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June 13, 2008

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I paid off all my credit cards 5 years ago and only carry 1 with me for emergencies. I have not used my credit card in probably 1.5 years, would that mean I have no liabilities? If no liabilities is based on amount of unsecured debt then I am not sure why you find this so impossible. Unless I am mistaken by what is being discussed here.

How candidates manage their campaigns is very good indicator of how they will govern.

I think this is a disconnect of how normal people are treated by credit card companies and the super rich are treated. If the McCain's are using an American Express Platinum card that you have to pay at the end of every month, it is for the security, rewards and status that they give you for doing so. They do not care about "rewards" as we get them, they need access and status.

The article goes on to describe Obama's book/senate money has been put into college savings, money markets, and t-bills.

Of course campaign cash is completely insulated from the candidate and probably a different topic.

Brad --

Yes, you have no liabilities if you have a card but haven't used it in 1.5 years. But the vast majority of people use their cards much more frequently I believe. We use ours every three days or so on average.

James --

Since when?

You couldn't pay me to use credit cards again. Demonstrably so.

Despite all the talk about cash back and the like, I wouldn't dream of using credit cards on a daily basis, no matter what rewards, points, free t-shirts or other benefits they offered. We have cut up and canceled all our old accounts, and will never open a new one. As for emergencies, we keep a cash emergency fund.

Mike --

Why not? Don't trust yourself?

I've used them for almost two decades now and never had any sort of extra fee -- so I get money back for doing something I already was going to do. It's a no-brainer for me.

I'm with you FMF, I have been using my cc's for everything for almost a decade and I have never paid late and never paid any fees. I have however gotten nice cash back rewards. Love it!

However my sister in law says she can't have one without over spending. Everyone is different.

If you are running for POTUS, I really hope you have bigger worries than getting some cash back on a credit card ;)

"The article goes on to describe Obama's book/senate money has been put into college savings, money markets, and t-bills. "

What a poor investment strategy.

Yeah, who would want to save money for their kids' education? What an idiot.

Why is it poor investment strategy? If he already has enough money, why should he risk any of it? Suze Orman also puts most of her money in municipal bonds, and recommended to a caller with 40-something million to do the same. As long as you can live very comfortably on bank interest, no reason to chase higher returns.

But... Is the reason he wants to tax capital gains is that it wouldn't affect him personally?

I am with FMF on credit cards. But if Mike is a "recovering credit card addict" he should indeed stay away.

Every report I've read about this says that the balance on the McCain's credit cards is current overdue balance (ie. not the current month). The McCain's are paying thousands of dollars in interest.

Based on this, the Obama's claim of no liabilities means they could still have credit cards with current balances but nothing overdue.

I'll stick with Obama's money strategy. Savings vs. Credit!

Danny --

Do you have any links that lead to this conclusion? The one above doesn't give details like you're suggesting.

Not speaking for myself, but vis a vis why not use credit/debit cards for all transactions: privacy. There is an enormous amount of consumer behavior information that is being compiled on a given person's credit card history. If someone were to get a copy of your credit card records, they could make a pretty complete picture of your life. Preference, politics, persuasion, pets, hobbies, travel (past and future), it's all pretty neatly summarized in your CC statement.

Not concerned myself, but I know several people who feel the compilation of that information to be an unacceptable invasion of privacy.

Barack Obama wants to restore the prior tax rate to capital gains because he believes in PAYGO and acknowledges the basic principle that if he wants to increase domestic spending, he must increase taxes to do so. Increasing the cap gains tax is a progressive way of doing so (without increasing taxes on lowest income levels).

If you are assigning significant assets into taxable accounts that would be hit by this, that likely means you've already socked away upwards of $20,000 of that year's income between 401(k), IRA and college savings plans. If you're there, my friend, you are no longer "middle class." You may THINK you are, but I assure you that you are not.

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