Hidden away in President Barack Obama’s first term legislative achievements – somewhere between ObamaCare and his $700 billion drunken sailor stimulus spending law – was the creation of a new federal agency with the nice sounding name “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (CFPB).
The president wanted to create the “consumer protection” agency to do what other federal agencies already do only better – protect consumers from themselves. On the surface, the CFPB says it is:
“A 21st Century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.”
We have 20th Century bureaucracies that say they do this but who’s counting.
The difference between the old and new has to do with the access the CFPB has to the personal finances of all Americans. It has access to their mortgage payments and details, credit card statements and details, auto loan payments and details – in effect anything you own and details.
The news media and politicians fret about the NSA’s domestic spying program, whether the government can scoop up meta data of all the people you call, when and for how long and the gathering face recognition, retina scans, fingerprints and other biometric data on the people by the government but not a word about government intrusion on the financial lives of all Americans.
What people don’t know and what a new polls reveals is that people recoil in anger when they learn that, under CFPB rules, the government is collecting identifiable financial data of each American that gives government bureaucrats an intimate picture of a person’s financial status at any point in time.
If the CFPB teams up with the Internal Revenue Service, ObamaCare, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Communications Commission’s recent takeover of the Internet and the U.S. banking system and there is no part of your life that you own.
Your privacy is not just dead. It’s buried.
The poll, conducted by the U.S. Consumer Coalition (USCC), a grassroots organization that works to protect consumers’ rights to access free-market goods and services, is the first national survey about the CFPB and how Americans feel about the agency once they find out what it does.
The poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to see the CFPB subject to congressional oversight through the appropriations process.
“Americans have spoken loudly for the first time in this survey that they believe this agency is invading their privacy and restricting their freedom of choice in a way that makes them very uncomfortable,” said Brian Wise, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Consumer Coalition.
According to a press release, the USCC commissioned the nationwide survey of 3,225 likely voters and 3,604 adults to better understand how Americans feel about the CFPB. Key Findings of the USCC-Zogby Analytics Poll include:
• A majority (55%) of respondents believe the CFPB’s data collection program is similar or worse than the controversial NSA monitoring program.
• Only 20% of those polled believed that the CFPB should be able to collect and review Americans’ credit card statements without their knowledge.
• 78% of respondents believe the CFPB should have to seek Congressional approval for its budget like other agencies.
• Nearly 70% of those polled believe that the government should not be able to tell consumers how to spend their money or make financial decisions for their families.
• 71% agreed that it is the consumer’s responsibility to determine whether or not to take out loans and mortgages with unfavorable terms as long as they are presented clearly.
“We have a powerful agency unilaterally regulating products and industries while subjecting Americans to an unprecedented invasion of their personal financial data. And it’s clear Americans don’t like it,” said Wise.
“They clearly oppose the agency’s activities to invade their privacy, track their purchases, and efforts to tell them what products they can and cannot use.”
Continuing from the release:
“The CFPB has come under fire in recent months for proposing controversial regulations of consumer financial products without congressional approval. The CFPB instituted a program to acquire and monitor the purchases of more than 500 million credit cards of American consumers.
The CFPB has also refused to provide information to Congress on the purpose of the data collection program, or agree to allow Americans an opportunity to opt-out.”
“Consumers are increasingly against the government telling them how to spend their money and are skeptical of the claim that mountains of their personal data are needed to keep them safe – not from terrorists in this case – but from themselves and their own choices.
USCC hopes that this survey will raise awareness about a number of the questionable activities of the CFPB and serve as a catalyst for real reform to protect America’s consumers from the so-called ‘consumer protector.'”
Based on these findings, Americans are sending a clear message to Congress, the President and the bureaucracies he controls – BUTT OUT!