Erika Johnsen

There are any number of major measures we could take to jumpstart our economy, if only a certain Democratic administration would get on board: end the widespread drilling moratorium blocking access to America's vast energy resources; scale back the over-zealous, costly, and discouraging regulatory environment; simplify the complicated tax code that takes the bang out of our buck; stop spending far and away beyond our means and running the country on an unsustainable budget (or, hey, maybe stop running the country on no budget at all); rein in the interfering artifices of big government in general; etcetera.

This is not one of those things. Not by a long shot:

The White House said on Wednesday it wants to make it easier for credit card holders to understand the interest rates and fees they are charged to avoid more financial strain on the middle class.

Previewing an announcement by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Obama administration officials said simplified credit card agreements would help avoid confusion and stress for those struggling to make ends meet.

The CFPB will release a prototype agreement that explains in plain and concise language the prices and features of credit cards, "separate from the legalese," as a model for credit card companies to follow, the White House said.

Better managing of household debt is a priority for the United States following the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered in large part by cash-strapped homeowners stretched too far with mortgages and home equity credit lines.

So, according to the Obama administraiton, our current economic mess can be partly solved by 'helping' people who just can't understand their credit card agreements. Riiiiiiight. (Doesn't that make you, the consumer ostensibly being 'protected' here, feel so well-respected by your President?)

Why were so many homeowners cash-strapped with mortgages, etcetera? Largely because the federal government created incentives that turned a lot of people who probably should not have been homeowners, into homeowners (and yes, I know that the federal homeownership-drive was a long time in the making, pushed by Clinton and continued wholeheartedly by G. W. Bush). So, take that clearly massive mistake in stride, and quit involving the government in people's personal finances. Nobody is entitled to loans/credit cards/whatnot--these are services voluntarily provided by private, self-interested indiviuals operating in a free market, not human rights--and the federal government's attempts at social engineering have only royally damaged these opportunities for everyone.

But Democrats generally tend not to favor the naturally virtuous mechanisms of small government and free enterprise--they just keep piling on the laws, committees, regulations, agencies, requirements, taxes, subsidies, and welfare programs. And so, in true liberal fashion, President Obama is once again doing everything except attacking our real economic problems, instead merely adding to them with measures that will further burden us all with the copious inefficiencies and unintended consequences of federal bureaucracy.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.