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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Dec. 14

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Rebekah Mercer, Robert Mercer and his wife, Diana

Rebekah Mercer, Robert Mercer and his wife, Diana Mercer, attend the World Science Festival Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 07, 2014. Photo Credit: / Sylvain Gaboury

Consumer agency in need of a shake-up

In response to the letter “Trump undermining purposes of agencies” [Dec. 1], I can appreciate someone’s misgivings over what he or she perceives to be a weakening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Unfortunately, most Americans know little about the actions of the CFPB and the damage it has caused to consumers and small businesses.

The agency has ruled through directives and by writing rules as it goes along. For example, the CFPB decided that the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 Closing Forms were too difficult for the average consumer to understand. The agency created new forms, showed them to a test group of consumers, but it seemingly didn’t consult anyone in the mortgage industry. The result has been a huge expense for the industry, and forms that most consumers still can’t interpret and many mortgage loan officers still can’t explain.

This is an environment of regulations that has resulted in additional and unnecessary costs to financial service companies. That includes lost jobs and small financial service companies closing. This has played a role in making fewer loan options available and raising the cost to consumers.

The CFPB requires a shakeup and restructuring. A kinder and gentler CFPB can protect consumers while working with financial service companies large and small.

Warren Goldberg, Plainview

Editor’s note: The writer is a certified mortgage planning specialist and the founder of Mortgage Wealth Advisors, which arranges home loans.

Renaissance name and Mercer politics

The writer of “Renaissance support helps many at SBU” [Dec. 10] is misguided about renaming the Stony Brook University School of Medicine to the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

Until his recent announcement that he is leaving the firm, Robert Mercer has been the chief executive of Renaissance Technologies. He lives in seclusion in Head of the Harbor.

His daughter, Rebekah, lives in a Trump building on the Upper West Side, and with her family money was a huge donor to elect our unpopular president. Rebekah Mercer engineered the hiring of Stephen Bannon, Kellyanne Conway and others.

In turn, she gained access to the White House and the president. President Donald Trump even showed up at Robert Mercer’s home for the annual gala costume party.

Renaming the school would disgrace, sully and cheapen the value of any educational degree awarded to students. Maybe the presidency can be bought, but not everything and anybody can be.

Jeffrey Myles Klein, Centereach

Support for Trump move on Jerusalem

It has been 22 years since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which provided for the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem [“Jerusalem support,” News, Dec. 11]. Before President Donald Trump’s announcement, three presidents failed to act.

For more than 70 years, Palestinians have refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Previous U.S. presidents have tried to arrange a peace despite this obstructionist stance. The United States has continued to pressure Israel to make concessions to move negotiations along, however, Palestinians have never been satisfied with what was offered. In addition, they have never negotiated in good faith to find a common ground.

Trump is not backing away from a two-state solution. He realizes peace is vital to the Middle East. The nations of the world are saying that the United States’ decision to relocate the embassy and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could aggravate the region’s hostilities. You would have to bury your head in the sand not to realize Israel has been constantly fighting the terrorist organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the Iranians who support them.

Marty Orenstein, New Hyde Park

Recall Abdul-Jabbar’s Catholic school days

I found it curious that in Barbara Barker’s column reviewing the book “Becoming Kareem,” she did not at least mention that before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he was named Lew Alcindor and attended a Catholic high school in New York City [“Social consciousness begins at a young age,” Sports, Dec. 3].

Surely these are a relevant, indeed integral part of the story.

Ed Fountaine, Oakdale

Audit delay for Trump taxes rings hollow

Are we expected to believe that the president of the United States doesn’t have the power to get the audit of his tax returns moved to the head of the line? [“Federal taxes up? Levy a new state tax,” Letters, Dec. 8]

Stew Frimer, Forest Hills