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Press Release National Consumers League -Reaganomics Harmful To Consumers, Coalition Warns



Press Release National Consumers League -Reaganomics Harmful To Consumers, Coalition Warns


Press release explaining the results of report of Reagan administration policies and impact on consumers


National Consumers’ League
Consumer protection


National Consumers’ League




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)




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Washington (D.C.)


Press Release
National Consuers League
1522 K Street, N.W
Suite 406
Washington D.C. 20005

Sandra L. Willet
Executive Vice President

Monday, Jan. 25, 1982

CONTACT: Jasmine Isobe
(202) 797-7600


WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 -- Leaders of seven consumer groups—representing 33 million members, subscribers, and affiliates--today released a report on the impact of Reaganomics on Americans and announced a 12-point consumer agenda for 1982.
The report, "Warning: Reaganomics is Harmful to Consumers," provides a revealing look at the administration's policies of the past year and their devastating impact on consumers. Focusing on a dozen critical issues, the report identifies key programs and regulations adversely affected by Reagan economic policies.
Included in the report are sections on: food, health, energy, housing, credit, transportation, product safety, business practices, antitrust, communications, information and education, and citizen participation.
The coalition of organizations contributing to the report includes: Center for Science in the Public Interest, Community Nutrition Institute, Congress Watch, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Consumers League, and National Council of Senior Citizens.
Leaders from each group said at today's press conference that the information is crucial to consumers because it gives a broad, first-year overview of the Reagan administration's actions and inactions. They added that most consumers feel overwhelmed by these changes and are unaware of Reaganomics' total impact. The consumer review identifies many rights which have been undermined, protections weakened, and services terminated.
Numerous examples in the report illustrate the federal government's changing role toward consumer protection. From sweeping budget cuts to lack of enforcement of existing statutes and regulations, the report shows that consumers are worse off than they were a year ago when President Reagan took office. In the past year, the administration:
• Moved to halt the issuance of a proposed rule to protect children who have been directly exposed to asbestos in their schools.
• Cut the Consumer Product Safety Commission budget by 30 percent despite national polls showing Americans believe federal regulatory agencies are not doing enough to protect public health and safety.
• Reduced by 25 percent funds for programs helping consumers with basic health needs such as lead poisoning screening, preventive health programs, and mental health services.
• Targeted 17 existing or proposed auto safety rules for elimination, delay or major revisions.
• Rescinded a proposed rule to provide workers with information about the content and hazards of exposure to workplace chemicals.
• Advocated agricultural price support legislation that will increase consumer costs for food products containing sugar by $5 billion to $8 billion
• Slashed the National School Lunch Program budget by 35 percent, thereby raising the price of each meal by at least 15 cents, or about $30 per child in a school year.
• Rescinded a final regulation that would have required ingredient disclosure of alcoholic beverages.
• Reduced enforcement, access, eligibility and quality of care for senior citizens in nursing homes.
• Cut 20,000 to 30,000 health workers who staff publicly funded ambulatory care facilities and preventive health education and nutrition programs.
• Announced plans to kill a proposed regulation requiring patient package inserts, leaflets containing basic and easy-to-read information about the use, misuse, and side effects of prescription medication.
• Dismantled conservation incentives and financing arrangements that would ease consumer adoption of energy-saving approaches.
• Ordered immediate decontrol of crude oil, which was followed by an increase or up to $10 billion in gasoline costs during a 10-month period last year.
• Curtailed investigations of alleged violations of oil pricing regulations.
• Halted consumer protections previously included in the Federal Home Loan Bank Board's regulations for variable and adjustable rate mortgages given by federally chartered thrift institutions.
• Scrapped six proposed rules that would have increased airline passenger safety.
• Failed to enforce the new trucking deregulation law that could save each American family up to $105 a year.
• Proposed elimination of the Federal Trade Commission's public intervenor program, which allows small businesses, consumer and senior citizen groups and others to participate in FTC rulemaking procedures.
• Attacked the Federal Trade Commission's 12-year-old advertising substantiation requirement, which says advertisers must have a reasonable basis for objective performance claims made about their products.
• Proposed sweeping revisions of the 1934 Communications Act including repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and equal-time provisions for political candidates.
• Dropped major antitrust cases brought by the federal government in the last decade.
• Proposed legislation to cripple the Freedom of Information Act, which guarantees citizens the right to obtain documents from the federal government.
• Eliminated the U. S. Office of . Consumers' • Education and severely curtailed the effectiveness of consumer affairs offices throughout the federal government.

On the eve of President Reagan's State of the Union address, consumer leaders are calling on their members across the country to distribute the report locally and meet with their congressional representatives. In addition, they plan to work cooperatively on a 12-point consumer action agenda. Some of the issues include: food, drug and automobile safety; Federal Trade Commission reauthorization; Social Security; product safety; usury laws; health care services; nutritional programs; Clean Air Act; and prevention of immediate natural gas deregulation.

Copies of the report will be made available through participating organizations.

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)
Press Release


National Consumers’ League, “Press Release National Consumers League -Reaganomics Harmful To Consumers, Coalition Warns,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed March 2, 2021,