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25.11.14 1955
The W - Current Events & Politics - Congressmen spend in private like the do in public
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
All of which may ...
    Originally posted by Josephine Hill in the 3/10/05 The Hill
    More than 40 members of the House reported carrying at least $10,000 in credit-card or charge-card debt in 2003 and parts of 2004, according to a survey of financial disclosure reports conducted by The Hill.

    The findings come as the House is poised to take up a bankruptcy-reform measure that would give banks and credit card companies expanded powers to seek repayment from debtors who file bankruptcy....

    ...In general, members of Congress were much less likely to have credit-card debt than the average American. About 51 million households carry credit-card debt at an average balance of nearly $12,000, according to cardweb.com. Only 10 percent of House members had similar debt.



I don't know what bothers me more; that some many average Americans carry $10,000 or more of credit card debt, or that so many people who carry the pursestrings of the federal government do....



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Since: 2.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.72
With Melissa Bean I wonder how much of that might have been funding herself early in the campaign season of 2004 as she worked to get into position to challenge Phil Crane.



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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.05
(deleted by CRZ on 16.3.05 1423)
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Keep in mind that anyone who has to travel and do T&E's will generally rack up between two and five thousand dollars on their cards in a week over business travel with a cross country flight, hotel, food, and rental car.

5 X $100 for room
1 X $1500 for flight (last minute stuff is awful to book)
5 X $50 food (one person)
1 X $100 business dinner (usually one somewhere)

That's $2350 without a rental car - and that's not terribly expensive. Some rooms cost more, some flights are more expensive, some people eat at better places than I do.

I bet you end up doing a lot of that kind of charging on your personal cards and then getting reimbursed later, although I've never been a congress person.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
It all depends on how extravagant you want to live. Some folks buy or rent a house in DC or the 'Burbs. Some Congressmen live three or four to a house. If you're cheap, you pay less for food. Congressmen do make $143,000 a year, though I'm not sure how much they get reimbursed for.



DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.09
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Keep in mind that anyone who has to travel and do T&E's will generally rack up between two and five thousand dollars on their cards in a week over business travel with a cross country flight, hotel, food, and rental car.

    5 X $100 for room
    1 X $1500 for flight (last minute stuff is awful to book)
    5 X $50 food (one person)
    1 X $100 business dinner (usually one somewhere)

    That's $2350 without a rental car - and that's not terribly expensive. Some rooms cost more, some flights are more expensive, some people eat at better places than I do.

    I bet you end up doing a lot of that kind of charging on your personal cards and then getting reimbursed later, although I've never been a congress person.


Guru, it's not good form to introduce logic. This is just fluff to help people get worked up. Grimis hit it on the head with his question in the initial post. The bothersome thing isn't what the congress people owe but the average American has that much debt.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
See, I thought what was bothersome was that credit card companies have always justified their exorbinant fees and rates because they were dealing with unsecured debt -- and now it looks like they are looking to secure that debt better but keep the rates.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.63
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    The bothersome thing isn't what the congress people owe but the average American has that much debt.


"Average" doesn't mean much, though. If 1000 Americans each have $1000 of credit card debt, it only takes 125 Americans with $100,000 of credit card debt to average out to $12,000. (My mom used to work at MBNA, so I know those people are out there, too.) I'd be much more interested in knowing what the median credit card debt is for 51 million Americans than the average.

According to this, the average credit card debt in 2002 was $8562.

EDIT: More info from here.

The surprising thing about this statistic isnít that itís so widely known. Rather, itís that the statistic paints a picture thatís just plain wrong.

- In reality, most Americans owe nothing to credit card companies.

- Most households that carry balances owe $2,000 or less.

- Only about 1 in 20 American households owes $8,000 or more on credit cards.


(edited by JayJayDean on 16.3.05 1313)


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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    See, I thought what was bothersome was that credit card companies have always justified their exorbinant fees and rates because they were dealing with unsecured debt -- and now it looks like they are looking to secure that debt better but keep the rates.


I always figured they justified high fees and rates by the fact that people are willing to pay them.
Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    I always figured they justified high fees and rates by the fact that people are willing to pay them.



(This isn't directed at you per se.)

Well, if all the offers one gets is for a $1000 limit at 18% and a $35 annual charge from all the companies, it's not much of a choice now, is it?

But wait. Everyone says that there are companies that offer LOCKED IN rates at like two over prime.

I think it was Citibank that offered these "locked in" rates. The fine print on ALL "locked in" rates state that the "locked in" rates may change for any or no reason at all.

Miss a payment? 25% APR! Late payment? $50 fee and a 22.5% penalty APR!

To me, credit card companies are like gas stations. They all have the same rates that slowly ratchet up.

People pay the high fees because there are no "low" fees. I was the 1 in 20 that had a $8000+ CC debt. It's now gone after having $22,000 in debt for 5 years. I now only use my check card. I have no credit cards.

(edited by Zeruel on 16.3.05 1736)


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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
The numbers reported are those that EXTEND over a month, as a rule. My Amex has 11,500 on it, but it's not due until April 6, and I am already reimbursed. But why should I pay until it's due?

But that doesn't count on my credit report. If I call it up, it doesn't show.





Now, just wait a minute!
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See also: jacked-up fuel efficiency requirements, especially for SUV's and their ilk. Although they probably might be going downhill because of gas prices.
- drjayphd, Oil Solutions? (2005)
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