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An Unreal Plan to Fix the Deficit and Help Taxpayers

By Tim Beyers - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:28AM

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An April Fool's joke has serious implications.

The best April Fool's jokes feel real. That's why we put so much time and effort into ours. And yet, good as it was, CardHub.com may have done us one better with an email profiling a low-fee credit card from no less than the Internal Revenue Service.

"With Tax Day fast approaching and a large segment of U.S. consumers continuing to struggle as the economic recovery trudges on, the IRS has launched a new credit card that cash-strapped taxpayers can use to satisfy Uncle Sam. It offers 0% for 36 months, doesn't charge a balance transfer fee, and can only be used to pay the IRS," the pitch read.

And it was genius, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova.  Each day, the headlines scream of how politicians are fighting over ways to fix the deficit. Meanwhile, CardHub.com says consumers packed on an additional $36.2 billion in new debt last year.

Rising balances have proven to be a boon for the likes of American Express (AXP 2.56%), Citigroup (C -0.87%), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM 1.41%), all of which have seen revenue and profit from credit card use rise noticeably over the past two years. (Though Chase suffered a modest decline in 2012 after sharp increases the year prior.)

Knowing the data and the context made the joke seem frighteningly real, Tim says in the following interview with The Motley Fool's Erin Miller. Please watch this short video to get his full take, and then leave a comment to let us know if you're struggling with debt right now, and if so, how you're handling the burden. 

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Stocks Mentioned

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM
$131.27 (1.41%) $1.83
Citigroup Inc. Stock Quote
Citigroup Inc.
C
$53.62 (-0.87%) $0.47
American Express Company Stock Quote
American Express Company
AXP
$169.60 (2.56%) $4.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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