Can Obama do what's needed for American consumers?
100 ways baby boomers can improve their lives in 2009

What President Obama and Congress need to do for American consumers

In my last post, I looked at what President Obama said in his Inaugural address about consumer issues and discussed the challenges he faces in corralling the country’s strong special interests.

Obama Demo Leaders ARRA01 Here’s what I think Obama, working with Congress, needs to accomplish for American consumers:

  • Find a solution to the country’s massive financial problems.
  • Help consumers who are facing foreclosure of their homes.
  • Find effective ways to create jobs.
  • Establish a health care system that works and provides coverage for all Americans.
  • Curb the excesses of the pharmaceutical industry by putting a lid on their profits, investigating the harmful side effects of prescription drugs that are injuring and killing people, and fostering the use of less harmful alternative medicine techniques.
  • Act quickly to halt the excessive fees and interest rates being charged by banks and credit card companies.
  • Stop poor lending practices by banks and mortgage companies.
  • Establish better regulation of financial services.
  • Fund nonindustry-sponsored research on approaches for clean energy and implement programs based on the research.
  • Reestablish the White House Special assistant for consumer affairs and/or create a federal consumer protection agency.
  • Restore the budgets of federal regulatory agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Enhance the regulatory functions of these agencies so that our food, consumer products, and drugs are safe.
  • Develop creative and effective ways for citizens to be involved in the decision-making of these agencies.
  • Restore trust in the work of the federal government and its processes.
  • Insist on transparency in all the work of the federal government including the regulatory agencies and White House staff.
  • Ban the direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs on television, in magazines, and on the Internet.
  • Ban, establish a moratorium, or least require the labeling of genetically modified food.
  • Require irradiated food to be labeled.
  • Work with Congress to develop regulatory processes that will prevent the excesses under the George W. Bush administration that caused the collapse of the housing market and the stock market.
  • Enhance environmental protections.
  • Adequately fund programs for seniors including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • Assist local and state governments in preparing for the needs of baby boomers as they age.
  • Work to eliminate poverty and homelessness.
  • End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so that money will be available for domestic programs.
  • Support a congressional investigation of the crimes of the George W. Bush administration that will lead to the filing of charges against those who broke the law.
  • Review recent telecommunication laws in terms of how they meet the needs of consumers.
  • Figure out whether cell phones are safe to use and, if they’re found to be harmful, mandate that they be safe.
  • Improve mass transportation throughout the nation.
  • Work with local governments and the states to create compact, walkable communities so that Americans can walk to work and shopping areas.

I know this is a huge agenda, but American consumers are in need of drastic assistance after the gutting of consumer and environmental protections during the George W. Bush administrations.

Comments

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Beverly Mahone

How sad that the dead weight of the Bush administration must now fall on the shoulders of President Obama. He either has the opportunity to be the greatest President we will ever see in our lifetime or give the conservatives one more reason to say the majority got it wrong.

Rita

Hi Beverly,

Thanks for writing. I do hope President Obama will be able to help American consumers.

The list is so long because, as you say, the omissions of the Bush administration fall on the shoulders of President Obama.

Rita

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