This was an exciting week. Trump hasn't even been sworn in yet, but the Republicans and the conservative Dems who back their reactionary agenda are already moving rapidly in Congress towards the reactionary policies they stand for. Most of the ink has been going towards Republican Party plans to re-do– or at least wreck– the healthcare system. But the Republicans have big plans to destroy consumer and societal protections in terms of Wall Street as well. As we mentioned the yesterday, they have already begun moving to dismember and eliminate chunks of Dodd-Frank, giving the Wall Street predators, who spent $1,017,812,355 on contributions and lobbying in the 2016 cycle, what they paid for. Republicans got most of the money from the banksters last year. Their top 5 investments in 2016 were for 5 notorious crooks with “for sale” signs sticking out of their asses:
• Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $7,801,459
• Ted Cruz (R-TX)- $5,447,953
• Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $4,811,054
• Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $4,319,564
• Rob Portman (R-OH)- $3,054,236
Over in the House, the Finance Sector only gave 10 members million dollars or more, the ones who they expect will carry their water most consistently. America would be a much better place if all 10 of these dangerous criminals were permanently behind bars:
• Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $4,319,564
• Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $2,099,289
• Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $1,381,75
• Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $1,314,695
• Ed Royce (R-CA)- $1,276,649
• Steve Stivers (R-OH)- $1,197,620
• Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $1,126,582
• Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)- $1,100,132
• Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)- $1,056,190
• Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $1,049,573
[Note: the banksters also gave Bob Dold (R-IL) $1,453,738 but he was defeated by another crooked corporate conservative, Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL), who the Finance Sector gave $404,995.] Randy Neugebauer didn't run for reelection this cycle. He represented a big chunk of western north-central Texas– including Lubbock and Abilene– from 2003 until last week. A deep red, backward district with a PVI of R+26, Obama only picked up about a quarter of the vote there. In his last reelection bid in 2014, Neugebauer beat his Democratic opponent 77-18%, Two years early he had won with 85% and in 2010 with 78%. In 2011, the National Review dubbed him the “most conservative” member of the House. Neugebauer's step-father was a bankster– as is his own son– and Neugebauer was one of Congress' richest members. His son, Toby, gave $10 million to the Ted Cruz presidential campaign. Neugebauer was a notorious bribe-taker and was under investigation for bribery involving a pay day lender scheme– which he sponsored in the House– when he suddenly announced he would't run again. He's best known for sponsoring Wall Street special interest bills written by bankster lobbyists (like his anti-regulatory National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act. The Finance Sector rewarded him with $3,456,770 in legalistic bribes during his term in Congress. And he probably hasn't finished serving them yet. Looking for the most corrupt person he could find to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Trump stumbled onto Neugebauer.
This week, writing for HuffPo, Ben Walsh and Ryan Grim explained how Trump plans to turn the CFPB into “a weak agency that sides with financial predators over consumers,” a slap in the face to his nemesis, Elizabeth Warren. Trump's way of doing that is too appoint Neugebauer to head it.
When he was in Congress, Neugebauer opposed CFPB actions like the first-ever federal rule cracking down on payday loans. He labeled the agency’s effort to require payday lenders to take basic steps to ensure consumers can pay back their loans and not get trapped in a cycle of debt as a “paternalistic erosion of consumer product choices.” He introduced a bill to overhaul and weaken the agency.
As the CFPB was originally designed, the president could not fire its director at will before his five-year term expired. But a federal appeals court ruled last year that the agency structure is unconstitutional. Unless that ruling is overturned by the Supreme Court or reconsidered by the lower court that decided it– the CFPB petitioned that court to vacate the earlier ruling– Trump will be able to remove the Obama-appointed Cordray at any time for any reason.
Warren pushed for the CFPB to be created in the wake of the financial crisis as part of the 2010 Wall Street regulatory reform law. It is funded as part of the Federal Reserve system, which means its budget cannot be cut through the congressional appropriations process, and it has a single powerful director, rather than the bipartisan boards found at other agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Under Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB has returned $12 billion to 27 million people caught up in various scams, passed pro-consumer rules on issues like mortgage disclosure, proposed a mandatory arbitration rule that is being finalized, and hit banks for conning customers into paying for expensive add-on products that don’t do much. The agency was central in exposing the large-scale checking and credit card fraud at Wells Fargo.
I'm sure I don't have to say anything about foxes in hen houses or draining swamps for you to already fully understand the point. How did Trump even find a crackpot like Neugebauer? Maybe laughing at his biographical video?
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis