I’ve known Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for many years, and though we often disagree, I’ve always considered her to be a genuinely good and principled person. So why did she vote against the Credit Cardholder Bill of Rights Act of 2009?
That credit card companies engage in predatory practices at the expense of consumers is beyond serious debate. Consider, for instance, the usurious interest rates imposed on cardholders virtually by fiat. Columnist Robyn Blumner (“Usury-built economy proves flimsy,” March 24) chronicled the connection between legalized usury and our current financial mess. She noted that before 1978 most states capped interest rates at around 9 percent. The current median allowable penalty interest rate is 27.99 percent per year.
Predictably, the modest returns for manufacturing investments have been replaced by the higher returns for financial transactions, leading to the exotic financial devices, like credit default swaps, that we all get to pay for now.
Who was McMorris Rodgers representing with this vote? Has she sold out to the financial industry? I hope not, but I do believe that the vast majority of her constituents don’t like the way they’re treated by the credit card companies. The question is: Are you listening, Cathy?
Onion Creek, Wash.