The big cheese is having a don-like meeting with the major credit card issuers today and making “suggestions” about how they should run their business. Those suggestions carry a heavy dose of threat with them. The reach of Government, Inc. is expanding exponentially day by day. I have no love or particular respect for any credit card company. But they do run a legitimate business and provide what is clearly a very desired service to untold millions of Americans. No one has accused them of breaking any laws. If they have broken laws then they should bear the consequences of those illegal activities. Have any of you looked at the Consumer Protection Act recently? You are also reminded that virtually every state has its own version of consumer protection laws on the books already. The economy is weak to say the least and the populist sentiments are rampant at the moment to finger point and hold up scapegoats for public exhibition and chastisement.
The credit card industry is an easy target. No one loves them except when they want to charge $100.00 at the Target. I have spent a life time dealing with credit issues as a bankruptcy and Chapter 11 expert. It is my experience that when looking for the culprit in a credit difficulty that it is best to start with the fellow in the mirror. Yeah, you. I realize that many view the credit cards as a convenience and I suppose they are in our modern world. No one holds a gun to your head to make you get one in the first place and the use of credit is abused more often than speed limits. I have always counselled that in almost all instances people should use credit only for buying a house and financing a car. In all other circumstances credit should be avoided. If you don’t have a debit balance with a credit card company then you don’t have to worry about the interest rate. Why the heck do people charge $2000.00 plasma screen TVs on a credit card and then complain about the interest rate? You could save your money and then pay cash for it. Anyone recently ever thought of that? I know I am trying to swim upstream in this modern world and that the vast majority of folks think that using a credit card is de riguer for our times. Ok, but remember the teachings of Proverbs and Poor Richard’s Almanac. Government, Inc. seems to think it knows best how to provide credit to us in the “great unwashed” and what an acceptable profit is for that business.
Frankly, I wish the credit companies would simply call the bluff of Government, Inc. and announce they are folding their tent and moving on. That is right, just shut down and go out of business. They could collect their outstanding accounts due and terminate everyone except employees directly involved in the collection process and then liquidate and distribute the assets to their shareholders. That would give Government, Inc. a clear playing field to do as it wishes with the consumer credit industry. That is obviously the goal of Government, Inc. Why not at least be honest about it and say that consumer credit is now a government enterprise? The effects on the economy would be enjoyable to watch. A few trillions in lines of credit on credit cards would disappear overnight. The guy in the white house wouldn’t have to worry about the little folks being cheated anymore. The “cheaters” would all be gone. Of course consumer spending would come to a virtual standstill. But neved mind that, the government bureaucrats would have a new toy to play with.
The good old government could be the new credit card issuer for all of us. You could use your Social Security card as a credit card. Since they want to redistribute the wealth what better method could exist than this one. If you earned more than $250,000.00 per year then you would get no credit at all. Those with no income could have a $5000.00 limit on their cards and you could move it up from there based on income brackets. The government would no doubt provide an agreement or information notice that would give you all the appropriate notices advising the interest rates and terms of repayment. To save drafting costs and to make it in plain language you could use the same folks who draft those IRS provisions and design the Income Tax returns and all the attendant schedules. As the guy in the white house wants it would surely be in plain and understandable language. If an illegal alien steals your Social Security card number and maxes out your credit line, not to worry, the government will get it sorted out in the same time it takes to go through an audit with the IRS or have the EPA approve a new dam construction project.
Those who love big government and think the government is the solution for every problem of man should love this idea. One of the most critical functions of a capitalist free enterprise system will be completey under their control. The money the government makes on the credit cards/social security cards will not be called a “tax” but merely a user fee. The dramatic slow down and collapse into a Luddite society will have a tremendous impact on green house emissions. There will be so little activity that CO2 will be minimal. When people overextend their credit limits then there is nothing to worry about because the Fed can simply print up more money to make up the differnce in the short fall. Besides those who didn’t pay on their cards were no doubt the victims of somebody and the government should be concerned about their well being. Just like the mortgage relief program they will work with you and grant a new extension of credit and make you recieve credit counselling from a company owned by Barney or Nancy’s family or allow a bankruptcy judge to wipe out the debt and reset your credit limit anew.
Gibbon when writing about the Roman effort to put down a revolt by the proconsul Gildo in northern Africa in 397 AD remarked on the faint hearted effort put forth initially by the Romans to defend their heritage and their freedoms thusly: ” A people who still remembered that their ancestors had been the masters of the world would have applauded, with conscious pride, the representation of ancient freedom; if they had not long since been accustomed to the prefer the solid assurance of bread to the unsubstantial visions of liberty and greatness”. I hope our people still recall our visions and will not succumb to the bread dispensed by Nanny government.