In the five years since its inception, the government’s most prominent consumer defending agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been anything but quiet. This bureau has been shaking things up in quite a few industries, and has been passing new regulations through like doing so was going out of style. Since it first started, this brainchild of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform law has been involved in seemingly one scandal after another, budget concerns and even racial/gender discrimination charges. Over and over again, we have seen the officials from the CFPB involved in shady dealings, and to make matters worse, the agency refuses to take any accountability for the things that it does, the money that it spends or the things that it plans to do in the future.
There have been allegations made about officials from the CFPB abusing their power and going way further than it was originally mandated to go. Republicans have to recognize that the original concept of Dodd-Frank is necessarily useless to American consumers. And Democrats must come to terms with the fact that new regulations and reforms are not always what it takes to make this agency a credible one. This holds especially true if the Republicans should find themselves in a situation where one of their own is taking up residence in the White House next year.
No matter what Republicans and Democrats do in the near future, the agency is going to do all it can to march forward on its quest to protect American consumers. But reform will have to get moving before the Congress recesses in the summer of 2016. The way things are shaping up politically, it won’t matter which side wins, as the current administration will make it very difficult for Republicans to introduce new laws that would put limits on the CFPB’s power, or even for the other side of the aisle to put their reforms in place to help lend power to the CFPB. If these things happen, all American consumers will be put in a bad spot; with a watchdog group that continues to run amuck, all the while being so caught up in congressional hearings that sorely lack the authority to prove that any financial oversight is even taking place at all by the bureau.
It was originally intended for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be an agency to battle fraud that was being committed by some of the biggest lending companies around, while providing education to American consumers about financial services, so people could make better choices. So far, though, the CFPB has been nothing but a political extension of the Obama administration that collects intelligence, while waging outright war with legitimate industries.
Rather than being the consumer protection that so many people actually need, this organization has evolved into a take-no-prisoners agency that continually introduces new regulations. They duplicate the efforts of other agencies, and have a budget that is practically open-ended. All the while, accusations come from within and without about leaders in the organization abusing their power, using the bureau to punish legitimate industries and even stooping so low as to racially discriminate within the organization. With these types of things going on, is anyone to really believe that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau really has the best interest of the American consumer at heart? If left unchecked, who knows what kinds of stories we’ll all be hearing about the CFPB in the months and years to come…