Congress Credit Application Denied

"Our records indicate that your annual income for the 2011 taxable year was $2,170,000,000,000. You have requested a credit limit of $17,000,000,000,000. These figures exceed the American Public's guidelines for credit issuance"

Reason‘s Barton Hinkle has written an amusing parody titled, “Dear Congress, Your Credit Application Has Been Turned Down.”

After reviewing the information provided in your application as well as your credit report, we regret to say that we are unable to extend you further credit at this time. The reasons for our decision are as follows:

(1) Inadequate income.Our records indicate that your annual income for the 2011 taxable year was $2,170,000,000,000. You have requested a credit limit of $17,000,000,000,000. These figures exceed the American Public’s debt-to-income guidelines for credit issuance.

(2) Excessive spending. The receipts you provided indicate your annual expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year total $3,820,000,000,000, or $1,650,000,000,000 more than your total income for the year. The American Public prefers that its members of Congress maintain a positive or neutral rather than a negative cash flow.

(3) High debt utilization. Your credit report indicates that you have a credit limit of $14,300,000,000,000, and of that amount you have utilized $14,300,000,000,000, for a debt utilization ratio of 100 percent. Consumer banking industry guidelines recommend a debt utilization ratio of no greater than 30 percent for standard creditworthiness, and 10 percent for exemplary creditworthiness. A debt utilization rate of 100 percent meets our classification of “You’re *&^%$#@! kidding, right?”

(4) High credit activity. Our records indicate you have credit accounts open with the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, the Social Security Administration, the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi, Bank Frick & Co. AG Liechtensteiner Privatbank, Quik-Cash Loans, Three Gold Balls Pawn Shop (Ann Arbor, Mich.), MyFast (Antigua), (Cayman Islands), Frank the bartender (Old Towne Tavern), and several members of the extended family of Salvatore “Sammy Meatballs” Montigliano of Montclair, N.J. While account activity threshholds vary by lender, your activity exceeds American Public guidelines for further credit issuance.

(5) Multiple recent credit inquiries. Records indicate your credit report has been accessed more than 6,437 times in the past 60 days. Inquiries may be triggered by applications for credit, employment or both and represent one factor in determining an applicant’s loan risk to a credit issuer. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as amended, requires businesses to have legitimate grounds for requesting your credit history. If you feel your credit information is inaccurate or has been accessed for unacceptable reasons, you may wish to contact the Federal Trade Commission.

(6) Multiple account charge-offs. Balances left unpaid for more than sixty (60) days may affect your creditworthiness. Your credit report indicates unpaid balances from Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq); Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan); the Troubled Asset Relief Program; the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act; the Cash for Clunkers Extension Act; the Worker, Homeowner, and Business Assistance Act of 2009; the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; and others too numerous to list.

Governments, of course, aren’t people and Congress has a stellar track record of paying its bills. Still, things are getting out of hand.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Humor, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    amusing parody

    Good parody is always based on the truth.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    So, if we’re to take this parody at its word, we’d expect interest rates on T-bonds to have been steadily increasing, right?

    And yet, that hasn’t happened. Funny thing….

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Alex: While I think our credit will be fine so long as we keep paying our bills, it could just as easily be a bubble. If China or other creditors suddenly decide we’re not worthy of the risk, the whole thing could collapse in an instant.