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President Obama recently announced plans to reform complicated and misleading credit card practices. It is going to be hard for critics to point out fault in Obama’s plans without appearing crooked or unsympathetic in the eyes of the public. Reading that fine print has become essential to anybody signing up for a credit card, but with so many unfamiliar financial abbreviations, percentages and numbers to sort through, understanding exactly what you’re signing up for can bring you to tears.

Taming the whirlwind credit card abuse is a top priority of Obama and White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers. On NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Summers stated, “We need to do things to stop the marketing of credit in ways that addict people to it.” Most of the public does not fully realize what they are signing up for when they sign up for a credit card. The fast talking finale to a credit card commercial or the fine print at the bottom of an add or application make it near impossible for average consumers to fully understand the gravity of the credit card and the hidden terms it carries.

Store cards are another thing altogether. Target. Gap. Old Navy. Banana Republic. American Eagle. Wal Mart. Best Buy. Macy’s. JC Penney. Come on!! Everywhere you go some clerk asks the question: ‘Would you like to save an additional 10%/15% and apply for a _____ card? Many large retailers hook unsuspecting victims with promises of 10% or 15% off of their initial purchase. Some sweeten the deal with an extra 5% back in rewards. Still, unless it is a store you shop at frequently, it is impractical, irresponsible and foolish to sign up for a credit card to save a few bucks on what is probably a relatively small purchase.

It is not yet clear what these reforms will include. It is unlikely that store credit card marketing will be targeted beyond the clear advertising of the interest rate and other terms in an application, but consumers should be more aware nonetheless. Congress is upset with greedy banks charging these obscene interest rates to consumers/taxpayers who provided them with an enormous bailout not too long ago. These interest rates and the debt many people rack up have become a burden on consumer wallets as the economy tries to climb out of debt. Ironically, it is the banks that continue to charge these interest rates and dupe people into debt, further weakening the spending power of the consumer market, and have the audacity to crawl to the government for help.

Everybody is responsible for their own finances; and educating oneself about the risks and potential pitfalls of owning too many credit cards is everybody’s responsibility. But for credit card companies to claim amnesty from any responsibility for consumer debt would be dumbfounded, despicable and would further embolden and justify the outrage the public and government feels towards the banking and loaning industries.

Even cynics and usual government naysayers should agree: President Obama and his administration should be lauded for their commitment to sorting out the credit card abuse in this country. This is not Republican vs. Democrat. It is simply doing what is right. It is a matter of doing right by the American people and ending the corruption and misleading practices used by credit card companies for far too long.

Summers will meet with credit card company executives on Thursday to discuss the issue and Congress will work with the White House to hammer out legislation that would hopefully put an end to deceptive credit card advertising and the tricky, complex language used by credit card companies to confuse consumers.

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