The credit card industry, nothing more than an arm of the banking business, is set to do the nation, particularly folks who pay off their cards in full and on time, a great disservice. In an act of awe inspiring stupidity and unfairness, legislation is pending in the halls of Congress that would essentially penalize responsible credit card holders on behalf of deadbeats. Legions of the financially responsible will not simply cancel their cards when the terms change, they will almost certainly spend less money as well, since, let's face it, credit cards grease the skids of U.S. consumerism like nothing else. Personally, I think a great winding down of the consumer economy has more than a little to recommend it, but, equally, consumer spending is the engine of the U.S. economy. The fall out from the credit card operators getting rid of grace periods, reward programs, and charging user fees, will be fearsome. The phrase killing the goose that laid the golden egg comes to mind.
Here in my home state, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the political mountebanks have decided to raise the sales tax, a not so brilliant move that will see locals running across the border in droves to buy their microwaves, computers, and lawn furniture, etc. etc. And yet, Massachusetts pols still think they will raise more revenue as a result of upping the sales tax by 25 percent. We shall see. At least the shameless boobs who skulk through the depressing halls of government on Beacon Hill managed to not raise the income tax, which is only barely justifiable in flush times, let alone desperate times like these.
So what am I really talking about here? I am talking about the inability or the unwillingness of governments to adapt to the unpleasant present reality. In the aggregate, the slope of our standard of living is decidedly down, but the authorities, having utterly failed to see what they themselves helped engineer, namely a financial and economic catastrophe, are still thrashing about, employing any and all outdated tricks to keep, not you, but themselves alive.
This is happening at the national level in spades, where the Federal legislature, essentially bought and paid for by the banking industry, is about to facilitate the credit card industry's pillaging of the last redoubt of fiscal responsibility. At the local and federal level, governments simply can not conceive of reducing themselves as a means to deal with their chronic fiscal shortfalls. The lifeboat is too full, a crime in and of itself, and your elected officials are compounding that sin by conspiring to toss those of us they are meant to serve into the drink with nary a life preserver. Don't let them!