Our Nation Values Public Safeguards That Keep Our Union Strong

A Statement from the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards

Jan. 24, 2012

Contact: Rich Robinson, Public Citizen, (202) 588-7773 or rrobinson@citizen.org
Brian Gumm, OMB Watch, (202) 683-4812 or bgumm@ombwatch.org

Note: President Barack Obama will present his vision of America’s future in his State of the Union address later this evening. The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards believes prosperity for the United States must include a strong and secure system of regulatory protections.

Tonight’s State of the Union message will undoubtedly remind us of the special role that the United States plays in the world. Much has been said about American exceptionalism and what that means, but certainly one way our country is exceptional is the way it values its people.

Fundamental to that core principle is a respect for life, in the fullest sense of the word – a respect for public protections that ensure that the air we breathe and the water we drink is clean, that our food is untainted, that our environment is unsullied, that our consumer products will not harm us, that our workplaces are safe, and that our financial system operates fairly and transparently.

We may not always attain those goals, but we have never abandoned them. They have received bipartisan support because all of us – regardless of our political affiliation – wants to make certain that our children and grandchildren enjoy a quality of life equal to or better than our own.

We must never engage in a race to the bottom in favor of short-term profits over long-term health and stability. Unfortunately, many in the Republican Party have made cutting regulations a key prong in their jobs agenda. In fact, regulatory protections frequently create jobs, by spurring innovation; and it was massive regulatory failure – the failure to control Wall Street recklessness – that is responsible for the current jobs crisis.

As we evaluate the state of our union, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards reminds our leadership and our fellow citizens, that our nation’s future depends on how well we live up to the values we hold dear.

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The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of consumer, small business, labor, scientific, research, good government, faith, community, health, environmental, and public interest groups, as well as concerned individuals, joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards provides a stable framework that secures our quality of life and paves the way for a sound economy that benefits us all. For more information about the coalition, go to www.sensiblesafeguards.org.