Ambrose: Battle over consumer agency is the right fight




Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send him email at

Goodbye liberty, goodbye democracy, goodbye limited government and hello administrative state. Here is a mishmash of countless federal agencies dictating how we live with little if any reference to rights and constitutional safeguards, and that brings us to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

It happens to be in the headlines now because the Trump administration is in the process of saving us from its contribution to this leftist, destructive authoritarianism.

This super-powerful agency well represents their vision of a New America that has been emerging for quite awhile but was grotesquely amplified under the presidency of Barack Obama. In this instance, there was jubilant assistance from Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

When the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was sadly being created, this Democrat from Massachusetts fought for the legislation to include an agency encompassing her deepest dreams. Avoiding special-interest politics, it would have investigative, regulatory and juridical powers. The purpose sounded good: Bureaucratic magnificoes would prevent fraud by financial services in advertising, contractual language or other sneakiness.

But what the agency actually avoided was accountability to the American people. It dubiously got its funding from the Federal Reserve, meaning Congress had a smaller handle on waywardness.

Highly political

It was, however, as political as political gets, signing on Democrats with Republicans not even considered, according to one whistleblower. It paid some $45 million in contracts for advertising and research to an advertising agency that played a central role in Obama’s presidential campaigns, the Daily Caller reported. Its employees donated $50,000 to Democratic candidates.

An alert analysis found that to prevent poor people from buying houses they cannot afford, the agency devised complications preventing people from buying houses they can afford. Similarly, to crack down on what it considered unfair payday loan policies, it made it impossible for vast numbers to get loans they badly needed.

At any rate, the agency’s chief, someone initially appointed illegally to his job by Obama, has stepped down.

Since vacating is what happened, President Donald Trump clearly had the replacement prerogative and chose Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, as acting director.

Mulvaney’s mission is to inhibit new malfunctions, one small but vital step against an administrative state described by a law professor quoted online as “the power to make binding rules without law, outside the law, or against the law, exercised by someone other than an elected legislature.”

Do your job Mulvaney, and hallelujah.