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Credit And Discredit

Our lawmakers in both houses of congress have finally gotten around to passing a Credit Card Reform Act and it is on its way to the president for signing. And sign it he will. This legislation has been waiting for years to have a chance at a real hearing. The opportunity came when millions of consumers were simply being read out of the credit markets because too many of them hadn't the cash to pay their bills or keep up with the sudden, sometimes retroactive increases in interest fees and other tricks that were communicated by large blocks of small type which most people couldn't read.

Many millions of consumers lost their credit not because they didn't pay or pay on time. They lost their credit because they lived in residential areas where other people didn't pay or pay on time. I don't know whether the present legislation prohibits that. But I would be surprised if it did. It would be too sensible.

There are loads of commonsense reforms in the legislation. One wonders why the Democrats at least had never made this a cause until it was also in the interest of the credit card companies.

What do I mean by that? The Congress has now given some protection to customers of Citigroup, Bank of America, AmEx, Target, etc., the poor, the lower middle class, the marginal middle class, profligate students, drunks, and other ordinary ne'er do wells. Since this will deeply lower the bottom line for the banking usurers they will simply raise rates on folk with good credit.

Isn't this what the Republicans call "tax on the rich?" Except they're for it. Everything for the bankers.