Feb 19 2008
Today S. 398 received 2nd reading tightening up regulations on the pay day lending industry. S. 398 has some good, yet there’s one prickly point that I regret not making an attempt to amend on 2nd reading (we can’t amend on 3rd). This bill creates a central database with the government. That’s right, to keep you from going to more than one lender, big bro will have a database of your loan(s).
The proponents of this legislation have good intentions; they want to help prevent our citizens from getting into a cycle of debt, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I’ve heard Clifford Bryant say a million times “I don’t like to put the key in the door of the drugstore and tell myself this day is for the banker”. Believe me, if Daddy taught me anything, it is to be careful of debt.
Ya’ll also know I’m uncomfortable supporting any kind of new regulation on most things. If Johnny wants to loan Jimmy some money and Jimmy and Johnny agree to the terms, why should the government get involved in the stipulations, interest rates, etc? Why do they need to ask government permission and then why should government offer the specifics. Can’t the market decide these things?
So you say we outlaw crack cocaine so government needs to intervene sometimes and protect our citizens. That’s a good argument. We all agree that crack cocaine should be outlawed yet no one would agree on outlawing cheese fries. Both are bad for you but these are two extremes. There is a line to be drawn somewhere. When in doubt, side with liberty has become my philosophy.
I cannot support S. 398 bill for one reason. I can live with the new regulations, but the database gives me grief. Last year, I voted against the narcotic central database, but didn’t raise any sand about it. Now we’re creating another big brother database and I can’t imagine when this slippery slope will end. It’s too late to amend this bill on 3rd reading Wednesday, so I’ll need to sit this one out. Yet the next central database that comes up for any reason, let’s put on the brakes! Do I sound like an extremist? Consider what Barry Goldwater proclaimed at the RNC in 1964.