Saturday, August 06, 2011

If the best thing Joe Nocera, a fan of the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, can say is that it "might have prevented millions of Americans... from being gouged by mortgage companies" (italics mine), then I'd argue that's not much of a justification for the hundreds of millions of dollars in direct costs and the hundreds of billions of dollars in indirect costs that this agency is going to cost American consumers and businesses.

He doesn't say the agency 'would have' prevented the problem, all he can come up with is the much more lukewarm 'might have'. When the best a self-described liberal can offer up is a wimpy 'might', then that is pretty strong evidence that the reality is that the agency would have done no such thing.

Why? Because there isn't anything to suggest that the vast majority of the 'millions' of people taking out mortgage loans were anything but willing participants, who could and should have known better but chose to not be more careful.

Nor is there anything to suggest that, to the extent they existed, unscrupulous lenders would have been discouraged from doing what they were doing because of this new agency.

This agency, like pretty much everything taken as fact by liberals, represents the triumph of idealism over reality. This agency is and will be unable to prevent dumb people from doing dumb things and it won't be able to prevent unscrupulous people from doing unscrupulous things. All it will do is chew up millions upon millions of dollars of our taxes and add billions upon billions of dollars of red tape and costs on consumers and businesses.

And all that for a underwhelming 'might'.