27 February 2012

Issues With The CFPB

So as I'm getting back up to speed, I've been poking around the interwebs looking from posts by Whigs. Here is one I found, from last month, that discusses Obama's recess appointment for Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Although this issue has dropped from the news, the aggression of this action in asserting the executive over the legislative continues to bother me. A brief excerpt is below. Go read the whole thing, I think you will find it is a very thoughtful analysis.

Matt Glassman: In Which A Whig Thinks About Recess Appointments
The first question was resolved in the 19th century after numerous court decisions: it does not matter when the vacancy itself was created. The latter question — what constitutes a recess?— is still of much dispute, and is one of the reasons that today’s action by the President is controversial.

President Obama is making an appointment during a three-day intra-session recess of the Senate; if allowed to stand, such a precedent would go beyond even the most expansive current reading of the clause, one offered by the Justice Department on behalf of the executive in the past — that the Senate must be in recess for at least three days before a valid intra-session recess appointment can be made. (The President is also apparently arguing that the Senate is not even really in session — insert Whig head explosion here — but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

What we don’t want to end up in is a situation in which it has become the norm for the President to use recess appointments as the primary mechanism of filling the judiciary or the Executive Branch with judges/officers.
The other issue that bothers this Whig is the policy that is being immediately pursued, that is looking into overdraft protection fees. Once again, the government is pursuing regulations and policies that seek to protect individuals from their own irresponsible behavior, while placing a burden on those who behave responsibly.

Look, banks are going to charge fees to cover the costs of providing banking services. If you don't bounce checks, and aren't planning to, then you have little to worry from overdraft fees. The fees charged to those who would otherwise bounce checks reduce the fees for the rest of us.

But the proposed regulations will protect those who bounce checks, while inevitably causing fee increases on those who don't bounce checks, once again punishing those who follow the rules.

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