We at CFIF have consistently highlighted the peril of federal, state and local government efforts targeting…
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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.

•…[more]

November 27, 2023 • 03:57 PM

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Obama Didn't Save the Economy, He Subdued It Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, August 04 2016
The objective record is thus clear. The most liberal, highest-spending, highest-regulating president in U.S. history has presided over the worst cyclical economic recovery since accurate recordkeeping began

So it's official, according to the U.S. Commerce Department:  This is the worst cyclical economic recovery since World War II. 

But look at the bright side:  At least Barack Obama managed to double the nation's debt in just seven years and ran up the worst deficits in history achieving it. 

Obama and his apologists habitually claim credit for revitalizing the economy and sparing us from the next Great Depression.  It's closer to the truth, however, to say that he inherited an incipient recovery, not a recession.  And his economic stewardship hasn't saved the nation's economy, he subdued it. 

The government's own numbers tell the ugly story. 

Since World War II, U.S. economic growth has averaged 3.3% per year.  Under Obama, however, we've now averaged 2.1% and haven't even witnessed a single year of 3% growth.  In fact, we've gone ten years without reaching even 3% growth, which is unprecedented. 

Also since World War II, we've experienced eleven post-recession cyclical recoveries.  By a significant margin, the 2.1% growth in the current "recovery" is the worst recorded.  Going chronologically, the 1949-53 recovery averaged 7.6% growth, the 1954-57 recovery averaged 4.0% growth, the 1958-60 recovery averaged 5.6% growth, the 1961-69 recovery averaged 4.9%, the 1970-73 recovery averaged 5.1%, the 1975-80 recovery averaged 4.3%, the brief 1980-81 recovery averaged 4.4%, the 1982-90 recovery averaged 4.3% and the 1991-01 recovery averaged 3.6%.  And notably, the 2001-07 Bush recovery that Obama maligned while campaigning for the presidency reached 2.8% average growth. 

Unfortunately, anemic economic growth isn't the only measure by which Obama's record is the worst ever measured. 

Take unemployment, for example.  Back in 2009, in promoting his trillion-dollar spending "stimulus," Obama and his administration promised that unemployment wouldn't exceed 8% if Congress passed his plan.  Sadly, however, the unemployment rate proceeded to rocket past 8% and remain above that level for the longest stretch in recorded U.S. history. 

And as referenced above, all of this occurred while Obama doubled the nation's debt in just seven years, and ran up deficits that were by far the highest in history.  Recall that in the summer of 2008, when the most recent deficit was a comparatively tiny $161 billion, Obama explicitly labeled George W. Bush's deficit record "unpatriotic." 

Well, Obama proceeded to run four consecutive deficits over $1 trillion, nearly ten times that amount.  The largest deficit we'd ever experienced was $450 billion in 2008, but we've exceeded that in every single year of Obama's presidency.  So if Bush was "unpatriotic," what does that make Obama?

When confronted with these garish realities, Obama and his apologists typically retreat to the excuse that he inherited "the worst recession since the Great Depression." 

But even that is incorrect. 

The early 1980s recession that Ronald Reagan encountered was significantly worse than the most recent recession by every primary measure.  The unemployment rate was almost a full point higher in the early '80s than its peak during the last recession, and inflation and interest rates were both near 20% then, compared to extremely and artificially low 1%-2% rates during Obama's tenure.  In fact, that latter point remains an underappreciated threat, since today's low interest rates conceal how much of our annual federal budget will be devoted to paying interest on the national debt when rates return to normal levels. 

It must also be highlighted that the last recession was ending before Obama even moved into the White House, contra his incessant lament that he inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Just look at the official government numbers.  The recession bottomed out in the third and fourth quarters of 2008, before Obama even won election.  Then by the first and second quarters of 2009, the sharp upward trajectory was clear, and in June 2009 the recession officially ended.  That was obviously well before any of Obama's policies took effect, including his wasteful $1 trillion spending "stimulus." 

The objective record is thus clear.  The most liberal, highest-spending, highest-regulating president in U.S. history has presided over the worst cyclical economic recovery since accurate recordkeeping began.  If his policies worked, then the current recovery would presumably be the strongest, not the weakest. 

If Obama's presidency was the success that he claims, then he wouldn't have to keep telling us about it.  Unfortunately for us all, it's a matter of the sarcastic adage, "Whom are you going to believe, Barack Obama or your own eyes?" 

Notable Quote   
 
"Hunter Biden's offer to testify before the House Oversight Committee is a clever evasion, nothing more. The president's son says he will testify only if the hearing is publicly televised. Nice try. Subpoenaed witnesses don't get to set the terms. The committee does.Why make an offer that is bound to be rejected? For two reasons. The PR goal is for Hunter to appear willing to testify, when he actually…[more]
 
 
— Charles H. Lipson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago
 
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