UPDATE: Guv Hick has come out publicly against the amendment. Nice to know he's alive. We just find it a bit odd that he would break his vows of legislative silence to weigh in on a rules amendment, but avoid publicly participating in, you know, big issues like redistricting. We've heard of selective hearing, but this is a new one. Selective leadership.
Senate Prez Brandon Shaffer thinks he is the only one in charge in the Capitol. After years of Democrat control of all levers of the legislative process, Shaffer and Democrats have gotten a little too used to their one-party state in the Capitol. The problem for Shaffer and gang is that the voters of Colorado decided they were sick of Pyongyang politics and put Republicans in charge of the House.
With redistricting melting down over Shaffer's lack of interest in compromise, the Republicans have decided it's time to play hard ball. Case in point: the rules bill. Normally a staid and unexciting process, the rules bill got heated just in the last few hours as Republicans added an amendment that would alter payday lending rules promulgated by bureaucrats that Republicans felt exceeded the authority granted to them by the Legislature.
Democrats and Progressives practically crapped their pants and have been ranting about how Republicans are trying to attack poor people. They do this by selling their disingenuous argument that payday lenders are all evil succubi looking to prey on poor people. The problem with that argument is that, as is often the case with Democrat talking points, the facts don't play it out.
Take a look at a study done by Donald Morgan of the New York Federal Reserve on payday loans. His conclusion is quite interesting in regards to North Carolina and Georgia who chased the payday lenders out of the state:
Georgians and North Carolinians do not seem better off since their states outlawed payday credit: they have bounced more checks, complained more about lenders and debt collectors, and have filed for Chapter 7 (“no asset”) bankruptcy at a higher rate. The increase in bounced checks represents a potentially huge transfer from depositors to banks and credit unions. Banning payday loans did not save Georgian households $154 million per year, as the CRL projected, it cost them millions per year in returned check fees.
People balk at the idea of high interest rates for payday loans. But reality doesn't conform to people's gut emotions. As Morgan points out, those high interest rates are still cheaper than the bounced check costs. Payday loans are for people with bad credit. Anybody with a credit card, car payment or mortgage knows that bad credit equals a bad rate.
On top of the essential role that payday lenders can play in assisting people with bad credit avoid harsher penalties, they also provide a little thing called J-O-B-S. Democrats haven't concerned themselves much with that issue this session, instead focusing on government revenues, not citizen and business revenues. If a company can only make their business work at a certain percentage of interest and you force them to charge a lower rate, basic economics tells you they'll have to shutter their shop. And lay off people.
But that won't stop Democrats from sticking to their talking points.
So Democrats can continue to demagogue the issue, when at the end of the day Republicans would probably have been willing to compromise if Shaffer and his minions had felt the need to show a little bipartisan spirit on redistricting.
Guess Shaffer is just going to have to go pound sand.