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news briefs

News Briefs: America’s poor better off than Europeans; Economy boost coming?; Risky mortgages are back; ‘Beto’ all in for abortion until birth

Here’s your daily news briefs.

President Trump considering economy-boosting measures

President Trump said he is considering measures to bolster the economy, including a reduction in capital-gains taxes. He also continued to press the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates even as he played down warning signs of a possible slowdown. Mr. Trump said his administration is exploring cutting capital-gains taxes by indexing gains to inflation, which he suggested he could do through regulatory action rather than through Congress. Such a move would likely face immediate court challenges. Mr. Trump said that he has been thinking about a payroll-tax cut for “a long time” but that nothing was imminent on that front.

Risky mortgages are back with new names

Risky mortgages are making a comeback. More than a decade after home loans triggered the worst financial crisis in a generation, the strict lending requirements subsequently put in place are starting to erode. Home buyers with low credit scores or high debt levels, and those lacking traditional employment, are finding it easier to get credit.

Borrowers took out $45 billion of these unconventional loans last year, the most in a decade, and origination is on track to rise again in 2019.

The loans have been rebranded. Largely gone are the names subprime and Alt-A. Now they are called nonqualified, or non-QM, because they don’t comply with postcrisis standards set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for preventing borrowers from getting loans they can’t afford.

Dem candidate doubles down on abortion

Democratic presidential contender Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke emphasized that he supports abortion up until birth at a campaign stop on Aug. 26.

The former Texas representative, 46, was asked by a man at a South Carolina event: “I saw in March …. you were at a town hall meeting just like this in Cleveland. And someone asked you specifically, specifically about third-trimester abortions, and you said that’s a decision left up to the mother.”

“So, my question is this: I was born Sept. 8, 1989, and I want to know if you think on Sept. 7, 1989, my life had no value.”

O’Rourke responded, saying: “Of course I don’t think that. And, of course, I’m glad that you’re here. But you referenced my answer in Ohio, and it remains the same. This is a decision that neither you, nor I, nor the United States government should be making. That’s a decision for the woman to make.”

College professor sues after she was heckled for opposing Pledge of Allegiance ban

A Santa Barbara City College academic whom radical activists attempted to intimidate by heckling and booing when she spoke out against the board’s ban on reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during meetings is suing the California school for denying her free speech rights.

Adjunct professor Celeste Barber (not to be confused with the comedian of the same name) said that an angry mob — whose conduct she claims was condoned by the campus administration — tried to silence her while she made comments at a college board of trustees meeting Jan. 24.

While it was happening, “I was terrified,” Barber, an English instructor who retired from the college in 2015 after 20 years’ service, told The Epoch Times in an interview.

“I could hear the shouting and foot-stomping. I was frightened.”

“Mine was a very civil statement and I didn’t expect such a backlash. I was stunned.”

SBCC board President Robert Miller had emailed Barber days before the public meeting, saying the pledge was banned because it contains the phrase “one nation under God” and because it is “steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism.”

America’s poorest people consume more than most Europeans

Americans in the bottom 20 percent of income-earners buy more consumer goods and services than the national averages for people living in most of the wealthiest nations of the world, including those in Europe.

That’s the central conclusion of an analysis published Aug. 26 by Just Facts, a New Jersey-based independent nonprofit research institute that describes itself as “dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.”

The analysis, written by Just Facts President James Agresti, found that “after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and food stamps — the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries.