There can be unseemly exposure of the mind as well as of the body, as the progressive mind is exposed in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB), a creature of the labyrinthine Dodd-Frank legislation. Judicial dismantling of the CFPB would affirm the rule of law and Congress’s constitutional role.
The CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, was installed by one of Barack Obama’s spurious recess appointmentswhen the Senate was not in recess. Vitiating the Senate’s power to advise and consent to presidential appointments is congruent with the CFPB’s general lawlessness.
The CFPB nullifies Congress’s power to use the power of the purse to control bureaucracies because its funding — “determined by the director” — comes not from congressional appropriations but from the Federal Reserve. Untethered from all three branches of government, unlike anything created since 1789, the CFPB is uniquely sovereign: The president appoints the director for a five-year term — he can stay indefinitely, if no successor is confirmed — and the director can be removed, but not for policy reasons.
One CFPB request for $94?million in Federal Reserve funds was made on a single sheet of paper. Its 2012 budget estimated $130?million for — this is the full explanation — “other services.” So it has been hiring promiscuously and paying its hires lavishly: As of three months ago, approximately 60?percent of its then 958 employees were making more than $100,000 a year. Five percent were making $200,000 or more. (A Cabinet secretary makes $199,700.)