Go Ahead And Rip Off Our Military Members, White House Says

President Donald Trump swore to “help the veterans like no one else” during his campaign, so then why is his administration making it easier for members of the military to get financially screwed over? Could it be the draft dodging, Gold Star family-attacking, POW-mocking leader is just pandering to his base with no intention of following up?

NPR has received drafts of some changes to laws that currently protect military personnel from being defrauded and ripped off by businesses. For starters, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plans to largely stop conducting checks on payday lenders meant to verify that they aren’t screwing over veterans and active military members with shady tactics.

The Military Lending Act previously established this oversight after the government noticed how vulnerable people serving abroad were to high-interest loans, astronomical credit card rates and not to mention just straight up fraud. The idea was to add some extra accountability to ensure that predatory companies were not ripping off people who worked to protect the country.

According to the head of the CFPB, Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB has decided it lacks the “legal authority” to look into these cases, an opinion at odds with the prior interpretation of the law. Mulvaney contends that if Congress wants to make that a duty of his agency, they’ll need to pass clearer legislation to that effect.

That doesn’t seem likely given Congress’s GOP majority and just how much money the payday lending industry donates to legislators. Not for nothing, Mulvaney himself received over $60,000 in donations from the industry while he served as an elected official.

Another rule that the Trump administration is reportedly targeting is one that safeguards military members’ money when buying a car. Car dealers will often push extra insurance plans (“gap insurance”) on purchasers who are unaware they can buy the same coverage far more inexpensively (sometimes literally 75 times less) through their normal insurance provider.

The auto industry has lobbied the White House to stop a rule that blocks military members from buying this gap insurance from them, on the grounds that it is discriminatory. After all, civilians can still buy their overpriced, generally unnecessary insurance!

All that really demonstrates is the need for consumer protection for everybody (which, SPOILER, will never happen under the leadership of Mulvaney) not just people who have served in the military. Besides military personnel can still obtain gap insurance through non-dealer providers at reasonable rates if they so choose.

Unfortunately, screwing over consumers is something this White House is okay with because it is friends with the people who profit off these shady tactics. This week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also pretty much finalized stripping back rules designed to help students defrauded by for-profit “educational” institutions that didn’t live up to their claims, thereby ensuring that more Americans just looking to better their lives lose a lot of money on useless degrees.

As for why this administration thinks it’s a good use of its time to change the rules so that members of the military can more easily be screwed over by greedy businesses, it must stem from the assumption that the conservative base doesn’t pay enough attention to issues like this one for it to create any backlash.

That said, anyone who shouts “support the troops” at someone kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and yet is not bothered by military families getting screwed out of money really needs to reexamine their perspective.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

60 comments

Glennis W
Glennis Whitney2 months ago

Rotten BASTARD Thank you for caring and shring

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney2 months ago

Despicable Thank you for caring and shring

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney2 months ago

So horrible and cruel on the ex service people Thank you for caring and shring

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney2 months ago

Deplorable Thank you for caring and shring

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David C
David C2 months ago

thanks

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pam w
pam w2 months ago

Wonder what it's like to spend your entire life trying to make a silk purse from the proverbial SOW'S EAR? Ask our resident troll.....

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Joan E
Joan E2 months ago

Wesley, guess what? On this morning's news, he changed his mind about his parade. Now it's no parade. See how long that lasts, though Any other man would have been embarrassed to waste the taxpayers' money on a Russian style show of military strength in the US when the guy behind it is a treasonous puppet of Russia who is destroying the United States.

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Joan E
Joan E2 months ago

This is what you get when you elect a con-man.

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

Paul B Corporations led by billionaires like Amazon and Tesla, treat their employees like garbage. We need Government to protect workers.

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Paul B
Paul B2 months ago

Bill, If you are going to rely on government to "protect" you from life, then you would likely prefer another form of government. That scenario has never worked. To me, that attitude is sure sign of being a "herded sheep" rather than a free and responsible individual. Government is not the answer as our founding fathers tried to insure did not happen as that is what they lived under British rule prior. Is that really what you want to return to? I would think not, but I could be wrong.

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