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If banks don’t want the regulation, it must be good for consumers

If you’ve been following Congressional schedules, then you know that the House and the Senate are both involved with different versions of proposed credit card legislation.  Some people I know feel that additional regulation is not necessary, and moreover the whole process (and Congress) is rife with corruption.  I don’t necessarily disagree that corruption in government does and always has existed.  But to naysayers, I would throw this out there: if additional protections are not a very good idea consumers, then why are the big banks fighting so hard to prevent them?

It’s a virtual certainty that if banks don’t want the regulation, it must be good for consumers.  When’s the last time a bank did anything in your best interest, as compared to their own?  When’s the last time that you received a change in terms notice that was good for you?  I’ll tell you when, most likely it was after a class action lawsuit was settled, or the bank was otherwise forced to take an action that was in your favor, as compared to being in the bank’s favor.  (I would place community banks and credit unions in a different category as compared to the big banks that monopolize the credit card industry.)

According to a CNN report entitled,  “Obama to lean on credit card CEOs,” you may find it interesting to know just how badly the banks do not want consumers to enjoy additional legal protections:

The credit card sector gave as much as $7.3 million to lawmakers in both political parties during the 2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Since last October, Visa spent $1.7 million on lobbying, according to government lobbying registries.

That same report also stated, “if the bills advance all the way to President Obama’s desk, it won’t be without a fight.”  Banks are fighting for their interest, and not yours or mine, or those of small businesses.  Unless you are happy with the way things have been going (and how credit card companies have been treating you and others), now is the time to fight back.

We don’t have the money to “buy” the votes of our Congressional representatives, but you should let them know that we expect them to finally act in the consumer’s (taxpayer’s) interest on this issue, instead of yielding to the will of a few corrupt credit card company executives and their lobbyists.  Be nice, but as far as I am concerned, a vote against these protections is a vote against the American consumer.  Contact your representative and those who are involved in the House and Senate versions of these credit card bills.  The House committee could vote as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday, April 22, 2009).

The only reason I don’t use the word “never” to describe when banks are on your side is to avoid violating the old adage, “never say never.”  Thus, try this phrasing, instead:

When there may be an occasional cold spell in hell, banks may be on your side, instead of their own.

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