by Allen West
As this is the holiday season, and I’m getting in the mood I have been struck by an interesting Christmas parallel. Remember the Charles Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol?” Truly a holiday classic in book and film versions. In the story, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three spirits: the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. I began thinking about what would happen if a spirit came and did the same over a night with President Obama?
What would it be like for President Obama to go back in time to 2009-2010 and revisit several major policy initiatives? In retrospect would it make any difference for him to see exactly what the effects would be?
If Obama could go back and reevaluate the stimulus package where nearly $1 trillion was spent, would he do it again? Would he see the failure of that massive spending endeavor? If the President was forced to sit back and see the debt clock and understand the ramifications of the first four years of out of control spending, would it allow him to see the folly? In those first two years when he had the House and Senate to run through anything he wanted, would he ponder why he did not include Republicans?
If President Obama could have the chance to look back at Dodd-Frank, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, would he have taken a different course? Hidden away in Dodd-Frank is something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Its mission is to prevent certain financial institutions from committing or engaging in “unfair,” “deceptive” or “abusive” practices regarding a consumer financial product or service. The problem is the CFPB has been granted exclusive authority in prescribing rules, issuance of guidance, conduct of examinations, requests for reports, and the ability to issue exemptions. What’s scary is the fact that Congress does not possess any appropriating authority over the CFPB because the agency is funded by the Federal Reserve. And the director of the CFPB solely determines the amount of funding the CFPB receives from the Fed.
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