Gift Card Money Grab

Many of you receive gift cards to your favorite restaurants for Christmas, Birthday or other special occasions.  If you are like me sometimes it takes a while to get to the particular restaurant to use those cards.  Well a Milwaukee Legislator who nobody outside of Milwaukee had heard of until recently is proposing to require all gift cards issued in Wisconsin to expire in one year.

Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) says he will introduce a ridiculous proposal that not only sets a one year expiration date on all gift cards, but also demands that 80 percent of the funds from unused cards should go to the state of Wisconsin.   What compelling governmental interest is achieved with this proposal?   Sure, it will help balance the budgets, but so would cutting useless programs and departments (and maybe Kessler’s salary)   Many stores and restaurants depend on Christmas shoppers to turn a profit.  A significant amount of Christmas sales is probably a result of gift card sales, so why in the hell would Kessler want to significantly harm these businesses by stripping them of money that they made on gift cards? They have no control over what the recipient of the cards do with them so why should they be punished by the state? Furthermore, why would he want to screw the consumers who get the cards as gifts but don’t get around to using them within a year?  I just do not understand how the state has any rationale for the money grab besides the fact that they see a way to get free money without doing a damn thing.  Also, that one year expiration date is just another way to increase the amount of unused cards, thus increasing the state’s take.    

Hopefully there will be enough common sense to kill this bill.  Kessler’s statement on the proposal was: “I’d rather have people spend the money and use the gift card, but if they aren’t, I’d rather the state get the money.”  What a nice attitude to have you self-serving, arrogant, greedy imbecle!   I consider myself a liberal, but its dumb a-holes like Kessler that give all of us a bad name.  If this gets out of committee, I urge you to contact your representative and tell them you oppose this.

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