As I wrote in a previous article, President Trump selected Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) following the abrupt departure of the organization’s former head, Richard Cordray.
The CFPB is an autonomous agency that was created during the Obama Administration as part of the financial overhaul that occurred following the 2008 crisis. In essence, the agency functions as a watchdog to protect consumers from predatory lenders and banks. The agency’s jurisdiction includes credit unions, banks, payday lenders, debt collectors, foreclosure relief services, and other financial services.
The agency’s biggest accomplishments include:
• Setting new standards for the mortgage market (2013)
• Simplifying the disclosures that borrowers receive when they take out a loan (2015)
• Assissting more than 27 million Americans by relieving penalties and debt
• Successfully penalized big banks that misled consumers into buying unwanted credit card “add-ons”
The CFPB has the authority to determine the “fairness” of nearly every financial transaction in the country, but as an independent agency it is neither funded by nor accountable to Congress. From its inception in 2011, critics have argued the CFPB represents a new era in government overreach.
Bankers have been particularly critical of the CFPB, and industry analysts say the agency’s unduly harsh regulations have driven thousands of banks out of business.
Partisan politics are also a problem within the agency, which adheres to a leftwing agenda that includes closing the wealth gap and administering economic justice. The agency has also been known to reject job applications from Republicans.
Republicans have labeled the CFPB a “slush fund” for Democrats and have accused the agency of using fines as a way to channel money to liberal special interest causes.
Documents show that 100% of political donations made by the bureau in 2016 were given to Democrats. In June 2017, the CFPB awarded GMMB (the Obama-Hillary ad firm) a $14.7 million contract for “agency media and resource communication.”
The agency’s giant databases are also an area of concern because they threaten individual privacy and corporate liability.
“It is a completely unaccountable agency, and I think that’s wrong,” said Mulvaney, who in the past supported legislation to do away with the agency he now leads. “If the law allowed this place not to exist, I’d sit down with the president to try to make the case that other agencies can do this job well if not more effectively.”
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who claims the CFPB is nothing more than a money laundering operation for the Democrats, predicts that Mulvaney is “gonna find out exactly everything that’s been going on there and is gonna expose it.” And then Americans will learn that the agency that was set up to protect the little guy was being used “as an adjunct personal piggy bank” and a “way to get private sector money funneled to left-wing special interest causes.”