I have been hearing a lot about bailing out people who are deep in credit debt and I always had an issue with that. In my mind, you signed up, you bought the goods USING the card (or line of credit, etc) so why is everyone else supposed to help you out now? I don't understand that.... I was listening to Andrew Wilkow's show on Sirius this morning and he pointed out that people aren't just signing a dotted line once (credit application, for example), they are doing it TWICE because when they walk in a store with their card and swipe it to buy a 52" plasma TV, they also have to sign the store's little slip that says 'the above signed agrees to pay the listed amount for this purchase', or whatever such wording appears on the paper. It's so true. YOU decided to get a card, YOU decided to make purchases with it, YOU get the bill. Not me. YOU. Not your fellow taxpayers - YOU. I did not whip my card out of my purse beside you and say 'Here, let me get that for you' and sign my name to the slip - YOU did. Why is that so hard to understand?
After you got your very first bill and saw the amount of interest tacked on, if you didn't like it, why did you use the card again... and again... and again? If you saw that $50 of your bill was interest and you only put a minimum of $50 payment on it, why are you wondering why the total doesn't seem to change, and then use the card AGAIN? Why did you put your groceries on it after realizing you didn't have enough money in the bank after paying for your inflated mortgage, brand new truck, leather furniture and hot tub? Why am I supposed to help you now? I live a very frugal life, do not own any new furniture other than what's in the baby room. My truck is a '94 and was paid off years ago. I rent instead of owning my home. I don't have a hot tub or a pool. I can't think of a single luxury payment that I make each month other than cable tv and my internet (less than $100 total)... so why on earth should you cry out to me to help pay your own debt that you signed YOUR name to? Sure, I'm in Canada and that is going on in the US, but would it be a surprise to happen up here? We aren't far behind. I know people with tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt let alone other financing issues they face. What if someone wanted to bail them out up here? I think I would rather quit work and live in a card board box than hand my tax dollars over to people who made dangerous choices. I chose NOT to live like that, I chose NOT to max out my cards and get another to pay the first ones off. I chose NOT to engage in this activity - so why the hell would I want to help out the neighbour while they sit in a home full of new items while I sit in one with second hand items? I chose a responsible frugal lifestyle so I did NOT owe multitudes in debt, so that I could sleep at night with no real money worries, and I do not appreciate listening to others who are begging and pleading to be rescued from their own choices.
PS - I am just adding that I realize there are some people who were in dire straits due to job loss, medical bills, etc that put their food and essentials on credit cards. But do you really think that all or most of the credit problems right now are because of that? Or do you think it's rather in the middle with people trying to live beyond their means, to Keep Up With The Jones', to have everything they want NOW instead of saving up, and putting Want before Need? From what I have personally seen going on around me, it is more of than than the other. I certainly do not put down people who have real, valid needs and tried to keep a roof over their heads and food in their childrens' mouths and got the short end of the stick in life. But those are the FEW that need help, the rest do not deserve a dime of my own money. They really don't and that's just a harsh fact.