Americans have become accustomed to the alphabet soup of government agencies interfering in their lives and chiseling away at their freedom bit by bit. Instead of following the guidelines of the Constitution and allowing checks and balances to restrain governmental power, Congress has passed the buck to the executive branch to create laws. This degradation of the American Constitution and the latest example of its absurdity will be discussed in depth.
The Purpose of Executive Agencies
Because this is not the focal point of this essay, it will be brief; however, it is important to understand the purpose of the executive agencies in order to comprehend the magnitude of the CFPB’s transgressions.
Executive agencies have been established to help the president in fulfilling his obligation of executing the law. The way the Constitution is framed is that the legislature writes laws, the president executes the laws, and the judicial applies the laws in courts. As the country has grown, some have found it necessary to allow the president to create agencies, or government bureaucracies that act on his behalf, in order to execute the law.
The easiest way to imagine it is that it is the legislature’s job to declare war, and the president’s job to manage the military and fight the war. If Congress says there should be a postal service provided by government, it is the president’s job to ensure post offices are built and postmen are delivering mail. In short, the executive branch is the part of government that manifests laws into reality.
Where this has gone awry over time is in the expansion of executive power as Congress concedes their power to it in order to shed the blame. This has allowed the executive branch to usurp powers of the legislature via regulation. Congress is able to claim innocence and an inability to stop the president’s actions, and since they have no term limits, doing “good enough” and having name recognition guarantees them a job for life.
The executive overreaches began with what seem to be benign and sensible. It is things like the EPA stopping pollution, the FDA preventing bad drugs or the CDC controlling disease. While these are important things to manage, and arguably fall in the powers of the government via Constitutional authority, it is not the executive’s job to dictate the laws and regulations that make this happen.
Congress should be passing laws that prevent these things by debating each other and pleading on behalf of their constituents instead of ceding this authority to the executive branch. The reason this is dangerous is that it puts power into the hands of many unelected officials, who therefore are unaccountable for their actions. No one would consider putting mid-level managers for large corporations in charge of writing laws for the whole country, but when they’re called bureaucrats, the sentiment changes.
The Crimes of the CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sounds like an organization created to help the Average Joe. It should be there to defend against big, evil corporations taking advantage of ordinary people by defrauding them or monopolizing markets. In reality, it is a bureaucracy that is not subject to Congressional funding mechanisms, operating outside of the bounds of normal Executive Agencies.
The CFPB was created in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Supposedly, it was meant to stop a repeat of the 2008 collapse and protect people from predatory business practices by corporations. All that sounds good, right?
Well, it ended up not fixing the real problems with Wall Street investors or educating consumers. Think about it, do you actually understand what happened in the 2008 crash? Do you think Wall Street wasn’t financing Obama, Clinton or other democrat campaigns to protect their interests and stay out of jail? No.
What has actually happened with the creation of the CFPB is it has been a slush fund for Democrat campaign financing. It creates absurd, onerous regulations for businesses to follow, which are basically traps, then charges penalties for violating these regulations. This money is then used to finance campaigns for Democrats who then protect the CFPB from the checks and balances government should have.
Because funding for the CFPB comes from the Federal Reserve, and not Congress, it is barely answerable to any part of government, especially the parts that are democratically elected. In essence, it operates on its own terms. It has even claimed recently that the president cannot appoint the head of this agency (which is basically his job) and has not recognized Trump’s appointment.
The point of an agent is to act on another’s behalf. Therefore, an agency is an organization that acts on behalf of another organization or person. The fact that the CFPB is not answerable to the president shows that they are not agents of the government, but of the Democrat Party. To be clear, this would not be acceptable if it were funneling billions of dollars into the Republican Party either, but it is essential for preserving liberty and the Constitution that this issue be brought to light.
The expanse of the Federal Government now is beyond the wildest nightmares of the framers of the Constitution. They intended to create a system of checks and balances that would slow the movement of laws and government because it would require careful politicking as well as overwhelming support to manifest their ideas into law. This vision slowly degraded throughout the 20th century as Congress allowed for the growth of the Executive Branch.
This has become an issue for people across the country, often those who are working hard to build businesses and raise a family, who are too small to fight against the cumbersome regulations.
What needs to happen is for Congress to stand up against the executive growth and reclaim its power. It is essential for liberty to thrive that government remains in gridlock, allowing opposing interests to battle for the approval of the public. When Executive Agencies take this power into their own hands with authority granted through the cowardice of Congress rather than the consent of the people, they undermine the Constitution and betray the ideals of America.
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