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Fed spends $15,000 to tell you to pay your credit card on time

UPDATED with cost of ad:

Your taxpayer dollars are being spent by the Federal Reserve on a commercial that will appear before movie previews in 12 cities around the country beginning later this week, instructing you on how to "get the most from your credit card."

The 45-second commercial is a low-budget (but fine-looking) affair, composed of text, clip art and a slow, jazzy background track. It cost $15,000, the Fed says. You can see the commercial by clicking here.

Granted, this is not a taxpayer expenditure in the traditional sense, as the Fed funds itself with with fees and earnings on the assets it holds, turning the leftover proceeds over to the Treasury. Still, that means anything it spends money on (such as these credit card ads) reduces the amount contributed to Uncle Sam's coffers, adding to taxpayers' overall burden.

Whatever the commercial cost, it probably didn't add up to $180 billion in taxpayer dollars, which has been given or promised to those derivative cowboys at AIG, and it's not $74 billion of your taxpayer dollars, which has been given to GM, GMAC and Chrysler.

So while you're waiting for your holiday blockbuster to start, and hopefully did not put your popcorn and soda on your credit card, here are the five tips you'll get from the Fed regarding your credit card(s):

1) Pay on time.
2) Stay below your credit limit.
3) Avoid unnecessary fees, such as late fees. (See 1) and 2), above.)
4) Pay more than the minimum amount due.
5) Watch for changes in your account, like higher interest rates.

It's hard to imagine that people need to be told any of these five tips. Really? Things will go better for me -- in my finances and my life overall -- if I stay below my credit limit? Wow. Never thought of that. Thanks, Fed!

Still, if the ads get through to even a handful of movie-goers and they reform their spendthrift credit card behavior, it may be worth it.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 27, 2009; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fed, Federal Reserve, credit cards  
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They should use this money to tell Disabled Americans about their Right to work part time, It is the Ticket To Work Program by the Social Security Administration.

A few words from a Ticket to Work Program Participant …

I have been disabled for over 9 years now. It was hard to live with the fact that I would not go work again. I had a lot of questions. Would my disability payment each month be enough to survive on? Will I ever be productive again? All these things ran through my mind until I was introduced to the Social Security Administration's, Ticket to Work Program.

The Ticket to Work Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The Program is part of The Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 – which Legislators designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket to Work Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment at companies like J. Lodge, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private organizations.

Under the Ticket to Work Program, the Social Security Administration provides disability beneficiaries with a Ticket to Work which they may use to obtain the services and jobs they need from a new universe of organizations called Employment Networks. J. Lodge is one of the employment network organizations.

This program really helped change my life. For more information visit, or call 1-866-968-7842 for more information.

After you have enrolled in the Ticket to Work Program, check on the current employment opportunities at J. Lodge Corporation is a company dedicated to the employment of people on the Ticket to Work Program. Their work from home employment positions are tailored to the unique needs of disabled individuals.

Posted by: jlodgesharonmp | November 27, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse

I keep quiet and nobody knows what the hell I'm doing. It turns out that is good for business.

Posted by: Dermitt | November 27, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What's next...a taxpayer funded ad campaign telling anxious voters how to operate a door knob?? How to control light bulbs installed in lamps? When to turn on headlights?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | November 28, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

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