Federal Hands in Your Cookie Jar
Joan R. Neubauer
I grow weary of the daily assaults on my freedom and my way of life. This Congress, led by Barack Obama, continues to think of new and creative ways to undermine our liberties and turn this nation into a Third World socialist country. Their latest attempt comes in the form of the Financial Reform package slithering through the halls of Congress. In December of 2009, the House passed its version and recently, the Senate passed its effort to clamp down on banks and other financial institutions to protect the American public. Once again, this bill, with its over-regulation will give vast powers to the federal government over the financial industry, and will, in effect, nationalize it.
As Congress tries to regulate an industry they call greedy, irresponsible and otherwise unethical, they discount the role they played in this tragedy that pales in comparison to anything William Shakespeare penned. During the Carter administration, President Jimmy Carter proposed legislation to loosen up on bank regulations regarding home loans to make mortgages more available to more people. Under Bill Clinton, Congress extended that to require financial institutions to lend money regardless of ability to pay it back. Despite the protests of bankers, Congress passed the law, and lo and behold, more people called themselves homeowners—with the bank holding the note of course—and a large majority of them lacked the income to pay it back.
Now we see a Congress jumping up and down in a frenzied fit and pointing fingers at everyone but themselves and the democratic administrations that spawned the legislation. In the process, Congress has set to work to pass a bill that will give the federal government the power to regulate every aspect of the industry, right down to individual transactions. This bill will allow the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks, such as customers’ addresses and ATM receipts. Don’t chalk this up to a conspiracy theory, but rather a piece of legislation the Senate passed by a vote of 59-39 on Thursday, May 27, 2010 and sent to a conference committee in the House of Representatives, where they’ll reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions.
If this bill becomes law, we’ll have a new bureaucracy, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, ostensibly to protect consumers from fraudulent and unethical banking practices. In reality, the bureau will have the power to “gather information and activities of persons operating in consumer financial markets,” including the names and addresses of account holders, ATM and other transaction records, and the amount of money in each customer’s account. This new bureaucracy can then “use the data on branches and [individual and personal] deposit accounts … for any purpose” and may keep all records on file for at least three years, and during that time they can make these records publicly available upon request.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, “Mr. President, make no mistake, behind the veil of anti-Wall Street rhetoric is an unrelenting desire to manage every facet of commerce under the guise of consumer protection…They may be interested in protecting consumers, but they are more interested in managing them.”
Shelby further said that the ability of the Federal Reserve to collect such detailed information about the most basic of financial transactions was the beginning of an effort by government to regulate every financial action of every American citizen.”
Your money is your private property. Such access to information about your private property violates both the 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution—your right to privacy and your right to ownership of private property. If the government can gather your information, they can very easily seize it without cause, warrant, or due process. In short order, we’ll find the federal government debiting accounts to pay taxes, and confiscate funds as they see fit.
Call your senators and representatives today. Tell them we don’t need to reform anything but Congress and their impractical and unrealistic ideas of how businesses should run. Remind them that they work for you, and unless they start listening to their employers; unless they take their oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States seriously; they may find themselves looking for other employment after November.