Another Shameful Attack on Our Public Protections


By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published July 21, 2010 in the Huffington Post
There they go again. Amid some of the most spectacular market failures the country has ever seen, business lobbyists and their friends in Congress want to reinvigorate their discredited deregulatory agenda.

They have such gall: for years, they have attacked regulatory protections to the point that government is significantly under-resourced. This, in turn, has led to deaths of workers, parents fearful about food safety and chemical contamination in their kids' toys, a national economic collapse, and much more. Now Big Business wants more of the same.

Big Business has published a new regulatory "hit list," the same old song but with a new beat - kill public protections or corporations won't create new jobs. Adding to the shameful behavior, on July 16, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) endorsed the idea of a moratorium on most new regulations.

What does this deregulatory fantasy land look like? No rules to correct the economic crisis spurred by unregulated, speculative behavior on Wall Street. No rules to address food safety. No rules on safety-be-damned coal mining companies. No rules on oil companies like BP, which, due to its unprecedented oil disaster, has cost small businesses in the Gulf region millions in lost profits and has surely changed lives and the environment there for years to come. It is a government that is encouraged to continue cutting regulatory corners for the benefit of Big Business and to enforce existing rules with the bite of a toothless tiger.

Read the rest of this op-ed at the Huffington Post.