Since apparently everything in America is going into the toilet except the public's faith in Barack Obama, it seems that the way to fix everything in America is to entrust it to Barack Obama. The issues on the table for greater government involvement include: student lending, the car companies, car warranties, pensions, health care, banks, etc -- the list goes on. I mean, really, what's the White House going to back next, your credit card? Maybe, says Slate's Chris Beam.
Beam explains that an Obama card wouldn't be so bizarre in the eyes of other countries. Germany, France, India and Iceland (yikes!) issue cards from state-owned banks. And there's an economic argument, too: If there are quasi-government programs to back house purchases, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why not have a quasi-government program back credit card debt, of which the average American holds $8700? Here's Beam:
Creating a government-sponsored lending agency--a Fannie Mae for credit cards--would rein the whole system in. For one thing, it would offer lower rates than the usual 18 percent. The government could charge, say, 8 percent interest and still turn a profit. It would include none of the usual hidden fees or surprise charges.
The catch, says Beam, is that you'd have to have amazing credit to get one of these cards. Well good, I say. After all, credit card companies notorioulsy make a killing by advertising to young people who foolishly fall for the mirage of credit and find themselves swimming in backpayments within years.