Identifying Its Opponents Aids in Understanding Strength of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
There is simplicity of purpose in the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , CFPB, the consumer advocacy agency created in 2011: To give voice to the average citizen in their dealings with merchants and service providers to a federal agency that can and will act on the citizens' behalf.
Common sense would dictate to me that elected officials throughout the nation would happily support such an agency on behalf of their constituents. Common sense, though, has no place in politics.
It was a hard-won battle that the CFPB came to be in the first place. VanityFair.com reported that the Chamber of Commerce, together with various businesses and trade groups, gave lobbyists $1.3 billion dollars to fight against the financial reform of the Dodd-Frank Act, the law that lead to the creation of the federal consumer protection agency.
Yes, even after the financial scandals involving Wall Street and the big banks, some politicians fought tooth and nail against reforms that would help to protect everyday citizens from practices that left many in financial ruin.
The fight to keep the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ongoing. The businesses that sought to prevent the agency from being created continue to work to weaken its abilities. Some elected officials would be happy to see the agency's demise.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) recently wrote an opinion piece in Forbes.com complaining about what he refers to as a "massive amount of personal financial information" collected by CFPB. The difference here, I think, is that consumers have provided their information to the CFPB in order to file complaints, receive assistance, etc. The collection of citizens' personal information, financial and otherwise, obtained covertly by other federal agencies escapes this same scrutiny by Crapo.
A Sept. 26, 2014 article at MotherJones.com took a look at what the future may hold for the consumer protection agency should the U.S. Senate change majority from Democrat to Republican.
When I consider the powerful opponents of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau versus the purpose of the agency and its intent in protecting America's consumers, I realize the capacity the CFPB has to bring about real change -- and the side of the coin on which I stand.
References: VanityFair.com; " The Woman Who Knew Too Much" ; November 2011
MotherJones.com; " A GOP Senate's First Target: Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Protection Agency "; September 26, 2014
Forbes.com; " The U.S. Consumer Financial Bureau Is Collecting Massive Amounts of Your Personal Financial Information "; September 25, 2014
Image Credit » Mike Licht CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/14788228479/in/photolist