by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef’s latest Forbes column calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to rid the world of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
2010 was a bad year for the Constitution. Not only did Congress saddle us with the misnamed Affordable Care Act, which has caused a legal war over its highly questionable constitutionality, but it also passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and her idea was to make it an independent agency – amazingly, unconstitutionally independent agency.
Consider, for example, the way CFPB is funded. Unlike every other federal regulatory agency, which gets its budget through congressional appropriation, CFPB gets its money directly from the Federal Reserve. That’s a glaring constitutional problem because no federal money is supposed to be spent except as appropriated by Congress – the power of the purse is given to Congress alone. …
… The CFPB is virtually a branch of government unto itself. It’s the very opposite of the kind of limited and accountable government the Founders envisioned. …
… [H]ere’s an even scarier thought. If CFPB is constitutional, we might find Congress and/or the executive branch creating more rogue agencies like it. If the judiciary doesn’t stand up for the rule of law now, we face a very slippery slope.