A horror film without gratuitous gore, Maxed Out is a documentary about the credit card lifestyle and industry. It’s not a secret that Americans are farther in debt than we’ve ever been historically, with savings rates in the negatives. And yes, much of that can be attributed to personal responsibility. Yet, there’s a dark underbelly in the credit card industry that this film uncovers: the predatory, bottom-feeding natures of the companies issuing credit, and what they’re allowed to get away with. For example, MBNA, not any of our representatives in government, wrote the bill that President Bush pushed through and signed that eliminates credit card forgiveness when someone claims personal bankruptcy. MBNA also–what a coincidence!–was Bush’s biggest corporate contributor in the last presidential election. I also learned that credit card companies actually target those who recently claimed bankruptcy because they won’t be able to default a second time, and they have “a taste for credit.” In fact, the companies refuse to screen those with bad credit and refuse them cards because this demographic is where the companies make all their money in late fees and interest payments. This was an incredibly scary film that indicted both individuals who jump on the easy credit wagon and buy things they don’t have money for, as well as a bottom-feeding industry that is unregulated and unrepentant in building a house of cards that can’t be sustained. On a side note, the night after I saw the film -- a night that was not atypical -- Phil and I received seven pieces of mail, and four of them were credit card offers. It's scary.