Breaking news: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wastes piles of taxpayer money on ludicrous nonsense, just like every other organ of our bloated government.
Judicial Watch has been auditing the CFPB‚??s finances.¬† Among the ‚??questionable expenses‚?Ě they have discovered are $479,354 for sign language translation services, $4,500 to send top attorneys to a ‚??banking law fundamentals‚?Ě class, and starting salaries as high as $173,000 per year.
The agency told CNN it needed the sign-language services, which apparently cover just two ‚??entry level employees,‚?Ě in order to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.¬† Supposedly they have pre-paid for these services, and will receive a refund of unused sign-language interpreter time at the end of the year.¬† Judicial Watch noted that the expenses paid thus far included $1,185 to cover gas mileage for the interpreter ‚?? which, to be fair, is not hard to believe in Barack Obama‚??s economy.
The continuing-education courses on banking law don‚??t seem that outrageous‚?¶ until one reflects that highly compensated attorneys hired for the top ranks of a massive consumer protection agency really shouldn‚??t need that kind of remedial education.¬† One enforcement attorney is quoted from an email saying, ‚??This looks like an awesome agenda for a banking world novice like me.‚?Ě
As for the soaring salaries of CFPB officials, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) observed in congressional hearings that starting salaries at the agency exceeded Office of Personnel Management standards by up to 90 percent.¬† Judicial Watch adds that ‚??a dozen new hires take home¬†more than $225,000 a year, while a student intern was paid $51,620 ‚??through completion of education & study.‚??‚?Ě
This is all drearily familiar, coming from a big federal agency, but it‚??s especially galling because the CFPB exists in a weird interstellar legal space, far from the light of the Constitution.¬† It‚??s funded by the Federal Reserve, not Congress.¬† Its top official, Richard Cordray, was installed in a extra-Constitutional assertion of power by President Obama, who claimed the novel power to declare which hours of any given day Congress was, or was not, formally in session.¬† Few believe Cordray would have survived proper congressional confirmation, and he‚??s actually an improvement over the hyper-radical interim director: Elizabeth ‚??Fauxcahontas‚?Ě Warren, who claims to have created the ‚??intellectual foundation‚?Ě of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
CNN points out that CFPB‚??s crazy money-no-object spending is not that unusual for federal agencies: ‚??Judicial Watch found that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was paying 85 workers at least $225,000 a year in 2011 and the Securities and Exchange Commission was paying 103 workers more than $225,000, based on other documents it requested last year.‚?Ě
Ah, well, that makes it okay then.¬† Spend away, federal agencies!¬† When the money runs out, you can always borrow more, or jack up taxes on the people you regulate.¬† It‚??s not as if you have to face the pressure of sustaining a profitable business model.