Wednesday, June 5, 2013
""The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is ordering banks and credit card companies to hand over the financial information of millions of Americans. The agency has claimed it needs this information to protect consumers and improve “regulation of the marketplace.”
That’s government-speak for more regulation without transparency.
As one CFPB employee recently told the Boston Globe, “It’s credible to say that within the next year, CFPB will be the best place for consumer finance data.’’ But questions remain: What data is actually being collected and analyzed? How will the data be used? And how is the data being protected?
Despite inquiries from Congress and the U.S. Chamber, the agency has yet to provide a full explanation of its reasons for acquiring the data.
Even under the best of circumstances, most Americans would be wary of an attempt by the federal government to collect their personal financial information, including credit card transactions and checking account activity.
But in light of recent scandals involving the government's abuse of power, it’s downright scary.
If you are concerned about the government’s unjustified intrusion into your personal finances, we ask you to sign our petition calling on the CFPB to explain what information they are collecting, how the information is being used, and how Americans’ personal information will be protected.
“Just trust us” doesn’t work anymore. Sign on today."
Monday, January 23, 2012
Recently, three letters to the World-Herald Public Pulse have challenged a January 10 Pulse letter regarding President Obama's "recess" appointments to the NLRB and the chairman of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where the original letter described the appointments as not only questionable, but unconstitutional, and asks for a Congressional response.
The proponents of President Obama's appointments argue that recess appointments are, in fact, constitutional, and used by Presidents of both Parties. No one argues the Constitutionality of recess appointments. However, these recent appointments were made during what is technically a "pro-forma" Congressional session, where Congress is technically in session so that ongoing business can be conducted via "unanimous consent".
The recent payroll tax reduction extension was thus passed into law under this procedure.
The President's appointments are in question, and, in fact, constitutionally questionable, because Congress must be legally in recess for such appointments to be legal. President Bush refrained from making such appointments during his term in deference to the Democrat controlled Senate.
One writer erroneously argued that the appointments were made because "Congress has decided not to act upon anything." In fact, the NLRB appointments were made only on 12/15, and the Democrat controlled Senate had not even had time to schedule hearings.
There is legitimate concern that President Obama has acted outside of constitutionally accepted norms in these appointments. Perhaps next he will choose to do recess appointments over a standard weekend when the Congressmen are visiting constituents.
Democrats often challenged President Bush 43 over the powers of the Presidency. There are legitimate concerns regarding the balance of powers between the branches of government, and attempts to break precedent should not go unchallenged! In fact, the appointments are being challenged in court, and, as with two recent Supreme Court decisions regarding Obama administration actions, could very well be overturned.
The World-Herald finally, published a Pulse response, as of 01/19, that at least attempted to partially explain the issue, raising the point that Congress, not the President, determines when Congress is legally in "session".
However, all three letters published supporting the President's decision to make the appointments completely misrepresented the issue, comparing the President's actions to mundane recess appointments. One has to wonder why it was necessary to publish three consecutive letters, all essentially from the same "playbook", that were complete misrepresentations of the issue!