As misguided politicians and regulators continue to target short-term lenders, which provide American…
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Image of the Day: Sure Enough, Credit Card Balances Are Exploding

As misguided politicians and regulators continue to target short-term lenders, which provide American consumers with vital financial lifelines when the only alternatives are skipping payments, bouncing checks, running up credit card debts or even going to dangerous loansharks, we've consistently noted how short-term lenders' role becomes increasingly important as the U.S. economy deteriorates and credit card reliance skyrockets.  Sure enough, the New York Fed numbers provide an alarming illustration:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="546"] Credit Card Debt Skyrocketing[/caption]

All the more reason to protect consumers' access to legal, reliant, efficient short-term lending rather than irrationally target it.…[more]

December 05, 2022 • 02:38 PM

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Attacks on Paul Ryan Show Liberals' True Character Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, March 27 2014
The problem afflicting most government anti-poverty programs is that they calculate success based on how much money is spent servicing the program, not on how many people are moved out of poverty.

The irony of Paul Ryan’s career is that he should be every liberal’s favorite conservative.

On Medicare and Medicaid he accepts the premise that government has a role to play in providing access to medical care for the elderly and poor. Back in 2009, his ObamaCare alternative – the Patient’s Choice Act – used a similar framework as the president to increase access to health insurance, but with a decidedly free-market approach. And Ryan’s emphasis on alleviating poverty should make him a natural ally in helping the least advantaged. Yet aside from his support for immigration reform, liberals show nothing but disdain for the Republican Party’s most influential ideas man.

In the run-up to the 2012 campaign, attack ads insinuated that Ryan intended to kill seniors by throwing them off Medicare – illustrated by a Ryan lookalike pushing a wheelchair-bound grandmother over a cliff. Never mind that Ryan’s budget proposals would save and strengthen the popular Medicare Advantage program that ObamaCare raids.

By ignoring the important points of agreement between ObamaCare and the Patient’s Choice Act – including elements such as state-based insurance exchanges, minimum benefits levels, premium assistance and prohibitions on denying coverage for preexisting conditions – Ryan’s liberal detractors have squandered a golden opportunity to build a thoughtful consensus around real reform. Instead of compromise, the liberals running the Democratic Party cling to the false belief that the only GOP alternative to ObamaCare is the status quo ante.

The most recent example of liberal derangement appeared recently when comments Ryan made about the influence of culture on poverty were turned maliciously into race-baiting. Appearing on Bill Bennett’s radio show, Ryan summarized what decades of social science research has shown. “We have got a tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular,” he said, “of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” Ryan then followed up with his solution. “Everybody’s got to get involved. You need to get involved yourself – whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is, to make a difference, and that’s how we help resuscitate our culture.”

The most explosive response came from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who sits on the House Budget Committee Ryan chairs. In a double-barreled statement, Lee said that Ryan’s “comments about ‘inner city’ poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

Though Ryan called Lee to explain that his phrasing had been “inarticulate,” he never shied away from his central argument – systemic, multi-generational poverty is more than a circumstance, it is a lifestyle. The problem afflicting most government anti-poverty programs is that they calculate success based on how much money is spent servicing the program, not on how many people are moved out of poverty. For individuals to break out of this lifestyle, radical reform of the government’s welfare architecture is needed.

It’s easy to see why this argument elicits such strong condemnation from Lee and other liberals. It threatens their job security. The political success of liberalism relies on maintaining a culture of dependency between government and targeted members of the citizenry. For all its failures, the War on Poverty has been a boon for liberal politicians. Every anti-poverty agency is linked to a constituency that benefits from its existence, and elections are the forum for continuing the relationship. For liberals like Lee, there is a strong political incentive to increase the number of people considered poor in order to expand the percentage of people benefited by the government. Reversing that calculus, as Ryan does, puts Lee’s career on the path to extinction.

The irony of Paul Ryan’s situation is really a tragedy for America’s most marginalized people. If liberals were really concerned about reforming the country’s entitlement system to better serve its beneficiaries, they would see Ryan for what he is – a thoughtful conservative with noble ambitions. As it is, they can’t bear to admit how much their own political self-interest hinders them from truly helping the people they claim to represent.

Quiz Question   
Which of the following Presidents replaced the traditional candles with electric lights on the White House Christmas tree?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in the biggest sleeper case of its 2022-23 term.The justices already have before them the blockbuster dispute of whether government-funded or -run colleges and universities can continue to use race in making admissions decisions, testing whether the court will live up to the Constitution's promise of equal protection of the laws and that the government…[more]
 
 
—John Yoo, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and Robert Delahunty, a Fellow of the Claremont Institute's Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C.
— John Yoo, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and Robert Delahunty, a Fellow of the Claremont Institute's Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C.
 
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Congress is debating adding $45 billion more than requested to defense spending for 2023. Considering a fragile economy and geopolitical threats, do you support or oppose that increase?