The Rise of Tax Reformers

November 6, 1972
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During the last, frantic day and night sessions of the 92nd Congress, the customary strategy of ramming through special-interest tax loopholes got under way. Under the direction of the powerful Tax Committee Chairmen, Congressman Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.) and Senator Russell Long (D-La.), the bills and their various legislative sponsors were lined up for lightening quick…

Buying Insurance

October 30, 1972
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State insurance commissioners have sharply different opinions on the auto and life insurance shopper’s guides distributed by Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Herbert S. Denenberg. In the four months since I requested these opinions from fifty‑one state insurance commissioners (including those of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), thirty-two have replied. Thirteen were negative on the…

Nixon and Big Business Block Consumer Bills

October 23, 1972
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In the closing days of the 92nd Congress, President Nixon unleashed a virulent, anti-consumer lobbying effort which succeeded in defeating or blocking major consumer protection legislation. All lip service to consumer interests in health, safety, and dollar value in the market place was swept aside as White House operatives lobbied along with corporate interests to…

Uncle Same, The Consumer

October 16, 1972
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Uncle Sam is the biggest consumer in the country. Federal agencies, military commissaries and PX’s regularly buy almost everything that ordinary consumers purchase — food, clothes, household appliances, drugs, autos, tires, light bulbs, detergents, blankets, and many other items. With these multi-billion dollar expenditures annually, there is very little testing done to determine what is…

Burger Claims CPSC Will Overburden Courts

October 9, 1972
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Two months ago, when a bill to establish an independent consumer product safety commission was at a critical juncture in the House of Representatives, a five‑page unsigned memorandum was quietly left at several members’ offices by a prominent Washington law firm. The memo took note of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s recent criticism of Congress in…

Information, Secrecy and OMB

October 2, 1972
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Information is the currency of democracy. Nobody understands this better than the omnipresent corporate lobbyists in Washington who work daily to keep control of crucial information and deny it to the citizenry. Behind every scandal coming out of Washington recently, from the misuse of campaign contributions to the big grain deal, there was involved suppression…

Consumer Bills

September 25, 1972
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With Congress in its stretch drive before adjournment, it looks as if only three consumer protection bills will be passed over the relentless opposition of corporate lobbyists, often in subtle concert with White House aides. The most important of these bills would establish a consumer protection agency to represent consumer interests before other federal regulatory…

Jeanette Rankin

September 11, 1972
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A few weeks ago we sent a questionnaire to former members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as part of our year-long study of Congress. The most spirited and fundamental response came from Jeannette Rankin, born in 1880 in Missoula, Montana and the first woman ever elected to the Congress. Indomitable and innovative as…

Energy Secrets

September 4, 1972
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If there is anything worse than an Administration that hides its wrongdoings, it is one that also suppresses its right thoughts. The Nixon White House is doing just that, first by sitting on a report entitled Energy Conservation by its Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and then, after a trade journal obtained a copy through…

The Car Price Swindle

August 28, 1972
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It takes the power and greed of the auto companies to show how seriously the Nixon Administration’s price control program has failed the consumer and worker. Partly because of consumer and labor pressure, but mostly because General Motors and Ford overreached themselves in demanding large price increases, the Price Commission has relented and will hold…