Power grab times three.
That’s the concise version of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest crusade.
Don’t forget, the CFPB, a brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is a power grab in itself.
To recap the story so far: The CFPB was equipped at birth with autonomous funding, making it unaccountable to Congress, which has constitutional authority over the federal purse strings.
When President Trump moved to put his own person in charge, the career holdover from the Obama administration had the chutzpah to claim the president lacked the authority to do so. The CFPB sees itself beyond the reach of legislative and executive branch oversight. Talk about Deep State on autopilot.
The latest outrage from this Frankenstein agency has it trying to destroy the small-dollar loan industry. Its weapon of choice is the Obama-era payday lending rule, a regulatory machete the bureau itself said would chop down over 90 percent of those “checks cashed” storefront operations patronized by 12 million Americans across the country.
Besides being draconian, the CFPB rule is unnecessary, thank you very much. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 37 states have statutes governing payday lending, and 11 more specifically require lenders to comply with interest rate caps on consumer loans. Washington muscling in on state power is Power Grab No. 1.
But there’s more.
Power Grab No. 2 is the Obama-era federal regulation of the financial industry that turbo-charged the small-loan industry. In 2013, federal bank regulators issued “guidance” letters pushing major banks out of making small-dollar loans. The Trump administration scrapped that guidance and is encouraging banks to get into the business and take market share away from payday lenders, Bloomberg news reports.
In the liberal mindset, more government and more regulation is always the solution to every problem, even if the problem is caused by government regulation in the first place.
Why, you might ask, would Washington regulators stop large banks from lending money to working Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, and then shut down the smaller businesses making those loans?
The answer is Power Grab No. 3 – federal takeover of yet another industry.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who never lets anyone or anything get in the way of an opportunity to promote herself to the liberal party base, wants to turn post offices into lenders.
“Millions of Americans are being forced into payday lending schemes that only exacerbate their money problems, and Congress has the ability to wipe out [emphasis added] these predatory practices right now by creating a Postal Bank,” says the senator who imagines herself in the Oval Office.
A postal bank where anyone could cash checks, borrow money, open accounts and send money overseas (gee, wonder who would be doing that?) is a pet cause of leading 2020 presidential contenders, including Bernie Sanders and the aforementioned Warren and Gillibrand. What could possibly go wrong with letting the post office lend money?
President Trump has a different vision for America. He understands American ingenuity and the private sector are more capable providers than government bureaucrats.
Trump has rolled back taxes and regulation, sparking an economic boom and lifting Americans’ fortunes more quickly and more surely than President Obama’s “stimulus program” and Democrats’ vain efforts at mandatory minimum wage hikes.
The president has rolled back regulations in the health-care sector, allowing private companies to develop affordable prescription drugs and offer affordable insurance policies.
The Treasury Department recommends CFPB scrap the payday lending rule.
President Trump wants to stop the government takeover of yet another industry. Democrats are going postal.