The Tea Party affair started with a Feb. 25, 2010 e-mail from Cincinnati-based IRS agent Jack Koester to his boss, Screening Group Manager John Shafer. Shafer, in turn, sent it to his superiors, including some Washington staff, elevating it as a “high profile case.”
The Cincinnati employees weren’t quite sure what the Tea Party was, but they knew it was politically sensitive. “This case will be sent to inventory for further development. Political campaigns on behalf (of) or in opposition to any political candidate do not promote social welfare,” Shafer wrote to his bosses. The Tea Party groups were seeking tax exempt status as “social welfare” groups.
Consumer advocates have called for an outright ban on banks’ permitting customers to withdraw more than they have available in their accounts.
The median overdraft fee was $34 at the 33 largest financial institutions, and $30 at 800 smaller banks and credit unions in 2012, according to the CFPB’s white paper with data from Informa Research Services.
Not surprisingly, consumers who did not opt in to spend more than they had in their accounts saved more money than those who did.
The CFPB found that previous heavy overdrafters who declined to opt in reduced their overdraft and insufficient fund fees, on average, by more than $450 in the second half of 2010. The CFPB studied large banks, with total assets of $10 billion or more, and found a variety of practices in regard to transaction posting orders from high to low and opt-in requirements. Beginning in 2010, the Federal Reserve required banks to ask consumers to opt in to overdrafts.
This is a direct result of Dodd-Frank, which banned the practice of forcing people to “opt-in” (which is in itself contradictory) for overdraft protection.
This was such a scam….
The CFPB found that 61 percent of bank profits from consumer checking accounts come from overdraft and insufficient funds fees, which are prompted when customers withdraw, make a debit card payment or make or attempt to make another type of payment for more than what is available in their accounts. Only 14.4 percent of net overdraft revenue goes toward the cost of covering unpaid overdrafts.
In the wake of last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, many conservative lawmakers and state leaders called for strengthening America’s broken mental health care system. But now, the GOP’s stubborn opposition to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is preventing 1.2 million poor and mentally ill Americans from getting basic mental services, according to an analysis by the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI.
Republican politicians have argued extensively for shoring up the U.S. mental health regimen to prevent future shootings. Rep. Louie Gohmert R-TX said that mental health issues have “languished” for decades, and that the two parties can easily come together to fix them. Sen. Ted Cruz R-TX voted against the compromise Manchin-Toomey background check bill, offering alternative legislation focused on school security and mental health resources. Florida Rep. Ander Crenshaw R also cited mental health services as an important part of addressing gun violence, as did Sen. Marco Rubio R-FL, who signed onto Cruz’s gun safety bill.
Despite their professed zeal for making the U.S. mental health regimen stronger, however, these members of Congress don’t support the programs like Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion that could actually help ensure Americans’ access to those benefits.
Yet another datapoint regarding the endemic hypocrisy of the GOP. After the Newtown massacres, these same people claimed that limiting guns wasn’t the answser, expanding access to mental health services was a better way to go.
And now…they are trying to stop any funding going to their own “better” solution. That’s hypocrisy on a very high level. GOP-level.