Thursday, August 22, 2013

Republican/Teabaggers find another way to do harm

Having fought tooth and nail to prevent the establishment of the agency and then filibustering to keep it without a head, the Republican/Teabaggers are using the latest NSA screwup/scandal to attack the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Amid the debate about whether national security operations have intruded on Americans’ privacy, the collection of personal data by a federal consumer protection agency has prompted questions about whether its efforts have gone too far.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has spent more than $20 million “collecting and tracking spending habits of more than 10 million Americans,” Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said in a letter last month to the agency seeking information about its work.

As a result, the Government Accountability Office has begun an investigation of the scope of the data collection and privacy protections at the 2-year-old agency. It was created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking reform law to ensure that consumers are protected from predatory credit agencies and mortgage lenders.

“Many Americans are understandably unsettled by news reports about the National Security Agency’s widespread monitoring of telephone and Internet traffic,” Diane Katz, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote on the think tank’s website. “Attracting far less attention is the rampant snooping of a more personalized nature carried out daily” by the consumer protection bureau.

Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director, has been defending the data collection methods even before the GAO investigation began in mid-July.

“The bureau makes every effort to be a data-driven agency,” he said in a letter to Crapo. “As illustrated by events leading to the recent financial crisis, financial regulators must have timely and accurate information about the markets they regulate.”

The bureau, a target of Republican lawmakers and other critics since its beginnings, collects four types of data, officials have said: commercially available, publicly available, voluntarily reported, and so-called supervisory data, which is information it can collect under its regulatory power.

The agency’s analysis of such data has led to investigations of major credit card companies, uncovering unfair marketing and billing practices. This week, it sued the Nevada-based legal services firm of Morgan Drexen Inc. “for charging illegal upfront fees and deceiving consumers.”
With the agency attacking the very core of Republican existance, financial institutions that unjustly enrich themselves, it is no wonder that the Republican/Teabaggers ar continuing their attacks. We wish them complete failure in their efforts.


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