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Robert Weissman
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Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. He is an expert on economic, health care, trade and globalization, intellectual property and regulatory policy, and issues related to financial accountability and corporate responsibility. He has written extensively on corporate accountability, access to medicines, corporate influence over the political process, the World Trade Organization and regulation of the financial markets. He has worked to lower pharmacy prices for AIDS victims and others in the developing world. His top priorities include climate change, health care reform, financial regulation and campaign finance reform.

Entries by Robert Weissman

Today's Hearing: A Historic Step Forward to Re-Establishing People's Authority to Curb Campaign Spending

(5) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 12:16 PM

Today's hearing is a historic step forward to adopting the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment will re-establish the authority of We the People, acting through Congress and the states, to regulate and limit campaign spending.

In so doing, the amendment will undo nearly 40 years of...

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Constitutional Amendment Needed Now to Reestablish Rule by the People; Scheduled Senate Vote Applauded

(138) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 2:38 PM

This country desperately needs a constitutional amendment to reestablish the core meaning of democracy: rule by the people.

In Citizens United and McCutcheon, but also in decisions that precede them, including Buckley v. Valeo, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned the First Amendment upside down, striking down campaign spending limits...

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McCutcheon Ruling Requires Americans to Reclaim Democracy

(22) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission strikes a devastating blow at the very foundation of our democracy.

This is truly a decision establishing plutocrat rights. The Supreme Court today holds that the purported right of a few hundred superrich individuals to spend outrageously large sums...

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Fulfilling the Promise of Medicare

(32) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 12:18 PM

"We can say this of Medicare: By honoring the fundamental humanity, which is the spirit of democracy, it is a triumph of rightness in America."

Nearly five decades after President Lyndon Johnson spoke those words as he signed Medicare into law, it is time to honor the fundamental humanity...

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The Beginning of the End of Too-Big-to-Fail

(15) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 10:46 AM

A funny thing, wonderful in its own small way, happened last week.

Amidst an endless series of votes on amendments to a federal budget bill, the United States Senate voted 99-0 in favor of an amendment to end subsidies to too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

The stated purpose of the...

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7 Reasons to be Unhappy About the Nomination of Jacob Lew for Secretary of the Treasury

(9) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 11:32 AM

1. The Obama administration demanded no meaningful quid pro quo from the Wall Street giants it bailed out in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.

2. The Obama administration has chosen not to prosecute criminally any of the leading Wall Street firms in connection with the rampant...

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It Shouldn't Have Taken Occupy, But It Did. Now, What's Next?

(65) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 2:15 PM

With one in six Americans who'd like a full-time job not able to find one; with millions of families needlessly being thrown out of their homes; with a generation of young people hampered by outlandish student debt, many of them exploited by for-profit colleges and for-profit lenders; with...

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We Still Need Medicare-for-All

(5) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 5:04 PM

It will take some time to digest the Supreme Court's decision today, but it appears to have averted some terrible jurisprudence that might have very seriously restricted the government's overall ability to regulate the economy and protect citizens.

In upholding most of the Affordable Care Act,...

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Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now: GAIN -- Or Just Greed

(2) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 5:36 PM

The World Health Organization's Director-General recently warned of the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance in the starkest terms: "A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill."...

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Worried About 'Intimidation,' U.S. Chamber Lobbies for More Campaign Secrecy

(17) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 4:40 PM

Well, the big business guys are transparent about one thing: They can't stand the idea of the public holding them to account for their attempts to buy elections and influence policy, or even that they be prevented from corrupting the government contracting process through campaign spending.

The latest: They are...

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Learning From Facebook

(11) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 5:21 PM

Whether or not you're an investor, it's important to grasp the significance of what's happened with the Facebook initial public offering (IPO).

In the few days since its IPO, Facebook's stock price has fallen almost 20 percent amidst news that underwriters led by Morgan Stanley and...

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Corporate Profits or Healthy Babies?

(46) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 10:51 PM

Fact Number One: Exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months is best for infants and new mothers.

Fact Number Two: Hospital giveaways of infant formula samples to new mothers reduce the amount and length of breastfeeding.

Given these two facts, why would hospitals serve as marketing agents for...

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The Summers of Our Discontent

(12) Comments | Posted March 20, 2012 | 6:47 PM

"Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (lesser developed countries)?"

Do those sound like the words of a man who should be running the world's leading economic development institution?

They don't, but the man who put his...

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Eric Cantor's Wall Street Insider Trading Loophole

(16) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 3:16 PM

Sometimes, public outrage bubbles up and forces Congress to take action to advance the public interest. The Big Business interests, who normally count on the legislative process operating according to plan, lose control. And that's when they really set to work.

And it's when the public interest advocates and the...

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We the People

(711) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 1:52 PM

If you are concerned about the collapse of the middle class, you should be concerned about how American campaigns are financed. If you wonder why the United States is the only country in the industrialized world not to have a national health care program, if you're asking why we pay...

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Corporate Personhood Undermines Democracy

(5) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 11:28 AM

We don't yet know who will be running for offices high and low in the 2012 elections, but we do know a lot about what the election itself will look like. In a word, ugly.

The 2012 elections will feature unprecedented spending by corporations and the elite 1 percent,...

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Pity Poor Newt Gingrich

(4) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 10:29 AM

Pity poor Newt Gingrich.

Alright, I admit it's hard to muster much pity for Gingrich.

Still, he now stands as not the first, but the most recent, prominent victim of the Supreme Court's abysmal decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

So if you don't have any sympathy for Gingrich, at...

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Excessive Oil Speculation: Wall Street's Tax on Us

(2) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 9:28 AM

Where are the anti-tax activists when you need them?

They should be protesting outside of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, denouncing the agency for failing to take action. And they should be applauding a new legislative proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Right now, Wall Street speculators are imposing an enormous...

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Wonderland

(3) Comments | Posted May 10, 2011 | 11:39 AM

It's a good rule of thumb: If the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- the trade association for large corporations -- is whipped up about something, there's probably good reason for the public to strongly back whatever has sent the chamber into fits.

Well, the chamber is apoplectic over a modest...

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Corporate America's War on Political Transparency

(2) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 1:43 PM

It's a modest notion.

Companies that bid for government contracts should disclose their campaign spending, in order to diminish the likelihood that contracts are a payoff for political expenditures.

The Obama administration has indicated that it plans to impose such a rule through an executive order. Ideally, the rule would...

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