Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thad Cochran Can Expect A Fat Bonus From The Banksters This Year As He Kills Chris Dodd's Bill To Stop Credit Card Companies Bilking Consumers


You wanna guess what side these two dour a-holes are on?

A friend of mine does policy work for Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and right now they're working on something that doesn't sound very sex-- but that touches almost every single person in the country-- interchange rates. Those are the fees that Visa, Mastercard, etc charge merchants, large and small, for the privilege of being able to use their payment network. Needless to say, the merchants have no real choice but to pass those charges on to their customers. The U.S. has the highest interchange rates in the world currently costing U.S. consumers $48 billion a year. This isn't chump change and the banksters are fighting-- with lobbying efforts and outright bribes to members of Congress-- regulation of these fees. In the UK, Canada, Australia and many other nations the government regulates the fees in order to protect consumers. The banksters, of course, are an oligopoly and because of their ability to control an entire political party and the conservative wing of another-- basically the Blue Dogs and DLC Dems-- dictate the terms.

My friend did some calculations to bring it right home to DWT readers. ActBlue has raised over $111 million online through credit card contributions. By my calculations with the kind of regulations being proposed by Senator Dodd lowering interchange fees, over $600,000 of that wouldn't have been paid in fees. That's hard-earned contributors money that could have gone to campaigns.

These interchange fees are just another way that the banksters and their credit card companies siphon from people. It's a hidden cost that people don't realize impacts them everyday. Meanwhile Dodd himself took to the Senate floor seeking unanimous consent to prevent the credit card companies from continuing to bilk consumers by jacking up interest rates at will. As you can see in the very compelling video below, the bankster-owned senior senator from the Confederate state of Mississippi rose to object-- many of the angry white citizens of his state being too stupid to understand how he just screwed them-- on behalf of the GOP (and the financial sector, which has donated $660,234 to his electoral campaigns).

When Dodd's bill originally passed, all but five of the very worst and most shameless Republicans were too embarrassed to vote against it and in the end it garnered 90 votes. Unfortunately, it included a grace period for the credit card companies to prepare for the changes that will take place February 1, 2010. But what we've been hearing is the giant sucking sound of credit card companies vacuuming up every dime they can get their criminal paws on before the law changes. Dodd pleaded with his colleagues to close the loophole in time for the holidays, when spending rises dramatically. "[T]he credit card industry as well has a responsibility to deal with their customers honorably. There is nothing honorable about what’s happened with these significant rate increases and fees. Most importantly, they don’t have a right to rip off American families, especially when the Congress has already gone on record opposing the very actions they’re engaging in. This will provide us a window of about 12 weeks between now and around the first of February, during this holiday season, to just put a stop to these outrageous rates and fees being charged to people. Ninety colleagues here voted for the bill this spring. Why wouldn’t you join us today? ... Unfortunately they’ve taken that window and used it as a way to jam in on consumers in this country. Particularly at a time when people are losing their jobs, their homes their health care, their retirement, and the holiday season is upon us." Cochran didn't bother saying way he was objecting, just that he was. And that ended that.

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At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Chris Dodd, don't give up.

Friends don't let Friends use Chase Credit.

Predator Chase Bank has something like 14 class action suits pending particularly for the arbitrary raising of minimum payments by 150% to shake out the low balance transfer rates they had approved.
Record profits with YOUR tax dollars.

Ok/Please Post/Repost

At 2:28 PM, Blogger SJ said...

Great post.
This is getting no real coverage anywhere.
Tell it like it is, not like they pay it to be told.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Awesome post. The mainstream media is so consumed with healthcare and Palin right now, no one is reporting on this very important issue. I blogged on this today. Keep up the great work!

(here's what I blogged today)

Sunshine is a great disinfectant. Yesterday Republicans shamelessly thwarted efforts by Democrat Senator Chris Dodd to help Middle America by freezing credit card interest rates on existing balances. At a time when people in this country are literally going hungry and without work, Republicans had the chutzpah to throw Middle America under the bus and instead line the pockets of credit card companies. Oy gevalt . . .

I understand the great plight suffered by credit card companies. The gravy train with biscuit wheels that they’ve been riding for years will soon be coming to an end. However, if they are looking for sympathy from Middle America, they can find it in the dictionary, somewhere between “s##t” and “syphilis.”

As you may recall, especially if you’re an insomniac and have needed something on the nightstand to help you sleep, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act enacted in May, prevents arbitrary interest rate, fee and finance charge increases on a consumer’s existing balance.

In response, credit card companies have been hiking credit card interest rates to 30% in a last ditch effort to take advantage of consumers before all of the CARD Act’s provisions take effect.

To stem the hiking of fees on Middle America, Dodd’s bill would have sped up some of the provisions in the CARD Act, which don’t take effect until February or August of 2010. But yesterday Senator Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) objected to the measure, and it only takes one senator to block a unanimous consent request in the Senate.

This missive has nothing to do with the fact that consumers have a responsibility to spend within their means and to pay what they owe, and everything to do with the fact that the credit card industry has a responsibility to deal with consumers honestly. There is nothing honest about what credit card companies are doing to consumers with these rate increases and fees, which are simply usury and legalized extortion.

Middle America is already frustrated with the political Left and Right for not providing relief on pocketbook issues, and this gets the peasants one step closer to grabbing their pitchforks. If you’re keeping score, let the record reflect that in keeping with its tradition of whoring for big business, Republicans have once again chosen big business over Middle America.

A. Muser

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Alessandro Machi said...

There is a growing movement against Chase Bank and the credit card industry.

Here are some useful links.



The Cat Who Ate Chase




At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANKS Alessandro, those are GREAT!

Friends don't let Friends use Chase Credit!


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