Paul Krugman catches the Tax Foundation making a bizarre claim about income inequality and in the process reminds us all about the organization's poor track record on the facts.
- Paul Krugman — Zombie Straw Men:
The thing is, I’m quite sure that this is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate. The Tax Foundation people have to have known what they were doing.
Actually, there’s one place where you can easily catch them red-handed. When they want to claim that those poor rich people are bearing too high a tax burden compared with the lucky duckies, they pretend that federal income taxes are the only taxes. But when they calculate Tax Freedom Day, which is supposed to show how terribly overtaxed we all are, somehow all those taxes that don’t make it into the distribution calculation are front and center.
This morning, the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does an excellent job reminding us all about the value of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Cashing in: Consumers win with a new financial watchdog:
What's in your wallet? Maybe a little more green, now that Capital One must reimburse 2 million customers for over-aggressive selling.
The big bank was fined $210 million last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for selling customers credit card products they could not use or did not want.
The penalty was the first action by the new regulatory agency created by the Dodd-Frank law, Congress's response to the financial crisis of 2008. The bureau, which was fought by Republican lawmakers, is charged with protecting customers from high-pressure, deceptive or aggressive tactics by banks and other financial firms.
The agency said Capital One's call centers misled customers on payment-protection insurance, an option to help card holders pay their credit bills in the event of job loss, death or disability. Regulators said the marketers deceived customers into thinking that the protection was free, mandatory and would improve credit scores; the bureau's 30-page order alleged that call centers sold the provision to ineligible out-of-work customers and forced it on them without consent...
This is just the kind of role the bureau was expected to play, and its successful action shows how wrong-headed the political opposition to the agency's creation was.