President Joe Biden garnered criticism for announcing a new initiative Wednesday to “protect” Americans from so-called “junk” fees, including the apparently racist fees applied when flying passengers want more legroom.
Indeed, to hear the president tell it, “there’s an entire industry that’s popping up in America to help companies use complicated algorithms to hide fees that hurt consumers and help them. These things add up.”
“Things like … surprise banking overdraft fees, excessive credit card late fees, hidden hotel booking fees, or those huge termination charges to stop you from switching cable and Internet plans to a better deal. Surprise charges that companies sneak into bills because they can,” he said during a brief speech at the White House.
“Some airlines, if you want six more inches between you and the seat in front, you pay more money. But you don’t know it until you purchase your ticket,” he added, offering a particularly odd example.
“Look, folks, these are junk fees. They’re unfair, and they hit marginalized Americans the hardest, especially low-income folks and people of color. They benefit big corporations, not consumers, not working families. And that changes now,” Biden concluded.
Critics immediately pounced.
The first set of critics slammed the president for injecting race into everything once again to pander to minorities. They also excoriated him for perpetuating the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Look (*Language warning):
Dear “People of Color”:
Apparently, President Biden doesn’t think you’re smart enough to upgrade to Economy Plus. https://t.co/IJalgTmf6N
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) October 26, 2022
He just called airline fees for extra legroom racist. What a clown 🤡
Red Tsunami coming.
— Social Media Is Not Real Life 🐝🏴☠️ (@alcat1977) October 26, 2022
They do not know the color of skin when they charge these fees. Good God man, stop with the every freaking thing is racist. All they will do is roll this into the cost of the ticket – thanks for fucking us again Joe @POTUS
— Eugene Imrich (@genei95) October 26, 2022
So you think that Black people are more fat than other people, correct? Since you used their race to justify your req to the Airlines to reduce fees for roomier seats 🙂 You RACIST !
— The Republican (@woxvoice) October 27, 2022
A second set of critics argued that it’s the president’s policies and tax hikes that are hurting the American people, not fees for extra legroom aboard a flight.
Could you put any effort into cracking down on our 40 year high inflation?
Actually please just stop everything you’re doing. You only seem able to make situations worse…
— Kevin Dalton (@KevinForBOS) October 26, 2022
Taxes and inflation add up too. We must crack down on bigger government and central banking. I can change banks easily, but I unfortunately cannot walk away from your policies.
— Frank McCormick | Chalkboard Heresy (@CBHeresy) October 26, 2022
The real “junk fees” are paid by all Americans through rampant inflation and reckless debt spending.
— Libertarian Party (@LPNational) October 26, 2022
Try eliminating all the hidden double and triple federal taxes….those really add up.
— Lark Mulvahill (@lark_mulvahill) October 26, 2022
You should look at the tax code. It’s entirely junk fees
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 26, 2022
Another set of critics argued that the so-called “junk” fees are fully justified because they hold people accountable for their behavior.
If bank customers overdraft their account, they pay a penalty. If airline customers demand more room than is customary, they pay an upgrade fee.
Without these fees, the critics added, companies will have no other choice but to raise their regular rates for goods and services.
Another terrible idea, have to keep people accountable.
— blake (@blakestonks) October 26, 2022
You write a check knowing it won’t go through is wrong. They aren’t junk fees. They are there for a reason.
— Dawn B (@DawnB08330637) October 27, 2022
and then people will be shocked when other costs go up and perks go away, so that people can be irresponsible without fees to encourage them to be responsible.
— Constitutional Daddy (@WO4691) October 27, 2022
“Victim fees”? Come to MN and visit with my customers who occasionally need this service and hear their story of gratitude for their community bank providing a valuable service at a fair cost.
— Noah W. Wilcox (@NWWilcox) October 26, 2022
“Each year, millions of people refuse to read the disclosures of fees sent to them as required by law so now they need big daddy government to step in to make the basic costs of services cost more via idiotic rule making.”
There. I fixed it for you, child predator.
— WuHan “Toxically Masculine” Solo (@MURedskn) October 27, 2022
A fourth set of critics argued that the federal government has no right to dictate prices to companies.
“Why? I don’t understand why you’re interfering with the free market. I have paid more overdraft fees than maybe anyone and this is overreaching. Governments should not be telling businesses what to charge,” a critic wrote.
And the final batch of critics bashed the president for not focusing on more clearly pressing matters.
Thousands of people are illegally entering the US and some, not all, some are bringing fentanyl laced candies, drugs, guns, human trafficking, and you’re worried about bounced check fees? Come onnnnnnnnnn
— Matthew Little (@Matthew52430194) October 27, 2022
Who cares about this crap!!! We care about inflation, gas prices, closed boarders, freedom of speech, and the protection of our kids from your fake woke broke minded ideologies!!!!
— mr. Great (@SamuelKentoffio) October 27, 2022
Who cares? Focus on the real issues the people of this country are facing. How about stop spending money that you don’t have? Seems logical. You will never bounce a check again.
— HeadHeartGuts (@headheartguts) October 27, 2022
Who cares. Close the border you idiot.
— steve besch (@plant644) October 27, 2022
Who cares. Fix these problems. pic.twitter.com/KW1II8LEmH
— Fletch F. Fletch (@FletchF68413967) October 27, 2022
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