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.


November 27, 2023 • 03:57 PM

Liberty Update

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Gallup: Confidence in U.S. Institutions Collapses to Record Low Under Biden Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, July 20 2023
Overall, of the 16 institutions measured, fully 11 have reached their record lows under Biden.

As a 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden shamelessly recast himself as some sort of unifier who could restore collective public trust.  

This was the same man who just eight years earlier as Vice President crudely lectured a Black audience that Mitt Romney and Republicans would “put y’all back in chains.”  

With regard to trust, this was also the man who withdrew in shame from the 1988 presidential campaign after being exposed as a plagiarist.  

Nevertheless, in his inaugural address Biden assured Americans that, “My whole soul is in this.”  

Nearly three years later, however, public faith in U.S. institutions has crashed to a new record low under Biden.  

That’s according to Gallup, which has recorded significant declines in the 16 institutions that it tracks annually.  Notably, overall public trust has plummeted 10 points since 2020 when Biden promised improvement from his predecessor:  

The historically depressed nature of today’s ratings is evident in the average confidence scores of nine institutions that Gallup has routinely tracked since 1979.  That average fell to a new low of 26% this year.  While down just one point from 2022, it is 10 points lower than in 2020.  

Confidence has generally trended downward since registering 48% in 1979 and holding near 45% in the 1980s.  It averaged closer to 40% in the 1990s and early 2000s before dropping to the low 30% range in the 2010s.  Last year was the first time it fell below 30%.  The average confidence level for the 14 institutions tracked regularly since 1993 is also 26%, and also one point below the prior low recorded last year for that trend.  

Overall, of the 16 institutions measured, fully 11 have reached their record lows under Biden.  Humiliatingly, that includes the institution of the presidency itself, which fell from 39% confidence in 2020 to just 26% today.  

Other institutions that have fallen to record low trust in just three years under Biden include newspapers, television news, public schools and large tech companies.  It also includes the criminal justice system, which Biden specifically addressed in his inaugural address in the wake of 2020’s chaos.  

In a separate notable Gallup survey, confidence in higher education has plummeted from 57% in 2015 to just 36% today, reflecting the damage that leftist cultural warfare has inflicted on one of its prized redoubts.  

In its unintentionally amusing conclusion, Gallup captures the malaise that characterizes the Biden presidency.  After acknowledging that none of the institutions measured annually managed to repair their public trust ratings, with many at or near their all-time lows, it concludes, “While hardly encouraging, the good news is that none worsened significantly.”  

That’s what tends to happen as you approach rock bottom.  

Beyond that gallows humor, however, lie some unambiguously troubling internal details that should disturb Americans across the political spectrum.  

For years, despite steep declines in public trust toward other institutions, three regularly maintained high confidence among a majority of Americans:  small businesses, the military and police.  Under Biden, however, that number has declined to just two.  From a 51% trust level in 2021, the police have fallen to a record low confidence level of just 43% today.  

Amid record recent increases in violent crime, that decline in confidence not only amplifies Americans’ fear of their everyday safety, but also encourages a snowball effect of further lawlessness among potential criminals.  

Just as ominously, public confidence in the military is also dropping dramatically under Biden.  

In 2020, 72% of Americans expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in America’s military, but that has fallen all the way to 60% in this year’s Gallup survey.  While still above 50%, at this rate of deterioration under Biden it won’t be much longer.  

Perhaps that decline should come as no surprise, considering the Biden Administration’s reduction in military funding adjusted for inflation and its relentless effort to introduce culture wars to military personnel.  Today, the Army faces its worst recruitment shortfall since the draft was ended and an all-volunteer force was created in 1973.  Biden ostentatiously adds a salutation to our nation’s troops after every speech, but he is driving down military institutional confidence along with every other major public institution under his watch.  

With his 2024 reelection campaign now underway, Biden wants Americans to believe that he has steadied a listing ship that he inherited, just as he seeks to recast “Bidenomics” as a feature rather than a bug.  

Americans, however, know better.  

Through Biden’s incompetence and extremism, they realize that he is only making matters worse.  Whether and how they choose to correct course remain open questions as 2024 approaches.  

Notable Quote   
"Joe Biden made cracking down on tax-cheating millionaires a centerpiece of his presidency, even securing the funds to hire new IRS agents and auditors. On Thursday, his Justice Department branded first son Hunter Biden as a quintessential tax cheat who chose to underwrite an 'extravagant lifestyle' with millions in foreign monies rather than pay his debts to Uncle Sam.In a sweeping grand jury indictment…[more]
— John Solomon, Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief of Just the News
Liberty Poll   

Given the large and growing number of U.S. House retirees, are you more concerned about the loss of experienced veterans or more hopeful by the potential of new talent?