Bill Murchison

How so? It was due to the need of the card issuers actually to make money on less lucrative terms. Annual fees are coming back. New fees -- for instance, a $19 inactivity fee at one bank -- have appeared. From an average 10.7 percent a year ago, average rates for new cards have risen to 13.6 percent as issuers got ready for the new legislation.

We also get interest rates that can rise with the market. With many issuers trying to reduce their risk, says AP, "banks also made it harder to get and keep credit cards … Credit lines were frequently cut in regions most affected by the housing crisis and high unemployment. … Because the law makes credit cards less profitable, some subprime borrowers may not be able to get cards at all, at least for the next few years."

Thanks for the help, Congress. Let's get on with health care now, so we can look forward to finding out what fine points and details got neglected in the mad, White House-prompted rush to Do Something.

Isn't all this fun? A my-way-or-the-highway "summit" with substantive outcome predetermined; the prospect of a national free-for-all over schemes to raise taxes and spending, more in the hope than the certainty that good will come of it. Bedcovers over the head sounds like a truly wonderful notion. Not quite yet, though. Not until the American people get health care, Obama-style, well and truly planted, with floral offerings and the sound of Taps.


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
 
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