Thursday, August 18, 2016

Career Politicians And Payday Lenders-- Once A Comfy, Symbiotic Relationship


In his opposition to payday lenders, FL-23 progressive Tim Canova, the law professor taking on the odious Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been saying that It is immoral to support an industry that makes money by targeting poor communities. Florida has been ground zero in the battle against the plague of pay day lenders and the most paid off members of Congress working for the pay day lenders are Florida's most corrupt politicians. This election cycle, only half a dozen Senate candidates have taken over $10,000 in pay day lender bribes, 6 men with notorious reputations in DC for selling their votes to sleazy industries. And two of the 6 are Floridians: "ex"-Republican Patrick Murphy, a spoiled rich bum masquerading as a Democrat and "No Show" Marco. Even though Rubio is already a senator, the pay day lenders know who will serve their interests better and have poured far more money into Murphy's campaign. By far, most of their bribes go to Republicans and, in fact, of the top 10 recipients of pay day lender bribes for the 2016 cycle there are 9 Republicans and just one "ex"-Republican masquerading as a Democrat.

Among the half dozen most corrupt members of the House there are 3 Republicans and 3 notoriously corrupt Democrats on the payday lender gravy train, 6 members who have one really giant thing in common-- this would be a far better country if all six were forced out of public office.

6 crooks who could make America better by resigning from Congress

So where's Wasserman Schultz? Oh, she dialed back her solicitation of payday lender bribes this cycle when people in south Florida started calling her #DebtTrapDebbie. This cycle she's only taken $5,100 in pay day lender bribes. But guess what-- since she was first elected to Congress, among Florida congressmembers only the walking corruption, Alcee Hastings, has taken bigger bribes from the payday lenders than #DebtTrapDebbie. He's gobbled up $121,450 and she's taken $68,100. They both co-sponsored a bill to allow pay day lenders to rob Floridians with ease but she fled in terror, along with Murphy, when Elizabeth Warren called out their bill and Floridians started asking uncomfortable questions. That's why career politicians like Murphy and Wasserman Schultz fight tooth and nail to avoid debates. Washerman Schultz got trapped into one, but Murphy is still refusing to debate his two opponents in the August 30 Florida primary. If Murphy wins the primary and faces Rubio in the general election, payday lender bribes are off the table, since they both take them.

Anyway, I got off on a Floridian tangent and really wanted to point out some good news on this front-- but up in New Jersey. Two of New Jersey's highest profile progressive mayors, Ras Baraka of Newark and Jersey City's Steve Fulop, are helping make the payday loan industry an issue. According to Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, Fulop and Baraka "are lending their voices to the chorus of Democrats nationwide who are calling for stricter regulations on the payday loan industry." That's an especially good thing because both young mayors are seen as the hope for a future corruption-free New Jersey, a difficult concept to wrap your head around, I know.
The two mayors have asked the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to "rein in abusive, high-cost payday loans," saying residents of New Jersey's two most populous cities are directly affected by the "potentially damaging" short-term loans.

"Loopholes within the CFPB's rules and regulations not only hurt our residents who seek out these types of loans, but influence our economy as a whole when such loans take on unfair practice," Fulop wrote in an Aug. 9 letter to CFPB Director Richard Corday.

The CFPB is set to finalize a proposal it unveiled in June that would require payday lenders in many cases to verify borrowers' income and confirm they can afford to repay the money they borrow. Customers would also be restricted from rolling over loans into newer, pricier ones.

They payday loan industry has been vilified by Democrats for charging customers exorbitant interest rates on the short-term loans. Two of the U.S. Senate's most liberal members, Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, said last month that the CFPB's plan does not go far enough.

In a statement issued today by Fulop's office, Baraka called payday loans "predatory instruments.

"In order for us to move forward, we must enforce legislation that will ensure financial permanency for citizens and families across New Jersey and facilitate greater entree to the institutions and apparatuses that will reinforce their economic futures," he said.

In New Jersey, interest on short-term loans is capped. In his letter, Fulop said CFPB regulations should "not undermine" the state's laws.
Fulop is running for governor and Baraka is his most enthusiastic advocate.

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