Fees? Who Needs Fees?

Just when you thought the federal government had too much on their plate comes news that the Federal Reserve will implement new rules prohibiting banks from charging overdraft fees without consumers’ consent.

I always figured that a bank charged a stiff penalty for insufficient funds, so that in the future, I wouldn’t withdraw more money than I have. Silly me. But hey, what about the fees charged by banks for using their ATM rather than the bank in which my money is in? I just figured that was a convenience fee, but if we’re setting new rules, let’s kill that one, too. Oh yeah, the minimum monthly balance I have to keep in order to enjoy a better savings rate–strike it down!

When the bank rules are done, can Chairman Bernanke please turn his attention to the late fees at Blockbuster?

Astroturf Elections

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters this morning that the election results were not a referendum on President Obama. He said, “People didn’t go to the polls to register support for, or opposition to, the President.” He said the elections were purely debates over local issues. Gibbs added that the election results will not “spook” members of congress from supporting the president’s agenda.

If the official White House line is, “Hello, we’re tone deaf,” congressional Democrats have real problems on their hands. The Bush years are over. And while the cratered economy, high unemployment, and pessimism everywhere aren’t a direct result of anything Obama did before he was elected, his solutions since being elected are failing – miserably.

In 2008 more voters than not were reluctantly open to the TARP, the stimulus, the idea of health care reform, the idea of capping greenhouse gases, and the like. It appears today that voters have seen enough. Bigger government isn’t working, in practice (high unemployment or in theory. Senate Democrats yesterday said they didn’t think they pass their health care reform before the end of the year. This bill was supposed to pass in July.

It’s time for the Democrats to reassess. If there’s one thing more certain than a rising morning sun, it’s that incumbents like to be reelected. So, no matter what the White House line is, national Democrats this morning will feel much more comfortable telling the president to slow down.