Consumer Group Debunks Public Opinion Survey by the Center for Responsible Lending

Apr 28, 2009, 09:00 ET from Center for Consumer Freedom

The Public Want Price Caps on Cell Phones, Cars, Coffee, And Loans

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) released the results of a nationwide survey showing equal levels of public support for price limits on cell phones, automobiles, and short-term loans. The findings demonstrate that Americans still lack a basic understanding of the dangers of market realities and the margins businesses work on.

Earlier this month a lobbying group called the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released a survey purporting to show that most Americans support capping interest rates on short-term loans. But a recent survey conducted by CCF shows that many Americans support a price cap on nearly everything: 39% support the government limiting the price of a cup of coffee as well as new televisions!

CCF's survey also showed that 57% of Americans support Congressional action to cap the cost of cell phones, 56% support capping interest on short-term loans, and 55% supported capping the price of automobiles.

These results make it clear that Americans don't understand the negative consequences of price caps. Given the clear economic consensus that artificial price ceilings lead to product shortages, black markets and other unfavorable outcomes, the Center for Responsible Lending's insistence on price caps is itself irresponsible. Their use of flawed public surveys to justify their positions is disingenuous.

"The American public wants Congress to cap the price of anything that would make things cheaper for them which makes their opinion on legislative price caps about as relevant as their opinion on who should win the lottery," said Tim Miller, Communications Director for the Center for Consumer Freedom. "Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that capping short-term loans results in borrowers having more credit problems not less, more bounced checks, and more bankruptcies. When it comes to deciding whether it makes sense to cap short-term loans, it makes much more sense to listen to the experts than the same public who also want caps on a cup of coffee."

You can view the results of CCF's survey at

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,001 adults comprising 501 men and 500 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was completed during the period April 23-26, 2009.

SOURCE Center for Consumer Freedom