One of the best laugh lines always has been “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Certainly that’s true when it comes to consumer protection.
In the name of saving customers from the evil, rapacious credit card companies Congress plans on limiting access to credit. It also is working to hike costs for people with good credit.
Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.
Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.
“It will be a different business,” said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, which has been lobbying Congress for more lenient legislation on behalf of the nation’s biggest banks. “Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems.”
This makes a lot of sense. We’re worried about bad debt, bad mortgages, and bad loans. So Congress is going to penalize people with good credit who carefully manage their financial affairs. Of course!
It has long been evident that Congress has the reverse Midas touch. Everything congressmen touch turns to, well, this is a family-oriented blog. You can fill in the blank.
If Congress wants to help consumers, the best thing it could do is take an extended recess.