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President Barack Obama rolled out his plan to overhaul financial regulation last week. While much of the Obama plan relies on the same regulators and structures that led to the current meltdown, there is one key exception. The establishment of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency would give ordinary citizens a seat at the financial policy table for the first time and prevent the abuses in credit card and mortgage lending that have wreaked havoc on households all over the country.
Talk of government pillaging and vague threats of a ballot box revolution at yesterday's nationwide "Tea Party" protests missed a prime opportunity to advance a cause we can all get behind — ending abusive bank overdraft charges by the very institutions taxpayers bailed-out courtesy of the Bush Administration's 2008 Troubled Assets Relief Program. Our Washington Independent colleague Mike Lillis has the skinny on just where the pitchforks and torches should be aimed.