Rich, that’s exactly what I thought — the way this credit-card bill is being spun is brazen class warfare. Here’s how the Washington Post’s new policy wunderkind Ezra Klein sums it up:
The credit card industry, in recent years, has developed something of a tiered model. Good customers are treated extremely well. There are rewards programs, favorable terms, and high limits. But those who don’t prove as assiduous about their bills, or slip up amidst their payments, fall into a second tier that’s as punishing and deceptive as the first tier is serene and straightforward. Hidden fees, unexpected rate increases, universal default, and all the rest. The result is that low income credit card holders effectively subsidize high income credit card holders.
How Klein obliviously elides from describing the issue as bad customers vs. good customers to characterizing the same groups as low income vs. high income is beyond me. It doesn’t follow. There are plenty of poor people with sterling credit, and the responsible use of credit contributes to a great deal of social mobility.