LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Our financial freedom is on the line

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2022

America was founded on the principle of freedom, critical to the function of our republic. Unfortunately, today’s liberal bureaucrats in Washington are doing everything they can to strip our freedoms from us one policy at a time. That’s exactly what we are seeing with Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) latest proposal to regulate our credit cards.

Radical Democrats in Washington have brought us knee-deep into a recession with their reckless spending. Inflation is up, our economy is shrinking, and our budgets are tighter than ever. If families in Louisiana spent the way the federal government did, we would all be broke. Most Louisianans would agree with me when I say the last thing our nation needs right now is the federal government being more involved with how we spend our money, and yet Senator Durbin thinks the federal government should be in charge of our credit cards.

As usual, Democrats are framing this as a way to help working-class families, but we know that government-mandated price regulations on credit cards really mean fewer options and higher costs. Most banks will find it difficult to obtain financial inclusion and will have to limit their credit exposure. This means bye-bye credit cards with reward programs and no annual fees. For a working-class family like ours, this will surely break the bank.

We are talking about one of the largest and most expensive regulations in American history.

These regulations would place new and arbitrary caps on fees that retailers pay as part of credit card transactions that would make it harder for banks to implement security checks. Our financial security would be at the hands of the federal government and unknown networks. In other words, the federal government would be selling out our data in the name of “price controls.”

Take a look at Senator Durbin’s amendment to the awful Dodd-Frank banking bill that required merchants to process credit card transactions through at least two unaffiliated networks. One of these networks was China UnionPay. With the ever-increasing privacy threat that the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) poses, this was one of the worst security decisions in recent history. It left an open door for our adversaries to steal our financial data.

Additionally, the financial repercussions were enormous. According to the Federal Reserve, free checking account availability declined by 35% at banks that were targeted by Senator Durbin’s Amendment. Boston University found that low-income consumers lost benefits that resulted in a loss of $160 annually.

We cannot be surprised that despite the historical proof that government pricing controls and regulations don’t work, liberal bureaucrats in Washington will continue to push this radical agenda. Louisianians see right through Senator Dick Durbin’s credit card proposal and know it is bad for our privacy, economy and wallets.

In the great state of Louisiana, we are represented by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and John Kennedy (R-LA). I urge both senators to reject Senator Durbin’s attempts to regulate our credit cards, a complete overreach of government power.

 

Shayne Benedetto

New Orleans