CREDO helps you tell the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or CFPB) to make their proposed payday lending regulations even more vigorous. (Remember: if you've already commented with the CFPB on their proposal, don't do it again. It muddies the data.) CREDO finds the CFPB's proposal pretty good, but it could be better, and why shouldn't we ask for the moon? The corporations that try to stop every good thing we try to do always ask for the moon, and too often they get it. Even here, they've managed to persuade the CFPB to let them forgo establishing a customer's ability to repay if the customer has repaid a loan once before -- never mind whether that customer's circumstances have changed since then! -- and also to persuade the CFPB to scrap an attempt to limit loan installments to less than five percent of a customer's paycheck. The CFPB also decided that 30 days between loans was enough; they originally proposed 60. The good news? If enough of us tell the CFPB to strengthen their proposals, what are payday lenders going to do? Claim they're more important than us?
Meanwhile, the FCC has, as you probably know, proposed the first-ever internet privacy protections for consumers -- and, as you surely know, the big telecom corporations are throwing a hissy fit about it. You remember when Sen. Toomey (R-PA) expressed hesitation at supporting a pro-internet privacy bill in the Senate because he didn't want to "break the internet"? The big telecom's arguments are no better -- if consumers get the right to tell broadband corporations not to share the private information that comes through their filters, they tell us, how are they going to make any money? Our boldest, best-and-brightest entrepreneurs sure do shrink before the prospect of government regulation on the people's behalf, don't they? It's like they don't really believe in a free market at all. So the ACLU helps you tell the FCC to implement the most vigorous internet privacy protections possible, so consumers don't have to worry about what their service providers are doing with their information. After all, you don't have to worry about your phone provider taking notes on all your phone calls; what's so different with this?
Finally, H.R. 2889/S. 1686, the Carried Interest Fairness Act, would close the loophole that allows hedge fund managers to pay taxes at the capital gains rate (nearly 24%) rather than at the normal income tax rate, which in their rarefied air would be closer to 40%. While the Treasury Department's proposed rule concerning hedge funds would reclassify them from investor partners to "service providers," and thus turn capital gains into income (since you don't get capital gains by providing a service per se), the Carried Interest Fairness Act would simply reclassify hedge fund capital gains as straight-up income, since that's what it is anyway, really. Hedge funds claim that such a change would interfere with their ability to both outperform the market and "police" corporations that aren't doing well enough. Of course, hedge funds don't actually do either of these things -- they just extract wealth from corporations like the vultures they are. So CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 2889, and thus force hedge fund managers to contribute more of their fair share of tax revenues. Because, as you know, if they don't pay their share, you'll have to pay more -- particularly if you're a small business owner.