I think that consumers are responsible for the increase in consumer debt. It is only logical that the problem lies with the irresponsibility of the common consumer and their reckless spending. While credit car companies do a good job of luring and tempting customers, it is still about consumer responsibility.
Overall credit card companies are very clear on the interest rates they charge and the amount you will have to pay in fees, I think it's the consumers choice whether or not to accept these terms and whether or not they should spend their credit line on products and services getting them into debt.
The consumer is ultimately more responsible for the increase in consumer debt and not the credit card companies. Consumers are the ones who ultimately decide whether to use credit cards to purchase commodities so they are ultimately responsible for the increase in consumer debt because they are using credit cards more often to buy goods and services.
While, I want to sit here and blame the credit card companies, I can't. The credit card companies are only doing what they were taught to do. We teach companies that this is what they have to do to survive and thrive. The consumers should know by now how they operate. The consumers need to stop relying so heavily on companies that are taking advantage of them. Easier said than done.
Credit card companies charge high interest rates, can be shadowy, and be otherwise unsavory, but there has never been a known case of a credit card company forcing a consumer to buy something that he or she did not want. A credit card should be seen as a tool which consumers must wield responsibly in order to avoid debt problems.