Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Hannity (and many others) like to call Obama the Great Redistributor. What they imply is that Obama is a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. In America’s value system and class structure, that thought is not a widely accepted one. Americans feel strongly that if you work hard and get rich, you should be able to keep the rewards of that, and of course, if you are poor, it’s basically your own fault and the government isn’t doing you any favors by giving handouts.
I am a good capitalist, and I basically agree with those tenets and value systems. It does irk me when I pay more taxes, percentage wise, than other people who make less money. I don’t like the idea that my work carries others that do not bother to work. I agree with the right-wing interpretation here.
However, I have come across an example of Obama’s “re-distribution” initiatives that I fully agree with.
Recently I received a letter from Bank of America that holds one of my credit card accounts. It states that, among other things, payments are from now on going to be applied to the balances with the highest interest rates first.
It used to be that if you had a $10,000 balance, and $5,000 was a teaser rate of 2.99% for a balance transfer and the other $5,000 was a 17.99% market interest rate, and you made a $300 payment, it went to reduce the teaser balance first, therefore prolonging the amount of time it took to pay off an account by years. So this new accounting turns that around, and consumers get to pay off the high interest rate balances first.
You could argue that the shareholders of Bank of America are now making less money, which they are, and the poor people who owe balances to Bank of America do now get to keep more of their money, since it goes to principal rather than to interest, and this is a re-distribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. And it is. We’re taking money from Bank of America and allowing millions of cardholders to keep some of their money that they would otherwise have paid to the bank in interest.
This is, however, in my opinion, a fair regulatory change that should have happened years ago to level the credit playing field, but didn’t happen under other administrations. The Great Redistributor has made this possible, and I applaud it.
I don’t own any bank stock, but even if I did, I would applaud it.