This afternoon, Speaker Paul Ryan is scheduled to announce the House majority’s latest plan to weaken the U.S. system of regulatory safeguards on which all Americans depend. The following is Center for Progressive Reform Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin’s reaction to this plan:
Speaker Ryan and his anti-regulatory apostles in the House would have you believe that their latest attack strategy on our system of regulatory safeguards is a serious, forward-looking plan. In fact, everything it contains is not just old, but stale. The talking points are hackneyed; the so-called supporting research was debunked long ago; and the proposals it contains are bad ideas that have been trotted out countless times before. This plan would take us back to the laissez-faire days of the Gilded Age. An America run by robber barons didn’t serve us well then, and it certainly wouldn’t serve us well in the 21st century.
Thanks to the U.S. regulatory system, we have come a long way from the days when rivers caught fire, cars exploded in rear-end collisions, workers contracted brown lung disease from breathing cotton dust, and a chemical haze settled over the industrial zones of the country’s cities and towns. The available evidence demonstrates U.S. regulations have greatly benefited the American public while the failure to regulate has cost us dearly. The House majority’s plan is to hobble regulatory safeguards across the board, making the world a more comfortable place for polluters and manufacturers of unsafe products while leaving Americans more vulnerable to a host of hazards.