This freshman class in the House of Represenatives has so much going for it beyond what seems to dominate the headlines, and that needs to change. Here we have California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter using her time masterfully to expose the ignorance of Trump-appointed Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is "the government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly," according to its website.
So how is it that the Director of the agency cannot even explain what APR financing is? Or refuses to under oath in a Congressional hearing? Why, when asked multiple times by Rep. Porter, did she not explain that a $200 loan with a 10% APR would cost $520? It's 260% of the loan. Plus the $20 origination fee. So a $200 loan would cost you an additional $540, in addition to the $200 you'd need to pay back. So, in 2 weeks, when payday came around, you'd need $740 of it to go back to that lender.
How can anyone argue the Trump Administration isn't racist, when in early February, (Black History Month) Kraninger announced the gutting of the Obama Administration's rule requiring payday lenders to take time to make sure borrowers understood the terms of the loan, and made enough money to pay them back? How can Christians support him? How can veterans? As written in The Chicago Crusader:
That now-suspended rule followed years of public hearings, rulemaking sessions, and research that ultimately found that triple-digit interest rates on loans were virtual debt traps for borrowers. Further, the people targeted for these predatory loans are those who could least afford interest or fees that exceeded the principal borrowed: the poor, the elderly, communities of color, and military veterans.
Gee, I wonder why Director Kraninger didn't want to do the math, even when handed a calculator? She demurred, saying, "That's a math question." Well, yes. You're the head of a FINANCE agency. You are supposed to be able to answer math questions. Easily and honestly. Especially if your job is to protect consumers — and the most vulnerable ones.
You GO, Rep. Porter. Tear this policy, the rule change, and its proponents to shreds.