Ok, so we can sort of understand the utter ignorance of many lawmakers about markets and modern finance in general. We can’t expect all of them to possess the kind of Maxine Watersesque encyclopedic knowledge of swap credit defaults and other complex derivatives.
But never using, and therefore by extension, not knowing how to use an ATM machine is just beyond dumb. I mean, how out of touch with reality do you need to be to still drive up to the bank teller, fill out a withdrawal slip and wait for the cash?
Just ask Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.
Lawmakers walk past that ATM all the time on their way to votes on the Senate floor, but don't expect to see Sen. Ben Nelson stopping to grab some quick cash. The Nebraska Democrat pleaded ignorance when asked this week whether Congress should cap ATM fees. Nelson said that while 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.”
ATMs a Mystery to Senator [Omaha World Herald]