer tools to emerge from Washington in years. It enables people to report potentially faulty or harmful products, as well as to research goods before making a purchase.

“If this bill passes, it will destroy the database,” said Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety for the Consumer Federation of America. “They’re trying to pull the plug on a vital consumer resource.”

Read the rest of the commentary here.

Print Print  

One comment to “What’s Behind GOP Attack on Product-Safety Database?”

  1. Steven M Burrows

    I believe the Republicans have a notion that the American consumer and consumers around the world do not need protection and that consumer protection agencies cause businesses to be exposed for simple mistakes, maligned unfairly and/or sued wrongfully. Since the Republicans are the party of big-business, it is not far-fetched to imagine that Republicans do not wish government regulation aimed at informing the public regarding shoddy, damaging and outright fraudulent businesses or products that their monied-backers own. I always thought such thinking was wrong and acts to “downgrade” the image of U.S. businesses by making people believe that our U.S. products are tainted by corrupt political practice (e.g. political money spent to influence and “gut” well thought out regulatory rule making). I remember a time when businesses in the U.S. succeeded by making sure the consumer was happy, even if it meant replacing a product or re-engineering it. In those days, people around the world paid a higher price for a U.S. product, and were glad to do so, because they knew it would perform up to, or better-than, “spec” and was backed by the full force of the product guarantee. Gone are the days when U.S. businesses and U.S. business products are “superior” by nature. These days, U.S. business-persons are more concerned about stockholder value than consumer satisfaction with their products and services. I say this is “short-term thinking” by small-minded corporate individuals and is the root cause of why U.S. businesses have a hard time competing in the global marketplace.

Leave a comment