No Wonder Richard Cordray Wanted To Choose His Successor!

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that a whistleblower within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has come forward. According to her statement, falsified information was used against certain businesses, and then the money obtained by fines was funneled into left-wing groups.

The article reports:

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former CFPB staffer Cassandra Jackson, accused the agency’s managers of “widespread racism and gender discrimination.” Jackson also accused the agency of forcing her to falsify evidence to justify fines against a pay-day lender. 

…“I was specifically told to cite Ace Cash Express for a violation for which I had verified the company was in compliance and to state that Ace Cash Express did not provide, and that the CFPB did not receive, documents that would have satisfied the CFPB’s guidelines, despite having received that information from Ace Cash Express,” Jackson wrote to Sessions.

“I encourage you to initiate an investigation into this matter, as well as civil rights violations at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Jackson said. “During my nearly five years at the Bureau, I encountered widespread racism and gender discrimination from management,” added Jackson.

The article concludes:

Everything from amassing secret ledgers to using penalties to ‘launder,’ funds into left-wing causes. Of course, because the CFPB operates independently of the U.S. Government, a full audit of the agency’s balance sheet have never been done. This sad reality may very well change under Mulvaney’s leadership.

The agency “Funnelled a large portion of the more than $5 billion in penalties collected from defendants to community organizers aligned with Democrats — “a slush fund by another name,” said a consultant who worked with CFPB on its Civil Penalty Fund and requested anonymity.”

Advocacy group, The U.S. Consumer Coalition, was the source of Jackson’s damning letter.

“Ms. Jackson is a dedicated public servant who believes in the mission of the CFPB,” said Brian J. Wise, president of the U.S. Consumer Coalition. “Unfortunately, her claims are all too familiar to the dedicated employees serving under the direction of CFPB management,” wrote a spokesperson for the organization.

Does anyone believe that had Richard Cordray been able to name the agency’s deputy director, Leandra English, to succeed him that any of these practices would have changed. Now because President Trump has appointed Mick Mulvaney, currently the White House budget director, as interim director of the CFPB, there is a chance that some of the questionable (if not illegal) practices of the CFPB will end. The CFPB is part of the swamp that needs to be drained.

An Agenda That Would Help All Americans

On Tuesday, CNS News posted an article about President Trump‘s agenda after tax reform. It is an ambitious agenda that would do great things for America.

The article reports:

At the start of a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump plugged the Republican tax plan, then said spending cuts and welfare reform are next on the list:

“We’re working to reduce wasteful government spending,” Trump said. “We’ll be working on healthcare, infrastructure, and welfare reform. We’re looking very strongly at welfare reform, and that will all take place right after taxes — very soon, very shortly after taxes. So we’ll be submitting plans on healthcare, plans on infrastructure, and plans on welfare reform — which is desperately needed in our country — soon after taxes.”

Welfare is needed as a safety net–it should not be a career choice. It is time to examine what we are doing to educate those children from families where education is not seen as valuable. It is time to make sure that children who graduate from American high schools know how to fill out a job application, a college application, etc. The key to welfare reform is education and providing a reasonable transition from welfare to work. I think we can do that if both parties in Congress would work together.

The article concludes:

At the White House press briefing on Monday, a reporter asked spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders what Trump meant when he mentioned welfare reform:

“I think there’s no secret,” Sanders said, noting that Trump had spoken about it during the campaign. “And when we have specifics on what that will look like, we’ll certainly announce them and roll them out. I don’t anticipate that happening over the next couple of weeks. We’re very focused on tax reform and making sure we get that done by the end of the year.

“But this is something that the president has a great deal of interest in, and I think you can count on probably the first part of next year seeing more specifics and details coming out on that.”

To be a healthy country, we need to give Americans opportunities to improve their lives through education and hard work. Welfare reform would be a step in that direction.

A Good Idea Whose Time Has Come

On Friday, CNS News posted a story about one area of President Trump’s proposed budget–the area of food stamps.

Here are some numbers from The Gateway Pundit in 2015:

Under Obama the poverty rate has stood at greater than 15% for three consecutive years (2010-12), the first time that has happened since the mid-1960’s.  A record number of people have been on Medicaid (72 million or 1 out of 4 Americans) and Medicare (more than 47 million Americans) during Obama’s presidency.  When Obama entered office in 2009, 31.9 million individuals received food stamp benefits. As of January 2015, 46 million people received food stamps for a 44% increase in food stamp usage since Obama took over and record numbers.  Food stamp users had topped 46 million for 38 straight months as of January 2015.  (People don’t reach out for food stamps when good paying jobs are plentiful.) Due in part to the increase in food stamps, Welfare spending  (not counting social security) reached nearly $1 trillion in 2013.

Obviously change is needed. The article at CNS News details some of the suggested changes:

In reality, the president’s proposed policy is based on two principles: requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.

The president’s budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout. Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.

Government should definitely support those who need assistance, but should expect recipients to engage in constructive activity in exchange for that assistance.

Work Requirements

Under the Trump reform, recipients who cannot immediately find a job would be expected to engage in “work activation,” including supervised job searching, training, and community service.

This idea of a quid pro quo between welfare recipients and society has nearly universal support among the public.

Nearly 90 percent of the public agree that “able-bodied adults that receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.”

It is time for those sitting in the economic wagon being pulled by working people to get out of the wagon and help pull.

The article reminds us that when Maine placed a work requirement on food stamp recipients, the number of people collecting food stamps dropped sharply. I believe Americans are basically generous people who want to help the less fortunate, but I also believe that Americans do not like being taken advantage of.

The article reports what happened in Maine:

In December 2014, Maine imposed a work requirement on this category of recipients. Under the policy, no recipient had his benefits simply cut. Instead, recipients were required to undertake state-provided training or to work in community service six hours per week.

Nearly all affected recipients chose to leave the program rather than participate in training or community service. As a result, the Maine caseload of able-bodied adults without dependent children dropped 80 percent in just a few months.

We need to learn from Maine’s experience.

Bringing The Federal Budget Under Control

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that one of the steps President Trump will be taking to help balance the budget next year will be reining in tax payments to illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, set to be released Tuesday, will set higher eligibility standards for the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday. According to the administration, the measures will save $40 billion over 10 years.

In May 2014, The Washington Examiner reported:

The Treasury Department has released its latest report on the fight against widespread fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit program. The problem is, fraud is still winning. And there’s not even much of a fight.

“The Internal Revenue Service continues to make little progress in reducing improper payments of Earned Income Tax Credits,” a press release from Treasury’s inspector general for Tax Administration says. “The IRS estimates that 22 to 26 percent of EITC payments were issued improperly in Fiscal Year 2013. The dollar value of these improper payments was estimated to be between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion.”

There is no reason to continue funding tax fraud.

The article concludes:

Some anti-illegal immigration groups have said that allowing workers to claim credits without providing a Social Security number amounts to paying illegal immigrants to stay in the country. Conservative lawmakers also have favored tightening the restrictions as a matter of fiscal conservatism.

Liberal groups, though, argue that illegal immigrants pay taxes, such as payroll taxes for Social Security, for which they won’t get benefits. More generally, the low-income tax credits generally benefit needy families, even if they technically did not qualify for the benefits they received.

Why are we running huge budget deficits to pay benefits to people who are not eligible to receive them? This doesn’t make sense to me. It would be nice to see that change.

Countering Fake News

The major media sources are all abuzz with the fact that President Trump is denying food to senior citizens by cutting Meals on Wheels. How awful. How awful that the media is reporting something that is not true. Meals on Wheels only gets a small percentage of its funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs. The cuts President Trump is making will have little or no impact on Meals on Wheels.

The Conservative Review posted an article today explaining the details:

President Donald Trump is catching hell from the media over accusations that his budget will cut off funding for Meals on Wheels as part of his proposal to eliminate funding for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.

Most of the media’s hysterics are exaggerating the effects of the Trump proposal, or being downright dishonest about CDBGs. Examine what Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mulvaney actually said during Thursday’s press conference on the budget, in response to a question on Meals on Wheels.

“As you know, or I think you know, Meals on Wheels is not a federal program,” he began. “It’s part of that community that CDBGs — the block grants that we give to the states, and then many states make the decision to give that money to Meals on Wheels.” (emphasis added)

The article goes on to mention that the government has spent $150 billion on CDBG programs since 1970 and has no results to show for it.

The article explains the problem:

This program is ineffective because the administration of these funds is often absolutely corrupt. In 2013, the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee identified “more than $770 million in questionable costs and included recommendations for putting $739.5 million in HUD funds to better use.” The subcommittee identified CDBGs as one of HUD’s largest programs that “lack proper oversight” and are “especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse.”
The article goes on to list some of the abuses in past use of CDBG money. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. President Trump is acting like a businessman–he is cutting funds to programs that do not work and moving funds to programs that show results. If we are ever to find a way out of our increasing debt, these are the steps that will be necessary. It is a shame that the mainstream media wants to continue to increase the debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.