Saturday, March 5


Barbara of Mahablog has a must-read post about the despicable bankruptcy bill and how it will affect middle America.

Joe Biden, last week on Meet The Press you indicated you'd be exploring the possibility of running for POTUS in 2008, but your position on this bill is prima facie evidence where your true allegiance lies. Vote for this bill and your chances of getting the nomination are nil. It's clearly a sellout to the credit card companies and other corporate interests and has no benefits whatever to ordinary Americans. Any Democrat who votes in favor is anathema.

UPDATE: The inimitable Molly Ivins, as usual, goes straight to the heart of the matter:

So, who are these feckless, irresponsible moochers using bankruptcy to avoid paying legitimate debts? Why, look at this: The New York Times reports "legal specialists say the proposed law leaves open an increasingly popular loophole that lets wealthy people protect substantial assets from creditors even after filing for bankruptcy."

What, our Republican Congress passing a bill that favors rich people at the expense of "honest Americans who play by the rules and have to foot the bill"? If you have a lot of money (most people filing for bankruptcy don't have this problem), you just put it in an asset protection trust and walk away. You don't even have to set up the trust offshore anymore -- five states have made it legal to set them up in their borders, and you don't even have to live in any of the five to do it.

If you don't like that feature of the bankruptcy bill, try this one: You may have read of the hardship on the families of those who have been called to fight in Iraq, including, of course, severe financial stress leading to many bankruptcies. Democrats in the Senate tried to put an amendment on this bill exempting military personnel, and the Republicans voted it down.

Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor, pointed out in testimony before Congress that the bill assumes everyone is in bankruptcy because they're spendthrifts. "A family driven to bankruptcy by the increased cost of caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer's disease is treated the same as someone who maxed out his credit cards at a casino. A person who had a heart attack is treated the same as someone who had a spending spree at the shopping mall. A mother who works two jobs and who cannot manage the prescription drugs needed for a child with diabetes is treated the same as someone who charged a bunch of credit cards with only a vague intent to repay."

But hey, that's the conservative idea of justice -- treat 'em all the same, except for the rich.


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