This Is How You Actually Help Middle-Class Families

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the title, “Trump Delivers For Workers … After Years Of Empty Obama Promises.” The editorial cites the latest jobs report and explains how that excellent report is the result of President Trump’s economic policies. The first thing to remember here is that President Trump is a businessman–not a politician (although he has a very fast learning curve). His approach to government seems to be very similar to that of a businessman–what is the most efficient way to solve a problem? There are those in Washington who do not welcome this approach.

The editorial reminds us:

The 304,000 gain in jobs reported by the Labor Department was nearly twice the consensus estimate. And it comes after December’s expectation-busting gains.

There’s more. The jobs picture is so strong right now that it’s pulling people in who’ve been sitting on the sidelines.

In fact, for the first time in more than 20 years, the number of people who are out of the labor force — those without jobs and not looking — shrank by 647,000 over the past 12 months. So many people are returning to the labor force that the official unemployment rate is going up, even as the job market booms.

This comes, mind you, at a time when baby boomers are retiring en masse. Under Obama, in contrast, the number of labor force dropouts exploded by 14.4 million.

The latest numbers also underscore a point we’ve been making in this space for months — that all the talk of a tight labor market overlooked the vast pool of idle workers during the Obama years.

The editorial concludes:

Other evidence of this turnaround came earlier in the week, when the Labor Dept reported that private sector wages and salaries climbed 3% last year — the biggest annual increase in a decade. Under Obama, private sector wage gains averaged just 2%.

Why Now?

So why now, this late in the game?

The answer is simple. At least to those not blinded by partisanship or economic ideology.

For eight years, Obama kept promising “bottom-up growth,” while telling the country that tax cuts and deregulation would only benefit the rich. But his policies — Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, higher taxes, a regulatory tsunami — produced economic stagnation. As it always does, that stagnation hurt the working class most.

Trump went in the opposite direction. His pro-growth tax cuts, deregulatory campaign and pro-energy policies fueled huge increases in economic optimism and turbocharged the economy. And now we’re seeing real job growth and strong wage gains for the first time in more than a decade.

You tell us which approach is proving more worker friendly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans and Democrats could work together to insure the continuation of this economic growth?

A New Face

The Washington Times reported on Thursday that Kathy Kraninger has been confirmed as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and will serve for the next five years.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile the CFPB is still facing major legal hurdles.

Some federal judges have ruled that by placing so much power — including an independent budget that Congress doesn’t control — in a single director, the CFPB violates the Constitution. But a ruling earlier this year by the full U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the singe-director structure.

Let’s take a look at the inception of the CFPB. The CFPB is the brainchild of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. It was passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act was Congress’ way of dealing with the housing bubble that caused the recession of 2008. However, the congressional solution was aimed at banks and Wall Street. It made no mention of the role that Congress had played in creating the housing crisis and made no effort to take responsibility for their actions or prevent a repeat of the problem.

In 1995 The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was changed, allowing Fannie Mae to purchase $2 billion of “My Community Mortgage” Loans, pilot vendors to customize affordable products for low and moderate income borrowers. Some of the things done to make the loans more affordable were low (or no) down payments and variable interest rates. Fannie Mae guarantees mortgages and then sells them to banks and investors. Banks were forced to issue sub-prime mortgages or pay large penalties. As more people took out mortgages, the price of houses rose quickly.  In 2005, 91 percent of Fannie Mae loans were variable rate loans. In 2004, 92 percent of Fannie Mae subprime loans were variable rate loans. Interest rates rose, gas prices increased, and people could not pay their mortgages. The subprime market collapsed, and foreclosures increased rapidly. Banks stopped making mortgage loans.

There were efforts made to stop this train. On September 11, 2003, The New York Times reported:

Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

…a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision  on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The Democrats opposed the reform. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said that it would mean less affordable housing. Melvin Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, said that it would limit the ability of poor families to get affordable housing.

In 2005, John McCain warned of a coming mortgage collapse. He sponsored S.190 (109th), Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. The Democrats blocked it. It was again brought up and blocked in 2007.

Opensecrets.org lists campaign contributions to politicians. Fannie Mae gave generously to insure that it would not be regulated. Some Democrats and Fannie Mae executives had ‘sweetheart’ loans from mortgage companies that were heavily involved in sub-prime mortgages.

So where am I going with this? The housing bubble was created by bad legislation. Bad legislation continues. In August 2016, The New York Post reported:

The Obama administration is doing its best to give the nation another mortgage meltdown.

As Paul Sperry recently noted in The Post, Team Obama has pushed mortgage lenders to offer home loans to folks with shaky credit, setting up conditions for another housing-market collapse.

Wasn’t the last one bad enough?

Credit scores of approved borrowers, for example, have been trending down, even as their debt levels have grown.

The Federal Housing Administration and government-sponsored “independent” lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been demanding lower credit standards — just as the feds did starting under President Bill Clinton, in pursuit of the same “affordable housing” goal.

Some borrowers need only put 3 percent down to get a Fannie Mae loan — even if the downpayment is a gift. Fannie also has started up a new subprime lending program.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently warned that mortgage underwriting standards have slipped and now reflect “broad trends similar to those experienced from 2005 through 2007, before the most recent financial crisis.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Board (and Dodd-Frank) were not related to the cause of the 2008 recession–the recession was the result of bad laws. Both the CFPB and Dodd-Frank need to go away. They are nothing but a blatant example of government overreach.

Wise Advice From The People Who Know

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This bureau was part of the Dodd-Frank legislation aimed at taking the focus away from the actual cause of the financial meltdown of 2008.

For those of you who are new to this website, the following video is the best analysis of the financial crisis of 2008 available. I have embedded it because at some point YouTube will probably take it down.

Dodd-Frank put a stranglehold on business growth and punished people who were not responsible for the crisis. However, those who like big government and wanted more power pushed the narrative that resulted in Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The current head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, has announced that he will resign at the end of November. Investor’s Business Daily suggests that instead of naming a replacement, President Trump should simply shut the agency down.

The editorial at Investor’s Business Daily reminds us of some of the history of the agency:

An October 2016 Supreme Court ruling found CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, a violation of the separation of powers in the nation’s supreme law.

One element of the high court’s decision was that Cordray could only be fired by the president for cause — making it very hard to get rid of even an incompetent in the job. Worse, by funding the CFPB from the Federal Reserve, not Congress, the agency lay just outside the direct oversight of Congress. It had massive power over finance in the U.S. economy, with little or no accountability. Cordray did little or nothing to remedy this.

“We are long overdue for new leadership at the CFPB,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas. “The extreme overregulation it imposes on our economy leads to higher costs and less access to financial products and services, particularly with lower and middle incomes.”

The editorial concludes:

From nothing in 2010, the agency now employs more than 1,600 people, with $647 million in budgeted spending last year and another $525 million in civil penalty fines — often collected without any due process for those who were forced to pay up.

Last January, Michael McGrady wrote on The Daily Caller website, “Like every new government program, (CFPB) became a corrupt political bargaining chip in Obama’s administration with the sole mission to assert government supremacy over the economy.” Nothing has changed since then. As we’ve said before, shut it down.

Think of the savings for taxpayers!

Improving Your Image On A False Premise

On Friday, Investors.com posted an article about Elizabeth Warren‘s objections to the budget bill because of bank risk.

The article reports:

Warren last week took to her socialist soapbox to try to torpedo the “cromnibus” spending bill. She warned legislators they would be blamed for another financial crisis if they dared to vote for any appropriations legislation that includes anti-Dodd-Frank provisions.

Pontificating from the Senate floor Thursday, Warren railed against Republicans and fellow Democrats alike for adding a provision to the bill to restore to banks the right to use derivatives to hedge risks for customers.

She claimed repeal of the regulation “would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system.”

Added Warren: “These are the same banks that nearly broke the economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs. The same banks that got bailed out by taxpayers and are now raking in record profits.

“A vote for this bill is a vote for taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street,” she continued.

But where was she three days earlier, when Fannie and Freddie unveiled new low-income mortgages with just 3% down payments? The move encourages the kind of risky lending that actually caused the crisis, yet she didn’t say a peep.

The taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street go back to the Community Reinvestment Act, passed by Jimmy Carter and revised in 1994 to repeal some restrictions on interstate banking.

The article explains what actually happened:

The “main culprit” in the housing crisis was Fannie and Freddie and their mission regulator, HUD, which was cheered on by affordable-housing zealots in the House like Warren’s pal Barney Frank.

HUD pressured Fannie and Freddie to make high-risk loans to “underserved” borrowers, and to do that they had to lower their underwriting standards to the point where they were buying as many subprime loans as prime. While HUD was enforcing its affordable-housing quotas, down payments plunged along with credit scores.

When the housing price bubble burst, those loans were the first to default. When the music stopped, a whopping 77% of all the bad loans ended up on the books of Fannie and Freddie and other federal agencies — not Wall Street banks.

The evidence of government guilt in the crisis is overwhelming. Yet Warren keeps up the false narrative.

Unfortunately, that false narrative has been used for so long that uninformed voters believe it. Part of what is needed to change the politics of Washington is an educated voter. Until voters learn to look past what the mainstream media is telling them, the government will continue to make reckless decisions that result in taxpayer money being used to correct government mistakes.

Regular Readers Of This Blog Know This, But Here It Is Again

I  have periodically posted the YouTube video “Burning Down the House” on this website to remind people what actually caused the housing bubble as opposed to what they were being told caused the housing bubble. There is a reason I am posting it again.

In December 2012, a website called examiner.com posted a story with the headline, “New study confirms economy was destroyed by Democrat policies.” Sounds like the video at YouTube. The study was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research and released the week of December 21, 2012.

The article reports:

-No one was making bad loans to unqualified people until Democrats came along and threatened to drag banks into court and have them fined and branded as racists if they didn’t go along with the left’s Affirmative Action lending policies…all while federally insuring their losses. Even the New York Times warned in the late 1990s that Democrats continuing to force banks into lowering their standards would lead to this exact catastrophe.

Obama himself is even on the record personally helping sue one lender (Citibank) into lowering its lending standards to include people from extremely poor and unstable areas, which even one of the left’s favorite blatantly partisan “fact-checkers,” Snopes, admits (while pretending to ‘set the record straight’).

If we are to remain a free people, we need to understand facts–not spin. The lies that have been told about the financial collapse of 2007 are astounding. Even worse is the fact that the Dodd-Frank legislation passed as a result of the collapse does not come anywhere near addressing the core issue.

The graph below from the National Bureau of Economic Research study shows the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act on mortgage lending:

It is time to change both the Washington culture and the media culture. Unless we do that fairly quickly, we will cease to exist as a free, prosperous nation.

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When Legislation Gets Out Of Hand

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about the Dodd-Frank bill that was supposed to remedy the problems that caused the 2008 economic meltdown. Aside from the fact that the bill does not address the major cause of the meltdown–the sub-prime mortgage market, there are a few other issues with the bill.

The article reports:

According to a release The Daily Caller obtained that will be sent out with the announcement of the new Web service, the legislation — and the rules government regulators have written to go with it — has already had a profound effect on the financial sector.

Regulators have written only 185 of the expected 400 rules. But those 185 rules are expected to cost the private sector more than 24 million man-hours each year to comply.

How much money does 24 million man-hours actually cost the private sector?

The article further points out:

Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer, the chairman of the committee’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations, told The Daily Caller that means that instead of hiring people to handle small business loans, banks will be hiring staff to comply with the new government regulations, ultimately having a negative impact on job creation.

“For example, let’s just get it down to the community banker — the person that loans money to most of the small businesses in our country,” Neugebauer said in a phone interview. “We’ve had a few community bankers come in here and say, ‘you know, they’re hiring a lot more compliance officer than they are loan officers.’ That is increasing the cost of banking and, ultimately, they have to charge higher interest rates and higher fees.”

Punishing people who make a profit will not prevent financial difficulties in the future, it will only create them. It is time we repealed Dodd-Frank and waited for a pro-business Congress to rewrite it. There is nothing wrong with being pro-business–business provides jobs and income for Americans. If we do not support business, we will eventually have a nation where everyone expects the government to support them and there is no one to pay taxes to the government. Unless there is serious change in Washington, that is where we are headed.

 

 

 
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