Sen. Casey Cracking Down on Gift Cards

Seems Bob Casey read my recent item on Starbucks’s new $450 stainless steel gift cards. Outraged at wasted holiday spending, Casey is sponsoring a bill called the “Gift Card Consumer Protection Act,” which would mainly eliminate all gift card expiration dates. Casey claims that in 2010, $2.5 billion was left unspent, as gift cards idled indefinitely in our wallets. That’s a big number, but not one that’s doing any harm. Whether or not a card is redeemed, the gift-giver’s money is gone. Likewise, the company has already been paid ahead of time, and saves a little inventory when nobody cashes in. Finally, gift recipients just don’t get gifts, which isn’t really anybody’s problem but their own. This appears to be a classic lame-duck session bill, spun with a holiday twist. Especially since the federal government already passed legislation in 2009 that achieves almost exactly the same purpose. [CBS 3]