In Defense of Consumer Protection


Who Will Be Our Public Defenders?

It is ironic to me that those who have been historically protective of the defense budget and supportive of a strong and prepared military, are so callous when it comes to the creation, empowerment and funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the one agency designed to defend America's defenders against the financial predators who cause them stress and distract them. This reminds me of the scandal that erupted during Donald Rumsfeld's tenure at Defense, when we sent our troops to war in Iraq—where IEDs were hidden under practically every few feet of dirt, vehicle or building—without up-armored Humvees. While Washington postured and debated, our soldiers and their families paid the ultimate price. As public outrage boiled over, Congress finally stood up and got our defenders the protection they so desperately needed. Make no mistake, in the war for consumer protection, the IEDs are predatory loans, rampant foreclosures and countless other financial dangers, and none of us have the armor we need to adequately protect ourselves from them. The fact that our men and women in uniform have to worry about this while trying to fight two wars, as politicians seek to further their agendas, is outrageous.

We all "rise and sleep under the blanket of freedom" that our servicemen and women provide (kudos to Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men"). Lest we forget, July 21 is but a few short weeks away and without a tough, aggressive leader at the helm and a strong, proactive Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the economic predators among us, if left to their own devices, would have our military personnel and, indeed millions of Americans, shivering under blankets in homeless shelters.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Adam Levin Chairman and cofounder of and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.

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