Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Nicholas Florko, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch
w. (202) 454-5108

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Feb. 28, 2013

Public Citizen President to Congress: Regulatory Benefits Vastly Exceed Costs

Says Tougher Regulations and Enforcement Help Make a Stronger Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Regulation makes the country economically stronger and improves standards of living, Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said today in testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.

The benefits of regulations vastly exceed the costs, even when measured according to corporate-friendly criteria. In his testimony, Weissman explained that even by official conservative accounting standards, the benefits of major regulations over the past decade exceeded costs by a factor of more than two-to-one, and benefits may exceed costs by a factor of 14.

Weissman also testified that regulatory failure was significantly responsible for the 2008 financial crash, which has imposed far greater costs on the economy and cost far more jobs than regulations ever could.

Regulation “has tamed marketplace abuses and advanced the values we hold most dear: freedom, safety, security, justice, competition and sustainability,” Weissman said.

Efforts to roll back current rules or stop implementation of new regulations will heighten economic insecurity, permit corporations to rip off consumers, and needlessly expose Americans to dangerous products and dirty air, Weissman said.

Industry claims of oppressive regulatory burden are disproved by actual experience, Weissman testified. “While there is a long history of industry claiming that the next regulation under consideration would unreasonably raise the cost of doing business,” he said, “those claims routinely prove to be overblown,” he cited a range of examples from air bags to leaded gasoline, benzene emissions to smoke-free rules.

All is not well with the regulatory system, however, Weissman said, arguing that there is an acute need to strengthen and improve the system. “The country greatly needs reforms to toughen regulatory enforcement, increase criminal penalties for corporate wrongdoers, reduce industry influence over the rulemaking process, and address anti-competitive practices that injure small businesses, consumers and the national economy,” said Weissman.

To read Weissman’s testimony, visit http://www.citizen.org/documents/weissman-regulation-testimony-feb-2013.pdf.


Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.