When Congress serves industry

Table saw users, take note. There’s a way to keep your fingers from sudden amputation. It was invented 14 years ago.

There was a big need for this invention. Every year more than 4,000 Americans suffer amputations — get their hands mangled using table saws. Upwards of 30,000 people wind up in emergency rooms with lesser injuries. And Gass had figured out a safety brake that could prevent those accidents.

So why hasn’t industry bought it? Why hasn’t the Federal Government instituted a rule requiring it?

Because it adds a couple of hundred bucks to the cost of a table saw, and according to one industry spokesman, “Safety doesn’t sell.”

The inventor started his own saw company and proved it worked. He’s about to introduce a new saw that costs $400, about double that of the ones industry sells now. Somehow the Consumer Product Safety Commission is still uncertain about issuing a rule, worrying about the inventor getting a monopoly, which is not in its purview, and listening to the industry trade association whining that the proposed rule “needs more study.” Proponents point out that the financial cost and the pain and harm from those 30,000 injuries and 4,000 amputations (estimated at $4 billion) is a helluva lot more than the cost of the new system.

Now comes Congress, some one or more of which has been bought and paid for by the industry.

“None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used to finalize any rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission relating to blade-contact injuries on table saws,” the rider on the budget bill reads.

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, who chairs the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee where the rider originated, was unavailable for an interview.”

Of course.

Next paragraph: “The Power Tool Institute has already invested tens of thousands of dollars this year to lobby Congress against the CPSC rule.”

You clowns. Have you done a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the money you spent lobbying might have been better spent saving the hands and fingers of your customers? You know, the ones who might remain your customers if they’re not disabled by your product?

This is why people are susceptible to the con men like Trump when they say the swamp needs to be drained.