Since 2013, the DOJ and FDIC have secretly advanced a program known as “Operation Choke Point.” Ostensibly created to choke off banking access to businesses with a high possibility for fraud and money-laundering, its true purpose was to kill businesses that the Obama administration and its liberal supporters simply didn’t like.
Fortunately, the GOP is working to unravel Operation Choke Point, along with some realistic Democrats who understand that such an abuse of power can be used by a Republican administration as well.
Operation Choke Point is very simple. The DOJ and/or FDIC call up the major banks and threaten them with extensive and expensive audits, as well as excessive fines, if they continue to do business with any industry the administration doesn’t like. Payment processors that handle transactions with any distasteful businesses can also be shut down.
There is no oversight and no accountability to Operation Choke Point. As described in a February 4, 2014 letter from the American Bankers Association to the DOJ, the ABA was furious that accounts could be shut down “without formal enforcement action or even charges having been brought against these merchants…unless the bank can demonstrate that its customers are operating in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. That sets an impossible standard for the industry.”
Of course, that is exactly the intent.
The two primary targets of Operation Choke Point have been the short-term lending industry and firearm sellers. The distaste for both are rooted in leftist ideology. Progressives hate private lending, because they believe people cannot make financial decisions for themselves. In addition, there is ample evidence that the federal government wants to replace private lending with financial services provided by the Post Office. As for firearms, well, we know all about progressives and the Second Amendment.
Democrats need to take a breath and think about this issue very carefully. They should be outraged that Operation Choke Point even exists. If they aren’t outraged, then they need to get pragmatic and help bring it down.
If they sit on the sidelines, do they really believe that their political shenanigans will not be turned upon them? That Operation Choke Point won’t be used to kill operations that Republicans don’t like? What happens when a GOP President gets a look at Operation Choke Point and decides to keep it active? What businesses might be targeted by the righteously indignant victims of government oppression?
Think carefully, Democrats.
Let’s start with abortion. How about if banks cut off accounts for abortion clinics? For Planned Parenthood? For doctors who offer abortions? For hospitals?
So far, the left and its media water-carriers haven’t made a peep over Operation Choke Point. Imagine the rage – the foaming mouth kind – when they find that abortion clinics and doctors no longer have bank accounts to operate their business.
Something tells me Rachel Maddow will get religion mighty quickly in regards to the Constitution. I suspect more than a few “peaceful” protestors will be smashing the windows of local bank branches that, of course, have nothing to do with the issue. I’m certain we will hear all about an American’s “right” to have a bank account from the same people who aren’t saying anything about that same right regarding firearms sellers.