In 1978, the Supreme Court essentially gutted all state usury laws, freeing interest rates and sparking a credit card boom. Around that time, 38 percent of U.S. households had a credit card; as of 2014, 71 percent did, according to WalletHub. Total revolving debt rose from $48 billion — 2 pe…

Nature pays no heed to political boundaries. The air and water flow as the wind and gravity dictate, making it folly to attempt to deal with related environmental issues only on the local level.

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the last week of news:

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The 2020 election has already begun in full force with more than 20 Democrats vying for the nomination while President Trump holds political rallies before devoted supporters. There seem to be two opposing ideologies in play: one defending greed and self-interest and another promoting compas…

Leftists refuse to deliberate in good faith — instead they belittle and bully. In the City of Brotherly Love, such antics were on display as state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat, seemed to enjoy berating a group of peaceful, pro-life women, including three teenage girls quietly praying in front…

The cool reception to new rules for state pensions — and the dose of outrage being directed at hypocritical lawmakers — isn’t surprising.

Three more life-without-parole prisoners will be released after Gov. Tom Wolf commuted the sentences of a convicted murderer and two men who participated in crimes where someone was killed.

One especially damaging effect of the explosion of information enabled by this digitally powered era of communication is the speed with which that technology delivers great big doses of misinformation. It is seen in baseless political attacks designed to inflame and divide. It is seen in vir…

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has released a plan to combat gun violence. Alongside some familiar proposals — including universal background checks on gun purchases and bans on semi-automatic rifles (“assault weapons”) and high-capacity magazines — he has some bolder ideas, and these could do …

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news:

Over the past months, I’ve written several times about Steve Bannon, the avowed communist sympathizer who was President Trump’s senior strategist during Trump’s first year in office.

With his ominous looking goatee, shaved head, forearm tattoos and 6 feet-8 inch frame, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman looks like he belongs at the end of the Philadelphia 76ers’ bench.

Three more life-without-parole prisoners will be released after Gov. Tom Wolf commuted the sentences of a convicted murderer and two men who participated in crimes where someone was killed.

There’s fiscal trouble ahead for those nearing retirement. And some, including the federal government, appear to be unprepared for it.

• Cheers to the AOAA for hosting another successful Jeep Jamboree national event over the weekend. While the debate for and against having riders in town will always continue, and both sides have valid points, let’s take a moment to give credit to the AOAA’s board of directors for what they …

President Donald Trump spent the past few weeks braying that the special counsel’s nearly two-year investigation had “completely exonerated” him, when only he and the highly partisan attorney general he appointed knew what was in the report.

It’s not hard for property owners in Pennsylvania to find out what portion of their tax bill goes to schools. They may think that’s all they pay to support education, but they’d be wrong. A secret school tax is not only funded by all taxpayers, but has been steadily increasing. And a new bil…

Too many Americans cannot live without prescription drugs. Whether needed to regulate blood sugar, cholesterol or another medical condition, pharmaceuticals have become a necessity. Some drugs are quite literally lifelines. Yet even while mass production, taxpayer-subsidized research and tec…

“Land of the free and home of the brave” is the final verse of the Star Spangled Banner. Most Americans may not be well acquainted with the entirety of Francis Scott Key’s most famous poem that has been America’s national anthem since 1931, but those last nine words are creed.

As The News-Item is in the process of interviewing more than 40 candidates who are running for contested public offices in the primary election at the end of the month, it is imperative we take special precautions to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

During his successful campaign for president in 2016, Donald Trump got more help from the National Rifle Association than from any other outside group. No surprise, then, that he would spring to its defense by criticizing New York officials who are investigating the organization. But troubli…

The numbers from the latest five-year census by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which captured data through February 2018, offer more evidence of the ongoing transition — painful at times — for farming in Lancaster County. “Poultry has dethroned dairy, and the growing gap may already be …

For Americans of a certain age, Henry Bloch was a most winsome anomaly — a celebrity bookkeeper. On television, in magazines and newspapers, the co-founder of H&R Block was one of the best-known pitchmen of the 1970s, a harbinger of spring (tax time) as sure as the tulip.

When the internet lit up saying the storied New York Yankees exiled the playing of the country’s second national anthem, “God Bless America” by the legendary Kate Smith during each game’s seventh-inning stretch, it had to be another bout of fake news.

Joe Biden’s recent presidential announcement surprised few, but it will surprise more than a few if Biden actually wins the Democratic presidential nomination. At age 76 today, he would be the oldest president ever inaugurated by more than seven years. He also brings several other liabilitie…

Social Security always was intended as a bulwark against poverty in retirement rather than as a comprehensive retirement plan, and the program faces challenges to meet even that low bar.

For much of last week, residents of Littleton, Colorado, paused to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

The News-Items cheers and jeers from the past week of news:

Last fall, renowned economist Paul Romer got an early-morning call from an unfamiliar number. It was the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, informing him he had won the Nobel Prize — but he let it go to voicemail, because he had been inundated with robocalls lately and assumed this was only …

As Christians celebrate Easter, I couldn’t help but regard the burning of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on the Monday of Holy Week, no less, as an ugly metaphor for the tribulations that Christianity is suffering throughout the European continent and the whole of Western civilization.

In 2012, the opioid crisis started to impact the life of Sharon White, now 53, from Lansdowne, Delaware County. White saw loved ones suffering from addiction and struggling to find resources to get better. She scaled back her commercial real estate business and decided to become a recovery s…

A local resolution to one of the nastiest aspects of American health care — “surprise billing” — should point state legislators to a broader solution.

Hong Kong, at one time a citadel of free speech and rule of law, is gradually being sucked into China’s ruling system, which respects neither. This is the significance of the senseless guilty verdicts issued last week against nine organizers of the 2014 protests in Hong Kong. They were convi…

The House of Representatives has approved bipartisan legislation to “modernize” the Internal Revenue Service, but proposes to do this without providing new funding. As a result, the plan is sure to fail. The agency needs to hire and train auditors and other officials, replace ancient IT syst…

The News-Items cheers and jeers from the past week of news:

The early financial success of the movie “Unplanned,” has the abortion horde, and especially those at Planned Parenthood, reeling in contempt. A concerted effort to censor and suppress the film by Twitter that suspended the movie’s account the day “Unplanned” was released, along with other m…

Some Pennsylvania children probably have benefited from not having had to begin their formal education until age 8, currently the latest starting age allowed under state law.

Vaping, or e-cigarette use, is an electronic method of inhaling flavors. Most people, myself included, do not consider burning leaves to be be flavorful, but that is outside the scope of this article.

Facing the largest measles outbreak in 28 years, New York City has resorted to mandatory vaccination in one Brooklyn neighborhood, with $1,000 fines for noncompliance. The city had little choice. When anti-vaccination resistance raises the danger level this high, authorities must take all ne…

Set aside for a moment the public-health danger posed by the return of measles, and focus on people, because that is where the problem lies. Declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, measles is having outbreaks in six locations; this year already marks the second-highest case count i…