Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has been unsuccessfully trying to get the Senate to vote on an amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill that would cap ATM fees at 50 cents. But he is having a hard time getting the support needed. Well according to the Omaha World Herald, that might be because many senators haven’t experienced coughing up a few dollars to withdraw money. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), while saying that “he’s no fan of unnecessary fees, he’s unfamiliar with the charges:”
“I’ve never used an ATM, so I don’t know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones. “It’s true, I don’t know how to use one.” “But I could learn how to do it just like I’ve [….] I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”
By “holograms,” Nelson clarified that he meant the bar codes on products read by automatic scanners in the checkout lanes at stores such as Lowe’s and Menard’s. “I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane,” Nelson said. “I mean, I’m not without some skills. I just haven’t had the need to use an ATM.”
Look my parents who are in their mid-60s have never used an ATM either. I understand more then a few people in this age bracket might not use them. However, they do know the difference between a hologram and a bar code.
They also know how to use a cell phone. DVR. The GPS system in their cars. They can buy something on eBay and send an email. Nelson, not so sure he could handle any of those things. Yet he is one vote in 100 on important topics that often require at least a basic understanding of the technology that is so much a part of our daily lives.
Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb, has used ATMs “five times or fewer in his life.” He is a member of the Senate Banking Committee!
And, asked if he ever used an ATM, crotchety old Chuck Grassley revealed that he doesn’t even know the basic principle behind them: “I’ve got a credit card, but I don’t use it for cash.”