NICE TIME! AOC And Bernie Sanders Gonna Slash Your Credit Card Interest And Payday Loan!
The running theme for Democrats these days is anxiety relief. Not the bullshit "economic anxiety" attributed to Trump supporters that can somehow be relieved through racism, actual anxiety. Often of the economic kind that cannot be relieved through racism. The kind that makes us all wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
Elizabeth Warren has proposed a plan to relieve everyone from crushing student debt, and in doing so, won the votes of pretty much everyone I know (including me). She also has a plan to pay for universal childcare. More and more Democrats are supporting Medicare for All, because just being able to go to the doctor is a whole lot less stressful than having to set up a GoFundMe. Now, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders are introducing legislation in the House and Senate to save people from crushing consumer debt by capping the interest on credit card debt at 15 percent.
In addition to this 15 percent cap, the legislation will also allow the US Post Office to offer checking and savings accounts. It sounds weird, but it's extremely common throughout the world. It is actually unusual that our post offices do not offer basic banking services. Allowing this would be beneficial to low-income people who can't find a bank who will take them (or who do have bank accounts that are sucking out in fees every last nickel and dime), as well as for people who live in areas with sparse banking options. Kirsten Gillibrand, by the way, introduced similar legislation last year.
Now, before you decide that all of this is bad because it's Bernie Sanders (or decide to burn me as a witch because I said a thing Bernie Sanders is involved with is good), take a second and think about how many people this would help. Maybe even you!
Right now, the average American holds $4,293 in credit card debt. In February of this year, consumer debt hit an all time high of $4 trillion dollars, and if you include mortgage debt, that number goes up to $13 trillion. The average APR for people with good credit is 17.73 percent, a full percentage point higher than it was last year, and if you have bad credit you're looking at something like 25 percent. The median interest rate is about 21.36 percent. People are drowning and it's scary.
Hey, you know who was super into not drowning people in debt? GOD.
Via GOD (by way of a Huey Long speech):
"The profit of the earth is for all." Ecclesiastes: chapter 5, verse 9.
"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." Leviticus: chapter 25. verse 10.
"At the end of every 7 years thou shalt make a release. . . Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his. . . brother; because it is called the Lord's release." Deuteronomy: Chapter 15, verses 1 and 2.
Now, I don't personally believe in God, but I assume that a lot of people who will really hate this idea do, so there you go. God was way the hell more radical about this kind of shit than Bernie and AOC.
This is obviously something that banks and credit card companies are going to oppose, but they shouldn't. A whole lot of people with a whole lot of debt don't even bother trying to pay down their debt because there's too much debt and too much interest and it's never going to go down anyway and they just say fuck it. Once there's a mountain, it doesn't really matter anymore and maybe it's just easier to avoid it until you're dead? Given how determined the Right is to murder the planet (another thing to worry about in the middle of the night) and the lack of decent and affordable healthcare in this country, it might not be that long a wait anyway.
It's also something that will likely be opposed by Senate Republicans, and they have the majority right now so it's unlikely to pass. However, this is the kind of thing that could really hurt them at the ballot box, so forcing them to vote against it is smart. And you never know, maybe they'll be so scared of that they'll vote for it. Crazier things have happened.
And if it fails, every Democrat running for office next year should put giant posters everywhere reading "Local mom discovers one weird trick for lowering your debt! Leave your house on Election Day and go vote for a Democrat." Television ads could include a reworking of "Bills" by Destiny's Child recorded by Beyoncé herself. It is a winning strategy. People want to not be drowning in debt.
I'm telling you, if the Democrats just keep going this way, with the "Hey, what if things weren't a terrible and horrifying nightmare all the time? What if you could just relax and stop freaking out? Wouldn't that be nice?" policies, they're going to kill it in 2020.
Now, NO FIGHTING.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse