We pause our almost regularly scheduled science fiction-related content for me to share something important to millions of my fellow Americans.
The Obama administration has thrown us to the wolves. Now, let me get my Obama-supporter credentials out before you hang me. I voted for the man. And I feel like the current economic situation cannot be quickly or easily resolved.
But when major banks like Capital One announced in March that they were raising interest rates for all their credit card customers, President Obama led us to believe he was going to do something about the situation.
And yet, all he has done is invite a few bank CEOs to the White House for a photo opportunity and ask Congress to pass a perfectly useless “Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights” law. Why is it useless? Because it doesn’t do anything about the interest rate hikes.
Sure, the new law requires banks to give advance notice about interest rate hikes — they did that already.
It may protect us from future gratuitous rate hikes but people are in trouble now. You can’t just close your credit card account because doing so will hurt your credit score.
You see, when you apply for credit your credit score is based in part on how much you owe (your debt) compared to how much you COULD owe (your available credit). The more available credit you have, the better. Closing a credit card account reduces your available credit.
A lot of people have told me they are closing their credit card accounts. But they haven’t acquired new credit cards to replace those accounts. Some people should still be able to get new credit cards but other folks won’t. They will have too much debt and too little available credit.
Yes, it’s a stupid way to measure risk — but our banks have done a lot of stupid things over the past few years. For example, they pressured the Bush administration into making it more difficult to get a bankruptcy. What happened? More people than ever qualified for bankruptcy. Only the bankruptcy attorneys benefitted.
We cannot allow the banks to continue to set consumer protection policy in this country. They don’t care about what harm their decisions inflict on customers. They just want their money.
The Obama administration has failed the American people on this issue. President Obama should have taken action to prevent this month’s interest rate hikes from taking effect. In fact, I and many other Obama supporters believed he would do just that.
So we have to ask: What happened? Barack Obama, where is the leadership you promised us? Barack Obama, where is the change you promised us? I am very, very disappointed.
SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.