President Trump has already been the most conservative president in recent history in regard to his handling of regulations, slashing them at a quicker pace than even President Reagan. Among his priorities is the neutering of the notoriously anti-business Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has so much power and so little accountability that even The New York Times describes it as having “unusual authority and independence.”
Trump’s plan to “defang” the CFPB has now begun in earnest with the naming of Mick Mulvaney as the bureau’s acting director. Mulvaney’s goal, which he established immediately upon taking the job, is to stop the CFPB’s abuse of its “unusual authority and independence.” But, alas, the “deep state” has formed a #resistance against the new leadership — and that resistance has a name: “Dumbledore’s Army.”
Yes, seriously. The New York Times reports:
Some employees, including a few of the bureau’s top officials, have welcomed their new leader. Others, pointing to Mr. Mulvaney’s earlier hostility toward the agency and its mission, are quietly resisting. One small group calls itself “Dumbledore’s Army,” according to two of the people who were familiar with their discussions. The name is a reference to a secret resistance force in the “Harry Potter” books.
An atmosphere of intense anxiety has taken hold, several employees said. In some cases, conversations between staff that used to take place by phone or text now happen almost exclusively in person or through encrypted messaging apps.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Mulvaney was appointed as acting director by Trump after the resignation of Obama-appointed director, Richard Cordray. Democrats and entrenched bureau members have attempted to block Trump’s appointee, pushing for Cordray’s deputy director Leandra English so she can continue Cordray’s aggressive policies, but a federal judge ruled in Trump’s favor, denying the emergency motion filed by English to block him.
Just how out of control has the CFPB been? Here’s the Times admitting that the agency has exacted a stunning $12 billion from businesses since its creation in 2010 after the financial crisis and appeared to only be ramping up its “aggressive stance toward regulating and punishing businesses”:
The agency often took an aggressive stance toward regulating and punishing businesses. It extracted nearly $12 billion in refunds and canceled debts for 29 million consumers.
After Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Cordray seemed to double down on the aggressive approach. He unleashed a fusillade of rules and enforcement actions, including new restrictions on the payday lending industry.
For those unfamiliar with the CFPB, earlier this year PragerU produced a quick primer about how the agency is “hurting us all“:
H/T Josh Blackman.