Commentary

Editorials agree: Trump’s seizure of consumer protection agency is dreadful news

As reported in this week’s edition of the Weekly Briefing, the Trump administration is doing its worst to ruin one of the best public agencies in Washington — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Not surprisingly, the plan is meeting with widespread derision. Lead editorials in today’s Greensboro News & Record and Raleigh’s News & Observer explain.

Here’s the N&R:

“This is part of a pattern. This administration has tried to push more Americans off health care, offer huge tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of Medicare and other safety-net programs, deny overtime to middle-class workers and allow financial institutions to insert fine print into contracts barring consumers from filing lawsuits if they have a grievance.

No one has said the Dodd-Frank bill couldn’t be improved, especially in regard to its regulation of small banks. But big financial institutions don’t need the government’s protection from average Americans.

These are the actions of an administration that sides with the powerful over the weak. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created because the powerful didn’t need help, but ordinary Americans did. That is still true today.”

And here’s the N&O:

“That is horrendous, because in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008 and thereafter, this agency was one with promise, a sign that President Obama understood that consumers needed protection from the vultures in the financial industry. And the Wells Fargo accounts scandal, coming years after the Great Recession, was strong evidence as to the good work of which the CFPB was capable.

Trump has populated the financial regulation part of his bureaucracy with millionaires who are looking to protect other millionaires but not anyone else.

And without action from the courts standing up for the independence of this valuable watchdog, it appears that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Stand by. More condemnations of this brazen act are sure to follow.

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