It’s one of those ridiculous ways that cable companies are able to screw you; you sign up for a decent cable package with all the football games and “Dancing With The Stars” you could ever want for an affordable price, only to be stuck with additional charges when the bill arrives.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have teamed up with the Federal Communications Commission to make it possible for consumers to purchase or rent cable boxes from someone other than their cable provider, ending the costly non-negotiable rental fees that most cable buyers are forced to pay each month.

A press release on Senator Sanders’ website points out that the rental prices for these boxes by the ruling cable companies have soared in recent years – up 185 percent over the past two decades. The FCC proposal would make the field much more competitive, an important first step in helping to reduce the near-monopoly of cable television in the United States.

Sanders says that up to $14 billion of the money that cable companies collect in pointless fees like this are “economically pointless profit,” and do nothing but line the pockets of rich cable executives. If the market were made more competitive, prices would drop and Americans would benefit from more affordable television.

It would be a smart move for the cable providers as well; more and more people everyday are becoming “cord-cutters” and giving up cable altogether to move online for all of their entertainment needs. Cable is no longer competing with just the one or two cable giants in the field, it now has to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube, and more.

Whether or not the cable industry is cognizant of the threat cord-cutters pose to their industry, Sanders’ and Warren’s proposal will save Americans $14 billion and might help to save the cable industry as a whole through forced competition. These two really know how to work together to get things done.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at