Is Mulvaney Protecting Big Business and Not Consumers?

CFPB, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney
I love this job! Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.

Government isn’t perfect — far from it. It is too big and unwieldy, not transparent enough, does lots of really messed up things, often overreaches, and wastes money. More importantly, however, government is absolutely necessary. Without it, things would be much, much worse.

Because time and time again, government intervention has been required to protect the environment from pollution, consumers from harmful products, and workers from unsafe conditions and discrimination. In many cases, these protections were put in place following lengthy fights with big business, which is still spending billions of dollars each year to ensure corporate America is facing as little oversight as possible.

So for all of its flaws, the government is needed because without federal regulators, the air would be dirtier, prescription drugs would be less safe, workers would be killed on the job at a higher rate, and regular Americans would get fleeced more.

Government isn’t perfect, but it serves an important purpose. And that is why it is so troubling that some of the agency heads of the Trump administration seem to be abdicating their responsibility.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is the most prominent example. Under him, EPA might as well stand for Everybody Pollute Always. However, others are just as guilty of acting counter to the mission of the agencies they were entrusted with.

Take Mick Mulvaney, the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Mulvaney “has pulled back from a full-scale probe of how Equifax Inc. failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers.” That last part is actually a charitable description of what happened.

Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, allowed hackers to steal the personal data, including Social Security numbers and birth dates of 145 million Americans, and then took their time before informing the affected individuals.

Richard Cordray, who headed CFPB before Mulvaney, gave the green light for an investigation of Equifax in the same month the breach became public. Which makes sense, seeing how so many people (i.e., “consumers”) were affected, and a credit reporting agency was involved (i.e., a company involved in the “financial” industry) and their interests were not “protected.”

Mulvaney, however, apparently does not feel that the Equifax case is a matter for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Which would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

The CFPB has been a thorn in the side of Republicans since it was founded in President Barack Obama’s first term. It probably doesn’t help that it was initially proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in 2007, when she taught at Harvard Law School.

So how did Mulvaney feel about the agency he now runs when he was in Congress? Here is a short clip of him calling the CFPB a “sick, sad joke.” And, when asked what reforms he would like to see implemented, he says: “Some of us would like to get rid of it.”

Well, Trump put him in a position to do just that and it sounds as though Mulvaney is well on his way.


The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Mick Mulvaney caricature (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), sword (francois schnell / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), hair (Jill Bearup / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), face (Maria Morri / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), rope (Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos / Flickr CC BY 2.0), basement (Ingo / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), sign (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau / Flickr), and rats (YayAdrian / Flickr- CC BY 2.0).

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.

print

2 responses to “Is Mulvaney Protecting Big Business and Not Consumers?”

  1. miclic says:

    in 2007 former director of the FBI Bill sessions – the same guy that was fbi director when both ruby ridge and waco happened – represented 1 Semyon Mogilevich aka boss of bosses, aka felix sater’s real boss; the guy who sponsored validimir putin. that guy, was represented in federal court by a former director of the fbi; and subsequently his name was removed from the fbi’s top 10 list which never happens as russ baker put it in his www article last year; the fbi doesnt remove you from its top 10 list unless they capture you or youre dead. but yet leslie caldwell the #3 at doj did just that.

    we knew that caldwell had done removed felix sater’s boss from fbi top 10 list. but now we know from glen simpson’s fusion gps testimony to the senate intelligence committee which was released by diane feinstein, that there must be a deeper connection between the mogilevich organization, the doj, the fbi and the us political establishment.

    (congress is itself compromised with guys like dana rohrbacher et al and going back to just a few years after the so called end of the first cold war, the dole campaign in 1998, according to the la times was compromised by russian connections via paul manafort who worked that campaign while also working for oleg deripaska et al, and lets not forget the clinton foundation).

    bob mueller was there since william sessions was yanked and replaced by louis freh. he surely knows the russian rot at the doj and the fbi.

    is he willing to expose it? (assuming he’s not compromised himself)

  2. miclic says:

    Mulvaney, Pruitt, Zeinke… et al Trump himself low grade rats…hey never let it be said that in our system, not everyone gets a turn at the loot;

    From stool-pigeon Judas 3rd rate actor/mob toolie Reagan to blue blood waspy secret club Yaley Bush Daddy to fake Rhodes scholar coked-out bubba to wmd-Iraq George to fraudulent Hardvard law review guy[with a Nobel peace prize] and now we are back full circle to wwf booboisie.

    trump, mulvaney, pruitt and zeinke et al are the blow off top, the apotheosis of neoliberal control-fraud politics.

    Mueller should RICO the entire Trump Organization and the Executive office of the President of the United States.

    Russ Baker should do a follow up on Sater and the fbi article www did last year; including updates on all the players in that article such as Leslie Caldwell, and the former fbi agents – some Sater’s former handlers – working for Trump.

    The reason Trump is attacking the fbi is because he knows how compromised it is by Russian mob – Mogilovich et al.

    The question is: will Mueller reveal that rot and if he does what does that mean for the case? for the fbi?