Posted Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, at 3:44 PM
Election Day is November 2. Today is October 7. Here in New York State, where Carl Paladino wants to be the next governor, the voter registration forms tell you to make sure to mail or deliver them at least 25 days before the election. That's tomorrow.
It's easy to have fallen behind on your paperwork, especially if you would prefer to see the incumbent party stay in power, and so weren't swept up in a bunch of exciting primary election campaigns. Whatever the real nature of the enthusiasm gap may be, the people who want the government to change hands already have their voter registrations squared away for the general election.
Probably you have a lot of other things on your mind. Like money. Me, I spent last year working on a piecework contract rather than for a salary. That meant I got stuck carrying a big credit-card balance for several months, while my payment was in a very slow pipeline. People were not very quick about paying money for things last year.
I bring this up because while I was carrying that balance, I mixed up my credit card with my ATM card one time, and so accidentally I took out a cash advance, which had a higher interest rate than the regular balance. When I called the credit-card company to tell them I wanted to pay off that high-interest balance first, they said I couldn't. They had buried it at the bottom of the whole stack of other money I owed them, and the only way to get to it was to shovel away the entire low-interest balance first.
So until I finally got enough cash to pay off the full balance, that cash advance just sat there, bleeding extra interest.
But afterward, Congress—this crappy, infuriating, do-nothing Congress, this Congress that every single American despises— outlawed that scam . Credit-card companies now are required to pay down your highest-interest balances first. Maybe this is because Congress is a bunch of socialists trying to murder our free-enterprise system. Go ahead and vote for your Tea Party if you feel that way.
Me, I wouldn't mind another term's worth of regulation of things like that.