Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Friday, September 17, 2010

And in Honor of Constitution Day… a new Czarina

Today is Constitution Day, and in honor of the occasion President Obama announced the appointment of Elizabeth Warren as head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She’s the latest of the “special appointments” to high level positions that embody frightening powers to impose regulations and controls on individuals and business.  In short, she’s the latest member of the Czar and Czarina Club.

What does that make now? 36? 40? Who’s counting? What’s one more appointee with awesome powers who won’t receive Senate approval and isn’t accountable to elected representatives? What’s one more member of a shadow government that falls outside of any of the three branches of government established by the U.S. Constitution? (Duly noted that Obama didn’t create the concept of Czars: he’s just taken it to a whole new level.)

Nice symbolic move for Constitution Day, Mr. President.

Even the Obama-friendly Atlantic finds this “strange.”

She won't be formally nominated as head of the CFPB, because the White House wants to avoid a confirmation fight in the Senate. Instead, she will just be appointed as a special advisor to the Treasury, which means she'll effectively lead the creation of the new consumer watchdog. This is a strange strategy.

As  “Consumer Financial Protection” Czarina, Obama’s “dear friend” Elizabeth Warren  will be responsible for setting up another government behemoth: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will soon be involved in every financial transaction made by individuals or businesses, no matter how mundane or complex. And if history is any gauge – which it is – it will get into a whole lot of other aspects of our lives beyond financial transactions. Bureaucracy’s first rule of survival is to grow its powers.

According to an announcement to be released by the President this morning:

“never again will folks be confused or misled by the pages of barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans…”**

Good. From now on that honor will be reserved for folks trying to figure out the 2000 page legislation passed by Congress.

Legislation like Obamacare, which is poised to destroy the best health care in the world because, as Nancy Pelosi famously told us “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” And now, the Financial Services Bill, which spawned this latest bureaucracy and the Czarina who will build it.

The Czarina position, by the way, is being filled by the person who proposed it, sponsored it and no doubt lobbied to get it. Which probably wasn’t necessary, since she’s an “old friend” of the President.

Oh, and by the way, Warren is also a Harvard University professor and hero to liberal activists. Who would’ve guessed that?

Happy Constitution Day. I hope the NEA has developed lesson plans for teaching this apparently arcane concept, just as it has for Mexican Independence Day.


** Let it be noted that the vast majority of the “barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans…” is due to previously legislated requirements placed on financial institutions.