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New Study Shows How Overregulating Short-Term Lenders Harms Consumers

We at CFIF have consistently highlighted the peril of federal, state and local government efforts targeting the short-term consumer lending sector.

Less than two years ago, we specifically sounded the alarm on a New Mexico law artificially restricting interest rates on short-term consumer loans.

Well, a new study entitled "A New Mexico Consumer Survey:  Understanding the Impact of the 2023 Rate Cap on Consumers" that surveyed actual borrowers confirms our earlier warnings:

Key findings include:

•Short-term,small-dollar loans help borrowers manage their financial situations, irrespective of the borrower’s income.

•The rate cap has failed to improve the financial wellbeing of New Mexicans, specifically those who had previously relied on short-term, small-dollar loans.


November 27, 2023 • 03:57 PM

Liberty Update

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For Biden, Polls Are Probably Worse Than They Seem Print
By David Harsanyi
Friday, July 15 2022
It's certainly entertaining watching partisans feign excitement over their mollycoddled candidate holding a 44-41 lead in a national poll against a guy who is accused of sedition on virtually every news channel daily.

President Biden has a miserable 33% job approval rating, according to the New York Times/Siena College poll, making him one of the least popular first-term presidents in history. Sixty-four percent of Democrats say they want another candidate in the 2024 presidential race.

No modern president, as far as I can tell, has faced higher dissatisfaction in his own party during his first term. Only 13% of voters say the United States is on the right track, the lowest number since they began asking this question during the great recession.

Not long ago, left-wing pundits couldn't stop talking about Donald Trump's poll numbers  "Donald Trump is remarkably unpopular"; "The unprecedented unpopularity of Donald Trump"; "Trump is officially the most unpopular president since modern polling began in the 1930s. It will forever be his legacy," and so on. A president with that kind of piddling support, they would argue, had no business initiating policy changes. Nowadays, Democrats want their historically unpopular president to sign "transformative" legislation using reconciliation and unilaterally restructure American governance. The only consistent characteristic of modern liberalism is the unyielding belief that politics should be played by two sets of rules.

Still, I don't put too much reliance on national polls. Yes, unpopularity matters. It hurts Democrats. It also further debunks the notion that the Democratic Party's agenda items are vastly more popular, and Republicans who stand in their way are undermining "democracy."

Republicans, though, should remember that job approval rating is measured in a bubble. The New York Times/Siena College poll finds Biden winning a matchup against Trump 44-41. The real presidential election is largely a binary choice for those who vote, and many of those dissatisfied with Biden may never vote for a Republican.

Then again, this seems to be the only takeaway for Democrats like Joe Scarborough. "So Biden's going into halftime shooting 33% from the field and he is STILL beating Trump University," tweets Morning Joe. All these unforeseen and unfair events have befallen the poor Biden, they argue, and yet, he still leads Trump (conveniently forgetting that he also had to deal with a once-in-a-century worldwide pandemic and ensuing economic fallout from lockdowns).

It's certainly entertaining watching partisans feign excitement over their mollycoddled candidate holding a 44-41 lead in a national poll against a guy who is accused of sedition on virtually every news channel daily. What do these numbers look like when Trump (or someone like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis) is reminding voters what gas prices and their 401(k)s looked like before COVID?

Indeed, the left is again convincing themselves that winning a national poll means something. (Siena, incidentally, had Hillary Clinton up 17 points in its final 2016 poll.) There is no popular vote. Biden must win states. And the president is underwater in almost every one of them, on almost every issue, in almost every poll. I'm no prognosticator or election expert  Biden might well win reelection  but none of that could possibly be heartening news for Democrats.

I'm just unsure how it gets any better for Biden. Democrats on social media do a lot of self-soothing, convincing themselves that events will become more hospitable for the president. Perhaps, if Biden stopped undermining the economy and energy production, they may, to some extent. Economic indicators, however, aren't projecting a big turnaround. Even if they did, Biden's claim to moderation, largely a function of his age, has already been obliterated. Two-thirds of independents don't approve of his performance. At the same time, Biden's progressive rhetoric is also transparently unprincipled. Neither Biden nor any president really has the power to mollify progressives  not until the Constitution is rendered inoperative.

With all that said, the prevailing concern about Biden among voters in the New York Times/Siena College poll isn't ideological; it's his age  by which we can deduce they mean his competence. In the 2020 race, Biden's fragile state was largely concealed from the public by the campaign and press. These days, on the rare occasions the president wanders into an unscripted interaction, he is incoherent. The chances of the president's cognitive state improving, I'm afraid, are nil. That's not how nature works.

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of five books  the most recent, "Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent." His work has appeared in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, New York Post and numerous other publications. 


Notable Quote   
"The Biden administration has outpaced other recent presidents in issuing significant regulations that place a financial burden on taxpayers, according to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.Under President Joe Biden, the federal government completed 89 economically significant rules in 2022, defined as those with at least a $100 million economic impact, which is higher than any point…[more]
— Will Kessler, Daily Caller News Foundation
Liberty Poll   

What grade would you give the Biden administration thus far regarding all aspects of its approach to the Hamas/Israel conflict?