Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bad Call

In a bygone era, this bit of (dial)tone deafness by the Obama administration would have gone unnoticed. After all, they just want to update a bureaucratic item to deal with new technology, and the proposal should raise government revenue. What's not to like? Well, this is the proposal:
President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.

The change "is expected to provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely instead on cellphones," the administration wrote recently. The recommendation would apply only to cases in which money is owed the government.

Said Lauren Saunders of the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center: "People aren't paying their student loans because they can't find a job."
It's like the old joke about the definition of chutzpah*: when a president's policies cause massive job loss, and then the president begs for tougher debt collection because the deficit is hurting his job security.

* With apologies to James Taranto, for borrowing one of his favorite tropes.

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