Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50- Why I write

Dear Mr. President,

This is the fiftieth letter I've sent you. I've written you every day this year, and have every intention of continuing to do so for the duration of 2010. This daily ritual has become a grounding, calming constant. I read the news, or your books, or the political blogs, and I try to think of something relevant to say. Often it comes out less eloquent than I wish, often I struggle, wondering what a person like I could possibly have to say to a person like you. Generally I am comforted by the thought that, for all of your wisdom and experts and resources, one thing you can not do is lead an average life. You cannot know how an average person lives and how your policies relate to them, unless we tell you. I understand that you get about 40,000 letters a day, so I suppose lending my voice and my narrative to those of the masses can't hurt, and might even give you a clearer picture. Most certainly, I gain more from the writing than you would from the reading of these letters.

Today the White House blog posted about the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, warning consumers to prepare for a better relationship with their credit card companies, starting Monday. Just last night I was struggling with my own card, so this caught my attention. After receiving my tax return, I paid off the entire balance on my card- not an insignificant amount- and I cannot convey what an incredible feeling this was. I was so proud, so happy to finally be done with all of that debt. Then, last night, I noticed it had a balance, once again, despite never having used it. My bank had levied more than $30 in fees, because of a $.27 cent charge! I paid the card off, again, called the company and angrily demanded that they close the account entirely. I now have no credit card.

Reading through the proposals in the CARD act, I have to say I may consider signing up for one, from a different company, after the law goes into effect. My parents would argue that they are good to have in emergencies, and now, at least, I feel the new regulations will protect me from deceptive terms and unfair fees. I think this new law will do a lot of good, and will help many members of my generation avoid ending up, as our parents have, drowning in debt they can't hope to repay. Thank you for your efforts in passing it.

Respectfully yours,


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