February 5, 2006

National Consumer Protection Week, in the Cosmetics Aisle

posted by Will Wilson @ 8:07 am

National Consumer Protection Week runs from February 5th-11th this year. In order to do our part, we’ll warn consumers that Attorneys General continue to run the biggest consumer scam of them all.

Idaho, to choose one of fifty examples, raised the prices we pay by $600,000 last year. No doubt, the real recovery of money stolen or fraudulently acquired from Idahoans by Idahoans accounts for some of that figure. But, as AG Lawrence Wasden proudly recounts, a big chunk of it comes from Idaho fleecing the citizens of all 50 states. Consider Wasden’s part in the $40M that the AGs grabbed from State Farm Insurance or the $5M taken from DirecTV. In both instances, the AGs raised the price for national consumers in order, to be frank, to win re-election. And they managed to tack on a nice “litigation fee” for their respective offices as well.

To be fair, this was not Idaho’s worst year. 2006 was the first year since 1999 that the “Consumer Restitution Recovered” by Idaho was less than the “Dollars Claimed Lost” by Idahoans [see page 11]. For six straight years, the State of Idaho has recovered more than was lost! 2004 was a particular gem because Idaho has no idea how much was lost…but the AG recovered $5.8M anyway. The surplus proves the scam.

Consumer protection needs to start with protection from these AG end runs on rational taxation schemes. Thanks to these bogus suits and settlements, goods and services grow more expensive, government reaps the surplus, and we the people lie threshed.