Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – You can’t make this up!

CFPB, Case for misuse of taxpayer money — You can’t make this up!

Democrats are riding taxpayer dollars on this agency.

Back at the end of November, I ran an article titled “Federal Judge refused to block the President’s choice to run CFPB”. Until that time little was known by the average citizen about this “taxpayer protection” group. Those companies and industries like banks knew though because they were hit left and right with penalties and lawsuits.

The problem, then as now, is that the Consumer Financial Protection Agency is completely without oversight, has only one person in charge of all the decision-making, and has basically the ability to write laws and regulations without congressional or presidential oversight at all.

CFPB is a law unto itself. One person, not a board, has the ability to destroy or encourage enormous amounts of businesses without any input from or rights to object by anyone in government. In a very real way, the CFPB has more power than the legislative and executive branches of our government. Yet nothing has been done to rein it in.

I wrote a second article recently “Appeals court rules consumer bureau’s structure is constitutional.” It seems they found a sympathetic appeals court judge, Judge Nina Pillard, who was willing to rule that their bureau can exist as an independent agency with a sole director who can only be fired by the president for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.”

Language in the Dodd-Frank Act that gives the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) independence from Congress is constitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Wednesday, overturning a 2016 ruling by three of the court’s judges.

Independence means there is no oversight, no review, no internal audits, nothing that a regular agency must adhere to under normal organizational or operating procedures. NO ONE can correct, refuse, or disagree with them.

According to their strategic planning budget overview:

“The Director of the CFPB requests transfers from the Federal Reserve System in amounts that he has determined are reasonably necessary to carry out the Bureau’s mission within the limits set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act.

Transfers through fiscal year (FY) 2013 were capped at pre-set percentages of the total 2009 operating expenses of the Federal Reserve System.

Beginning in FY 2014, the funding caps have been adjusted annually, based on the percentage increase in the employment cost index for the total compensation for State and local government workers, which is published by the Federal Government.

Transfers from the Federal Reserve System were capped at $631.7 million for FY 2016 and are capped at $646.2 million for FY 2017. For FY 2018, the funding cap will be $663.0 million.

Funds transferred from the Federal Reserve System are deposited into the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Fund (Bureau Fund), which is maintained at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

(Someone want to explain why an agency of less than 2,000 employees who sues banks and other businesses and is awarded huge sums of money would need over $600 million per year? They must have the most expensive lawyers and employee payroll ever or the biggest business expense budget in the world.)

In January, Mulvaney shocked MSM when he requested $0 in second quarter funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and instead plans to rely on reserves to fund the federal agency.

Last October, then CFPB Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, requested $217 million in funding for the first quarter of 2018. Mulvaney wrote Yellen that the CFPB has $177.1 million at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is sufficient to cover the projected $145 million in quarterly expenditures. If these estimates are correct, a $0 funding request would leave the CFPB with approximately $32 million at the end of the second fiscal quarter.

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Well today comes a new way that the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren and organizational structure set up by Richard Cordray as permanent director managed to confiscate taxpayer funds not to protect taxpayers but to lord it over them. Granted the funds they use generally comes from the Federal Reserve but ultimately those funds are part of a larger picture of taxpayer monies. Also when they came under scrutiny for their building funds request, CFPB simply went to the General Services Administration and had direct taxpayer funds pay for their new building.

You cannot make this up – abuse of taxpayers and businesses at the highest level by a rogue agency paid for by those same taxpayers and businesses. Of course, if asked, Warren and others extol the virtues of said agency as they gleefully spend our hard-earned dollars and run intimidation and strong-arm tactics on the public  at large.

This is only one example, if asked I am sure those who have run afoul of the group can provide others.

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Here’s an exclusive peek into Elizabeth Warren’s favorite agency’s luxurious new headquarters

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

BizPak Review
Richard Pollock (DCNF)
Andrew Kerr, contributor
February 8, 2018

Taxpayers no longer have to wonder how their money has been spent at the newly renovated headquarters at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB’s acting director, graciously allowed The Daily Caller News Foundation to take an exclusive tour on Feb. 1 of the federal office — founded by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — that has been widely criticized for cost overruns and extravagance.

A June 2014 Inspector General report concluded there was “no sound basis” for the agency’s renovation cost estimates. Shortly thereafter, the contracting for the building was transferred from the bureau to the General Services Administration, that oversaw the current renovation.

Martin Michalosky, the bureau’s chief administrative officer, escorted TheDCNF on the tour. He was helpful and courteous as this DCNF reporter walked through the six stories of the building that sits across the street from the White House.

The first thing that stands out is that the office space does not feel like a government building at all. It could be an upscale hotel, a college campus or a corporate headquarters.

“There was interest to move this above a Class C Building,” said a CFPB source familiar with the renovation and the operation of the building. “Now it’s a Class A building,” he told TheDCNF.

The Building Owners and Managers Association International, which represents owners and managers of all commercial office buildings, describe Class A buildings as “the most coveted buildings in the marketplace.”

The $124 million spent to date for the 303,000 square foot office building is $409 per square foot, more than Trump World Tower, which cost $334 per square foot or Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel and Casino, priced at $330 per square foot.

It’s also double the $227.64 per square foot construction costs for “Class 1 – Best Quality” of masonry or concrete government buildings as reported in the 2018 National Building Cost Manual, the Bible for construction cost projections.

The new CFPB headquarters areas are very comfortable. The foyer feels like an inviting hotel lobby.

 

Each floor boasts a special “open space” with lounge chairs and sofas for CFPB employees.

 

 

There also are 29 small conference rooms throughout the headquarters — branded as “collaboration rooms.” There also are 25 medium-to-large conference rooms.

The food pantries sport stainless steel appliances. The sixth floor includes a commercial grade refrigerator.

 

CFPB currently has under construction a 2,660 square foot athletic facility for all of its employees free of charge. The staff also will enjoy 1,300 square foot gender specific locker rooms equipped with showers. Employees must bring their own towels.

The free gym offering stands in contrast to the White House Athletic Center, which during many administrations has charged employees $18.50 per pay period. Contractors, workers on government detail and General Services Administration employees can access the gym for $40.25 month, and guests can use it for $6 per day. Even interns have to pay $20.86 per month.

The restrooms — which CFPB prohibited TheDCNF to photograph — look more like a high-end restroom in a “W” Hotel rather than at a government facility.

The bureau’s rooftop seating offers the agency’s employees beautiful vistas of Washington’s skyline including the White House Eisenhower Executive Building and the Washington Monument.

CFPB employees can enjoy the rooftop with upscale outdoor furniture and motorized cantilever umbrellas that can protect employees from the sun. Richard Pollock/TheDCNF

 

Want to stand in your workspace? You’re in luck! Each CFPB office table is electrically motorized with height adjustments.

“All of our desks, workstations and offices are height adjustable so people have option to either stand or sit or adjust it to the proper height,” explained a CFPB source. “We did purchase those across the board, but I don’t know how that compares to the rest of the government,” the spokesman confessed.

So how much more do motorized height adjusted tables cost? The answer: a lot. Mark Fuqua, a principal at Maryland Commercial, that sells the height adjustable tables to commercial offices, broke down the costs of a motorized desk to TheDCNF.

“A non-powered desk is about $150 to $200 range,” he told TheDCNF in an interview. “So it adds about $350 if it didn’t move, costing about $550 per table.”

What’s the difference for taxpayers? The new CFPB headquarters is supposed to house 1,300 employees. A conventional table for all of its employees cost taxpayers between $195,000 to $260,000. A height adjustable table costs taxpayers $715,000.

The newly renovated CFPB also sports a library — something the old CFPB didn’t have.

There are no desk or tables to read in the library and the bookshelves are largely empty. The only furniture is a sofa and lounge chairs.

A CFPB source informed TheDCNF the bureau needed a library because there were reference materials that weren’t online. “There still are some physical aspects of printed materials like the CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) — a variety of other reference material — that is better to have in book form or are only available in book,” the source told TheDCNF.

TheDCNF went online and discovered there is a digital form of the CFR, called “e-CFR.”

The CFPB source explained that in the old building, the original space where the library now exists “was an open gathering location where people would come here and read newspapers and read materials.”

A potentially controversial aspect of the CFPB renovation is the bureau’s plans for overhauling a public area next door, called “Liberty Plaza.”

Liberty Plaza previously had an ice skating rink that was a popular winter spot for Washingtonians.

The agency budgeted $329,000 to overhaul the plaza, excluding the ice skating rink. Instead, CFPB planners included two “water features,” and a shallow pool. One of the water features will capture rain water for reclamation. CFPB officials were particularly excited about the rain water feature.

“One of the things that is part of renovating our building is some energy efficiency also some gray water and rain water collection,” the CFPB source said. “So we collect rain water from the roof, we collect from the plaza area and we recycle that and use it basically in our toilets and as well as in our water fountains.”

The source defended the water features and said the bureau were “obligated” to include them because of “requirements as part of the historical preservation society, Commission of Fine Arts and the D.C. equivalent of that.”

However, Carlton Hart, an urban planner with the National Capital Planning Commission, which approved the plaza design, disputed the idea the CFPB water features were mandated.

“There really weren’t any water features” in the original plaza, except for the winter skating rink, Hart told TheDCNF in an interview. He called the fountains and pool “a new feature.”

There also were a number of costly features in the original renovation plan that CFPB eventually dropped.

The cancelled features included a $1.1 million rooftop playground that required eight-foot walls and an extension of an elevator to the roof. A proposed “green roof” was eliminated although it will still capture rain water. A “living green wall” on the plaza also was eliminated.

Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, a Republican and chairman of the House financial subcommittee on housing and insurance, is a frequent critic of the agency.

“The ridiculous office amenities offer further proof that the agency under Richard Cordray’s leadership showed no regard for fiscal restraint,” Duffy told TheDCNF after learning of the CFPB’s tour said. “This is exactly why the CFPB needs oversight, and why I personally request a tour of the agency.”

Read the complete article HERE.  (emphasis is mine)

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This folks is how a consumer protection agency helps consumers? You cannot make up this level of blatant disregard for Constitution, law, and abuse of taxpayer funds.

No–this is a prime example of the manipulations of Democrats and how they deliberately have found ways to abuse US citizens in their quest for a socialist society. It is how an out-of-control rogue agency developed by a socialist whose purpose is to consume not help consumers demonstrates how a socialist regime works.

Screw the masses, we dictate what you will do and accept.

This is ridiculous. How the agency got a judge to overturn a panel of judges decision has to be interesting to say the least.  The judge needs to be disciplined and decision overturned.

Congress itself is responsible for this agency and its actions! Send Dodd/Frank and this agency to the trash heap of corrupt useless activities. If we are intent on draining the swamp, then CFPB and other agencies need to be drained as well.

Do the right thing– either disband CFPB or add a full board of supervisors and make it answerable to Congress.

–Uriel–

About Uriel

Retired educator and constitutionalist
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6 Responses to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – You can’t make this up!

  1. Wise Owl says:

    Wow! Great expose’, Uriel! I wonder how many are aware of the abuses. Their budget is $300K/employee– quite excessive by anyone’s standards. And, the facility sounds more like Apple or Google headquarters.

    I guess, when you spend other people’s money, restraint doesn’t matter. I am going to write my Congressman right now.

    • Uriel says:

      I have only been aware of it since November but am totally shocked at the scope of its authority. Now I am seeing red over its expenditures of taxpayer money. Just think as over the top as some major hotel chains this building is just for a few people. How the heck can they consider themselves a “consumer watchdog” with that kind of excess?

  2. Hardnox says:

    It’s great to be a wanna-be king until they get caught. The Constitution is only for little people. Assholes.

    Why are we not surprised that this was hatched by the Dims, pushed by Warren, and OK’d by Batears, and the best part… no Congressional Oversight allowed?

    I love it that Trump appointed a new guy who is tasked to dismantle the crooked agency.

  3. Whitetop says:

    Someone needs to be watching the consumer watchdog. With 2000 employees we can expect it to grow to 20,000 w/in 10 years. Get rid of it now.

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