Senator Dick Durbin has a truly backwards view of how capitalism is supposed to work. Thanks to price controls produced by his amendment to the infamous Dodd-Frank legislation, now consumers have to pay for the privilege of having access to their own money.
Why? Because America's retail stores would rather squeal to Big Government's authority figures like schoolchildren than negotiate the cost of doing business with banks and credit unions themselves. The Durbin Amendment is the fruit of their cowardice. And card-issuers, stuck with the bill, have to pay for it using money from the only group that doesn't have an army of paid lobbyists in Washington: ordinary American consumers. Is your checking account no longer "free"? Is your bank introducing monthly debit card fees? Have you seen your card's reward program benefits dry up? Thank the Durbin Amendment.
In a 2009 study, CEI's John Berlau and Ryan Radia warned policy makers that capping payment card interchange fees would "only cause other fees and interest rates to increase while forcing consumers to shoulder a greater burden."
Senator Durbin needs to see how much money he's taking out of your paycheck to pay off his friends in the retail industry. That's why we hope you'll send his office CEI's special $5 "Durbin Dollar" bill. We'd like to think that maybe, if Senator Durbin's office has to cope with an endless stream of worthless paper, he'll recognize that his amendment is made out of precisely the same thing -- worthless paper.
The Durbin Dollars have been distributed by e-mail and are available for download. People can send these notes to "bill" Sen. Durbin and in support of a new bipartisan effort to repeal the Durbin price controls -- a repeal bill sponsored by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y), "The Consumer Debit Card Protection Act" HR 3156.