Sure they can. Ask Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.
Credit is like crack, that few people really use responsibly. They allowed the US population to smoke freely from the overabundant cheap credit pipe and then stopped dealing, cold turkey.
Now the federal regulators are realizing that the shutdown of the credit pipeline has forced people to live within their means, and that is just unacceptable, and not a model that our government follows, at all.
It'll get worse as well. The minimum scores required to get credit for things like FHA loans are current around 620pts, in January, those scores are set to raise to 640-660. Not a big deal for the average dfwstanger, but for the people that use FHA, it'll kill the numbers of buyers.
There will be a consumer stoppage of seeking credit as they get tired of getting turned down, and there will be a shift in ideology, nationwide, of people saving AND then purchasing.
As a result, you'll see "525 and away you drive!" campaigns where literally a mirror test is all that is required. And by 2025 we'll be doing this all over again.
1/19/09, the last day of Free America.
Pericles "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. "
"[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams