Credit Unions Offer Alternative for Consumers and Small Businesses

Congress Must Act to Lift Restrictions on Consumer Choice and Access to Credit in the Market

by Horace Cooper

Much has been written about the over-reach of Dodd-Frank and the drag that law and its progeny will have on the financial services sector, the economic recovery, and job creation. Evidence continues to mount that the specter of over-regulation is crowding out free market solutions and restricting credit in the markets. Worse, the negative effects of government interference in the financial services industry extend well beyond large commercial banks deemed “too big to fail.” A case in point is credit unions.

Credit unions serve an important source of credit for consumers and small businesses. Historically this has been especially true during economic downturns, when the banking industry either tightened or in other ways limited credit. Read more

5 Myths Liberals Have Created About Themselves

“Five Myths: 1) Liberals love science, 2) Liberals care about education, 3) Liberals are tolerant, 4) Liberals don’t moralize, 5) Liberals love the poor.”

by John Hawkins

Liberalism is like a restaurant with ugly decor, terrible food, overflowing toilets and roaches scurrying across the floor — that stays packed every night. Sure, liberals may be sanctimonious, mean spirited and advocate policies that don’t work, but you can’t help but admire the excellence of their public relations network. They can laud themselves for courage because they take a stand everyone they know agrees with, pat themselves on the back for their compassion as they maliciously insult someone that disagrees with them and congratulate themselves for their charitable behavior as they give other people’s money away. Liberal mythology is one thing, but what it actually looks like is a different beast entirely. Read more

The right-to-work dilemma

“Higher wages or lower unemployment? It is a wrenching choice. . . . Think of the moral calculus. Lower wages cause an incremental decline in one’s well-being. No doubt. But for the unemployed, the decline is categorical, sometimes catastrophic — a loss not just of income but of independence and dignity.”

by Charles Krauthammer

For all the fury and fistfights outside the Lansing Capitol, what happened in Michigan this week was a simple accommodation to reality. The most famously unionized state, birthplace of the United Auto Workers, royalty of the American working class, became right-to-work. Read more

White House Data Debunk Myth Bush Cuts Built Deficit

“After President Bush in late May 2003 signed the largest tax cut since President Reagan . . . government receipts from individual income taxes rose from $793.7 billion to a peak of $1.16 trillion in 2007, when the mortgage crisis began, a 47% jump.”

by Paul Sperry

While President Obama insists the Bush tax cuts caused the recession and record deficits, his own economists say otherwise.

He might want to consult their data for the truth. Read more

The Real Fiscal Cliff

“After the phony cliff, we face the terrifying one.”

by Conrad Black

Last week, Fareed Zakaria and Charles Krauthammer appeared in Toronto (where I live much of the time), and while I did not go to their main debate, I went to a tasting of it at a luncheon. There was, I regret to write, as a longstanding friend of both of them, a surreal aspect to the exchange. After the usual compliments one exchanges (as I know from my time on that circuit), they embarked on a dialogue of the deaf, and a mutual flight, joined at the wingtip like Jurassic pterodactyls, soaring above the mighty chasm of American fiscal problems below. The otherworldly discussion of whether the Republican leaders in Congress will reach an agreement with the president about the automatic expiration of the Bush tax cuts of a decade ago vastly overshadowed the issue of reinserting spontaneous growth into the U.S. economy and grappling with the deficit at last. Read more

Why the Founders Matter

Securing the Blessing of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity

by Scott L. Vanatter

The things of politics and public policy are of deep import. It takes time, experience, and careful and ponderous and even solemn thoughts to inform whether and how we act. Politicians, by their words or policies, either expand or contract the frontiers of our freedoms. We, The People, need to encourage and benefit from its progress, or mourn and suffer its decline.

The more we as citizens stand informed and aware, then the better able we will be to advocate for those principles which will tend to the greater public good. Then we can act with confidence in this great undertaking. As Lincoln called it, the last best hope of mankind. Read more

Two Thoughts on Navigating the “Fiscal Cliff”

“The ability of the American people to watch the ['Fiscal Cliff'] sausage made and [to] read the contract before signing is a better guardian of our future than the hurried endorsements of the Washington establishment based on private assurances of politicians.”

by Grover Norquist

On January 1, 2013 three things happen:

First, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts lapse along with a number of temporary tax reductions that have been extended so many times they are collectively known as “the extenders.” (Note to self: possible name for female rock band.) This collection of tax hikes total $500 billion in 2013. The $1,000 per child tax credit drops to $500. The Obama Social Security tax holiday ends again. The bottom tax rate jumps from 10 percent to 15 percent and the top personal income tax rate jumps from 35 to 39.6 percent — plus Obamacare’s new 3.8 percent surtax: total for top rate 43.4%. (Do be sure to add 10.3 percent for the state income tax if you live in California, 5.75 percent in Maryland or 8.82 percent in New York.) Read more

Are We Better Off? Business Publication Says No

Economic Conditions: All weekend, Democratic party leaders kept fumbling their answer to a simple question: Are we better off than we were four years ago? There’s a good reason for that: We’re not.

It wasn’t until Monday that the campaign was able to figure out how to answer the question, with Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, saying, “Absolutely.”

Obama’s argument is simple: The economy was headed for a second Great Depression when he took office — hemorrhaging GDP and jobs. His stimulus, the auto bailouts and so on, prevented that, and the economy has since been slowly digging out of the massive ditch into which President Bush drove it. Thus, Obama says, he deserves an “incomplete” grade. Read more

Four Plead Guilty to Voter Fraud

Little Rock, Ark. (AP) – A Democratic state legislator from east Arkansas, his father and two campaign workers pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit election fraud after federal prosecutors said the lawmaker’s campaign bribed absentee voters and destroyed ballots in a special election last year.

Prosecutors said Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion, Kent Hallum, Phillip Wayne Carter and Sam Malone acknowledged that they participated in a conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes in the Arkansas District 54 primary, runoff and general elections in 2011. The four were released pending a sentencing hearing.

“In a nation in which every person’s vote matters, protecting the integrity of the electoral process from those who seek to win office by cheating the system is critical,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said in a statement released by her office. “Voter fraud schemes such as that carried out in the 2011 District 54 race have the devastating effect of eroding public confidence in elected officials and disenfranchising voters.” Read more

Dishonest Political Fact Checkers and the Pinocchio Press

by James Taranto

In the 19th-century fairy tale “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” the eponymous protagonist is a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming an actual boy. We suppose people who work as fact checkers have long dreamed of becoming writers and editors, who enjoy, respectively, the glory and the power in journalism.

The new face of journalism?

Outside the world of journalism, fact checkers were pretty much unknown until recently. Like proofreaders, they work behind the scenes. Their job is quality control. The most rigorous fact-checking operations–The New Yorker’s and Reader’s Digest’s are the best known among us who know about such things–would scrutinize every factual assertion in an article, reporting back so that any error could be corrected. Read more

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