The Democrats and their media allies are firing the smear machine back up with gutter attacks on President Trump's potential Fed nominee, Stephen Moore. The dishonest criticisms of Moore's qualifications and independence are almost as bad as the desperate personal attacks.
To be fair, other than the president himself, nobody has been a more effective public spokesman for Trumponomics – Moore wrote the book, after all – and some supporters of the president are privately worried about losing Moore's strong voice from the public sphere ahead of the 2020 election. But Moore's effectiveness as an advocate for Trump should not be mistaken for a lack of independence. Moore's decades of consistent advocacy of pro-growth fiscal, regulatory, trade, and monetary policy have continued in the Trump era – and on those rare issues on which the president deviates from the pro-growth track, Moore does not.
Read the rest at CNS News.
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By Phil Kerpen
Attorneys general (AGs) from California and other liberal states – many of which already ban payday loans – sent a nasty letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger last week opposing her proposal to relax the Obama-era rules that would severely restrict the availability of payday, vehicle title, and other small-dollar loans. The liberal AGs promised to sue the CFPB over the issue, and they might even find a sympathetic judge who will find that Obama administration executive actions cannot be reversed by Trump appointees. But that would be an unfortunate outcome for millions of Americans who rely on small-dollar loans as a necessary last resort – and who would end up suffering serious consequences if the Obama rules came into effect.
Obama-appointed CFPB Director Richard Cordray, a protege of Elizabeth Warren, was still on the job in 2017 when the agency issued rules requiring mandatory underwriting for small dollar loans. Underwriting is the process of looking at a borrower's overall financial obligations and ability to repay a loan. Mandatory underwriting for typical payday and other short-term loans would present an enormous administrative burden, add lengthy delays to products that are often used in urgent, emergency circumstances, and create a significant barrier for many borrowers when they lack any other options.
Small dollar lenders are heavily regulated in the states and there are also a dozen federal laws in place, and ongoing CFPB oversight. The Cordray rule is a solution in search of a problem that would have serious negative consequences for the millions of Americans who find their last resort for credit eliminated.
The Democratic AGs are backed by the usual constellation of liberal community organizers and advocacy groups – led by the so-called Center for Responsible Lending, which was founded by Martin Eakes – the inventor of subprime mortgages – and funded by Herb Sandler, whose negative amortization "Pick-a-Pay" home loans were called the "Typhoid Mary of the housing crisis" by the New York Times. Sandler sold his bank to Wachovia for billions before the loans collapsed and blew up Wachovia. Only in the upside-down world of consumer finance advocacy could these people portray themselves as the good guys.
We've all seen heartbreaking stories of people who got caught up in cycles of borrowing and were eventually overwhelmed. But it's important to keep in mind that the availability of small dollar loans is more likely to relieve than to create such stress.
And the lenders are hardly making huge profits. In fact they have been badly battered in recent years by intense competition and rising regulatory compliance costs driving mergers, private equity buyouts, and closures. The two remaining major publicly traded...