Government organizations are here to help. How do we know this? They have names that say so!
Take the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Great name. It is all about protecting consumers, right?
Created as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation that was pushed through Congress following the 2008 financial implosion, the CFPB is tougher than the usual run-of-the-mill government agency, however. In the words of Cato scholar Ilya Shapiro, it is “the most independent of independent agencies.” It has a single director, who is almost impossible to remove, and it is empowered to make, enforce, and adjudicate its rules.
And punish violators.
The CFPB doesn’t have to answer to anybody, not even to secure funding.
If this does not raise at least a teensy sense of alarm, let me offer two words of caution: power corrupts.
We all know the ease with which regulatory agencies may abuse their power over us — and few are as insulated from the rule of law as is the CFPB; its near-immunity from oversight makes the ‘power-corrupts’ problem much worse.
The law firm Seila Law LLC — which helps clients deal with debt problems — has sued to challenge the constitutionality of how CFPB is structured. Although lower courts have not been sympathetic with Seila’s argument, the case has now been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A satirist once famously asked, who will watch the watchers?
In the United States, we should ask, who will protect us from the protectors?
By the Constitution that would be the Supreme Court.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.