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If The Times is paying John Stossel for his opinion, can I get in on that money? Reading Stossel's column in Monday's Times, it appears that he has not even read the credit card accountability bill. Just to present a few actual facts, here are the main headings taken from the bill: bans unfair rate increases; prevents unfair fee traps; plain sight/plain language disclosures accountability; protections for students and young people.
I do not see anything that prevents the credit card company, actually a bank, from earning a reasonable profit. If the bank is collecting less interest and less profit, I think the bank is smart enough to just give more people cards who cannot pay the balance each month and collect that interest; that is what the conservatives call free enterprise.
I found one of my old statements from 2006, it stated that the interest rate on unpaid balances was 19.4 percent. And if my 67-year-old memory is not failing, I believe most were charging 19 percent to 25 percent. I have never paid any interest on my cards because I pay the balance every month. And I would guess that the law professor Stossel quotes has not paid any interest, either, so his comment about using a different card if one is unfair, would not apply to this argument. If you pay up each month, you get to use their money with no interest or fee for almost a month no matter what the interest rate is.
I am living on Social Security and a small 401K. I have a mortgage payment of $800 per month. I just applied for a card last week and I have the card and account already with an interest rate of 11.99 percent. So I really doubt that it is as difficult to obtain a credit card as Stossel's column says. Of course, I do not have any facts to prove or disprove it.
So it appears that Stossel has again misled us to prove that he really is the libertarian he claims to be. Some things need government to safeguard our rights. Look what happened when nobody was watching Wall Street. The old saying, "spare the rod and spoil the child" comes to mind.
I call myself an independent, meaning I like to keep an open mind and not follow the herd. The Constitution we have was written by men of different political beliefs, not the partisanship we have today.