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Elizabeth Warren: Another stealth activist or a consumer advocate?

Where Barack Obama is concerned, every action needs to be examined critically and carefully lest he and his selected associates continue to fundamentally change the nature of our nation’s social and economic fabric – some say towards a European Marxist model and others say towards a United Nation’s single governance model.

With his appointment of certain non-Senate-confirmed czars, Obama and his minions have essentially established a shadow government with many of the powers of Cabinet-level officials. And with the danger of inappropriate decisions that skirt proper authorization and oversight.

Therefore, it is with some trepidation that I read reports of President Obama temporarily  appointing Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the Treasury Department with the mission of launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). A agency designed with enormous powers; both to capture confidential personal and proprietary data and to promulgate rules and regulations which bypass normal Congressional legislative processes.

While Warren appears to have superb credentials and a storied history, enough is known about her ideological inclinations and it appears fair to say that she appears to be a committed progressive democrat. A member in good standing in the ideology which believes in a ruling elite and the necessity for a strong, centralized government to manage “we the people” in the best interests of a collective society. With this inclinations, her motivation for protecting consumers may be secondary to promoting public policy which allows the progressives to exert greater control over the nation’s population, economy, social development and, ultimately, the military.

Perhaps the scariest indication of her intentions may have  been presented to the public in the form of an enthusiastic recommendation from the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank; a man who believes that the largest financial service companies in the nation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be regarded as instruments of public and social policy. She also is highly recommended by Representative Bernie Sanders, a self-described democrat socialist who openly admires European-style social democracy. Sanders, running as an independent, caucuses with the democrats.

As for those with a radical political ideology, there is the possibility of extreme danger as the ends are already defined and the means, both fair or foul, may be subject to interpretation. 

Consumer protection or something more malevolent?

The reason given for the agency’s existence is consumer protection. But it appears that the CFPB is a super-agency, housed in the Federal Reserve, but independent of its oversight, with a budget estimated to be at least $500 million.  From what I can determine, the CFPB will sit atop other, more established, regulatory agencies and present a significant jurisdictional overlap that may give rise to an ill-conceived patchwork of legislation which is overly complex, conflicting, chaotic and may be impossible to implement.

I am worried …

The two areas which worry me the most are the CFPB’s ability to access the personal financial records of any citizen without subpoena or notice – possibly to be stored in a giant government database and made available to law enforcement agencies without subpoena --  and their ability to interfere in the activities of most any private organization – going far beyond the traditional limitation of regulating only depository institutions or financial firms.

It is also possible, indeed likely, that the CFPB may claim for itself the same exemption from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests that was exerted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the recently passed 2000+ page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Sidestepping Senate Confirmation …

President Obama appears to be avoiding a contentious Senate confirmation process that is mandated should he nominate her for a five-year term as the agency’s first head.

A clear and present danger …

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) sent a letter to President Obama which expressed his concern about the interim appointment of Warren. In the letter, Corker states:

“This particular position, one that was created just months ago, is unprecedented in the nature of its unfettered and unchecked authorities, which makes the confirmation process even more important to the interests of the American people. The individual who heads this bureau will be able to make rules, with ultimately no checks and balances, that could have broad reaching implications for the U.S. economy as it relates to accessing credit, social justice and the safety and soundness of the U.S. banking system. The job is disproportionately reliant on the decisions of one individual with access to large sums of taxpayer monies to carry out the agency agenda. Taxpayers deserve better stewardship in the determination of who will take on this responsibility.” <Source: Corker Letter>

The agency’s concept and preliminary design is attributed to Elizabeth Warren, so it is assumed that she has a clear idea of the agency’s power, direction and impact on the nation’s economy.

Geithner, again …

As provided in the Dodd-Frank bill, Treasury Secretary Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner is the titular head of the agency until the Senate confirms the agency’s first director. Geithner will also be intimately involved in transitioning and transferring  powers from existing regulatory agencies to the CFPB.

There is little or no evidence that Geithner is acting in the best interests of the average American citizen and not to benefit the financial institutions with which he is intimately familiar. His actions seem to be driven by Obama and his acolytes rather than from any sense of personal conviction.

But, considering that many of the positions anticipated by the Dodd-Frank legislation, it is possible that these positions might remain unfilled as Geithner and his associates consolidate their power. Which makes me wonder why Warren was not appointed by President Obama during the last recess and why she is assigned to the Treasury Department.

There appears to be something strange about Obama’s reluctance to take definitive action on any number of occasions. Some attribute this to laziness, incompetence or the over-reliance of factions fighting internally over turf. A prime example can be gleaned from the saga of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), John Dugan. It was well known in the Administration, from the time of Obama’s inauguration, that Dugan’s term would expire in August, 2010 – and yet the OCC continues to function, lacking a permanent leader. Considering the importance of this agency within the regulatory pantheon, it is almost inexcusable for the Obama Administration to leave a major agency position unfulfilled.  Ditto, the FHFA (Federal Housing Financial Agency) which oversees the mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which operate under an interim director.

One thought, perhaps Obama and his fellow travelers wish to place un-confirmable ideologues in positions of great power – to the extent they can survive the natural change of leadership which may occur as soon as 2012.  And which would further seed the inculcation of Marxism within the bureaucracy where it will be able to manage the public employee unions to finish the transformation so long sought by Barack Obama. 

Bottom Line …

Where Elizabeth Warren is mistaken is simply that more government control is not the answer to resolving the current financial crisis or preventing another crisis. That the proximate cause of all problematical behavior stems from government interference in the free markets and the self-serving behavior of politicians who continue to sell out the American public to the special interests in return for campaign contributions and voter support.

Without honest brokers to uphold the Constitution and serve “we the people,” Americans face a clear and present danger of a shift in political ideology towards a European socialist democracy. Higher taxes, expanded government, central planning along the lines of the old Soviet Union and a major loss of personal choice and freedoms.

We need to remove the democrats from office to restore the Constitutional checks and balances envisioned by our Founding Fathers. We need to remove the democrats from office to reverse some of the toxic and ill-advised legislative initiatives which have the potential to do great harm to our nation.

And we need to remove all politicians who have become creatures of the system, operating in self-interest in favor of the special interests rather than the public’s welfare.

And we need to do this before our country is irreversibly damaged.

-- steve

Reference Links:

Elizabeth Warren proposed the concept of a consumer protective agent modeled after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a think piece titled Unsafe at Any Rate. Note that her work is highly derivative, both in title (modeled after Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed) and in concept. 

The publication which published Warren’s work is  Democracy: A Journal of Ideas which claims “The mission of Democracy is to build a vibrant and vital progressivism for the twenty-first century that builds on the movement’s proud history, is true to its central values, and is relevant to present times.”

Unsafe at Any Rate

Slamming Ronald Regan … “… The difference between the two markets is regulation. Although considered an epithet in Washington since Ronald Reagan swept into the White House, the ‘R-word’ supports a booming market in tangible consumer goods.”

More government is not a solution … “How did financial products get so dangerous? Part of the problem is that disclosure has become a way to obfuscate rather than to inform.”

Notice that she did not say anything about the obvious: political influence on disclosure  legislation that permitted this egregious behavior. That is, politicians were bought and paid for by the financial institutions. The regulatory agencies were populated by ex-industry people.

And the proximate cause of the current financial crisis was federal policies, legislation serving the special interests and the failure of our regulatory agencies.  Also true under Carter, Clinton, Bush, and yes, Obama. And not likely to change in spite of Warren’s progressive efforts.

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell