The problem is the perception that it is the poor decision makers that are the issue. Just look at the middle class folks that have lost jobs in the past two years, the MILLIONS of them. Are they just "poor decision makers"? Did THEY know their job was going to Bangalore?
Yes, there is Medicaid for the very poor but the problem with the credit card folks is not that deep poverty group as much as it is the next two tiers up, those that don't qualify for Medicaid.
You say "I just don't see why we should shed a tear about a person who doesn't pay their bills." This bill is for those who CAN'T or for those who COULD but, because of circumstance no longer can. That is much different than the DOESN'T.
I have dealt with both types. There certainly are "doesn't". And yes, they do have the sat dish and the new trucks...maybe. But they are a minority, all statistics show them the minority, not the majority. And we also don't know who might be paying for that truck so they can get to work. Might be mom and dad who want billy to make sure he can get his ass to work.
Just like the foreclosure rumors of last year, where it was swirling that it was mainly those "speculators" and "those folks that got in over their heads". Well, it turned out to be Ma and Pa who just got behind because the economy fuxored on their heads and their jobs and lives...and credit.
While I worked in Sales (Commission and a Salary at about $24k) I made good money when I was working. The industry I serviced was the automotive for the most part. Needless to say last one hired first one fired.
I went through a 6 year period where I was working for a company for about a year or year and a half and I would get laid off because I was not making enough sales. In between boughts of lay offs I worked at the Local Home Depot twice for $11.50 an hour for 9 months and the most recent time was for a year and 2 months.
It was not until the last 3 years that my wife went back to work as a teacher at a private school (read less money than a public school).
We never missed a mortgage payment, we never missed a credit card payment. We scaled back considerably, NEVER ate out at a restaurant, drove cars that were paid for, etc.
I have been amongst the unemployed, I have a savings account that is the emergency fund (6 months of living expenses), we shop with coupons, we still may only go out to eat once a month and that is with Friends after church for lunch.
My whole point is, we have chosen to live a lifestyle below our means. We are the ones who are responsible for ourselves.
Why is it that people who make 65K a year think they "deserve" to live in a home with a $2,500 mortgage, a $600 month car note on two cars, the latest TV's etc?
And when they fall on hard times all of a sudden those credit card bills should become someone else's problems? Or they should not have to pay what they agreed to pay?
If credit card companies want to charge X% they should be allowed to. If you do not like it, then get a different credit card!
I will say, Credit Card companies should not be allowed to raise an interest rate on a balance that was created when the interest rate was lower. That is just fundamental fairness.