The first job for Trump's Labor chief must be to stop the fiduciary rule
© Getty Images

Congratulations to Alexander Acosta for his appointment and subsequent confirmation to serve as the 27th secretary of labor of the United States.

President Trump and the Senate have ensured that American workers will be in good hands over the next four years. With the swearing-in of Acosta, the Department of Labor (DOL) can get back to the business of serving America’s workforce and put aside the egregious partisan agenda pursued by agency over the last eight years.


Under the leadership of former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden raised key concerns with Putin, but may have overlooked others Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax Obama on Supreme Court ruling: 'The Affordable Care Act is here to stay' MORE and former Secretary Tom Perez, the DOL was out of control, issuing overreaching regulations and significantly increasing the size of government.


Their lack of understanding of the real-world impact of seemingly “protective” government regulations hurt small businesses in lieu of benefiting American workers. Take for instance the so-called fiduciary rule.

The fiduciary rule is a 1,000-page regulation that unnecessarily forces a major restructuring of retirement products and services. This rule is the biggest government expansion over individual savings in 40 years, and it is the second most expensive non-environmental regulation since 2005 — the most expensive of 2016 by far.

If enacted, this rule would reserve face-to-face financial advice for the wealthy and leave middle-class workers to fend for themselves with self-help online -robo-advisers.

Many wonder whom this rule benefits, and the answer is simple: Wall Street’s biggest banks.

Using the fiduciary rule, banks can increase their profits at the expense of everyday Americans. With the rule as motivation, they are switching clients to accounts that are based on a fee system, not the traditional commission based system.

As The Wall Street Journal recently noted, “they were already in this mode” of making the switch to fees, and “the rule just allowed them to put this into the marketplace and make a commitment.”

With a little inadvertent help from Obama and Perez, they have a new tool to benefit their bottom lines at the expense of the middle class.

By making it uneconomical to serve retirement accounts on a commission basis, the fiduciary rule takes away affordable retirement savings options from the very workers and small businesses who need it most.

Upon taking office, Trump a delay in the harmful rule taking effect. He signed a memorandum that directed the DOL to review the rule and prepare an “updated economic analysis.”

Trump went on to say that the rule “may significantly alter the manner in which Americans can receive financial advice and may not be consistent with the policies of his administration.”

But, without a confirmed secretary, career bureaucrats at the DOL rebelled — refusing to grant Trump a complete review and moving toward a June 9 implementation of the rule.

Thankfully, Acosta was confirmed and the rule has not gone into effect — yet.

On this, his first full week in office, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance strongly urges Acosta to stop the implementation of the fiduciary rule and grant the president, at whose pleasure he serves, a full review.

This action is completely within his newly gained authority and would be a strong sign to the American people that he intends to protect their financial rights from his new office.

David Williams is the president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.