Dodd-Frank bill comes due

By Boston Herald Editorial Staff

The Dodd-Frank Act is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving. And now the bill is coming due.

The president’s budget released Monday — you know, the one that cuts heating oil subsidies for the poor and Pell Grants for students — adds $6.5 billion to implement all those nifty new regulations that our own Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) managed to squeeze into one piece of legislation.

Bloomberg News reported that the president’s budget will add about 5,000 new federal employees to the payroll, all attributable to Dodd-Frank. That includes some 1,225 new hires at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which begins work in July.

Of the $6.5 billion total about $4.8 billion will come from taxpayers. Kind of gives new meaning to that old saw “we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.” The rest will come from fees, according to the Bloomberg analysis — and there’s a good chance, not surprisingly, those fees too would be passed along to consumers.

Bloomberg’s analyst said the cost is roughly equivalent to “adding another Army Corps of Engineers to the budget.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission alone got a mere 28 percent increase to $1.4 billion and about 600 additional employees (up about 16 percent) in the president’s budget.

This week House Republicans are attempting to make cuts in the agency’s current $1.11 billion budget to $1.07 billion (all federal agencies have been operating under a “continuing budget resolution” due to the inability of Congress to pass a budget last year). But Frank is attempting to increase its funding by $131 million — needed, he insists, to implement its new responsibilities under Dodd-Frank. But it’s really going to be OK because, he insists, he’ll cut money from the Internal Revenue Service and the General Services Administration to make up for the $131 million.

Frank announced recently that he intended to run for another term so he would be around to see through his “reforms.” Now we really know what he meant. Just keep those taxpayer dollars coming!

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