As For the Next President…

Which One Will Stick Up for Consumers?

Two weeks ago I mailed letters to the top ten presidential candidates asking what, if anything, they would do for consumers. Because all have a “differentiation” problem, I thought a few would respond. Not one (including President Obama) sounds or dresses much different from the others, except of course Ms. Bachmann (who does not allow photographs in slacks). Their campaigns are like tired, formula-driven sit-coms whose sparks are gone before the curtains lift.

I gave them an issue that annoys any American with a telephone and monetarily abuses a few: Techno scams that run wild, take in hundreds of millions and have owners unlikely to pay income taxes. It’s a perfect consumer issue. Is there no presidential candidate willing to say he or she will stand up for consumers against robo callers and Internet scamming swindlers? Promise to get the IRS to collect back taxes and penalties? Hold on, Do techno scammers have a lobby?

No candidate has replied. (November 1 is the deadline.) I fantasized that maybe a  hopeless candidate—Paul, Gingrich, Johnson, Cain—would grab anything to differentiate himself. Or a fading star like Huntsman or Bachmann or Santorum would take a stab at standing up to scammers. As for Obama, Romney and Perry, concern for consumers is off their radar screens so long as the usual lobbyists show up with the usual campaign donations.

I tried something like this before: In 1959 I wrote to all the presidential candidates proposing what was then a new idea: To agree to be in four nationally televised presidential debates before getting the nomination. Two responded with signed letters saying they would: John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.  


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 99


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.