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    by Jim Hightower

 

 

 

PROTECTING CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND THE RICH

     It was hilarious to see our congress critters rising up on their hind legs recently and bellowing like a herd of angry bovines, denouncing the shameful immorality shameful, I say! of people who run up debts they can't pay off, saddling others with the loss.

     I laughed, I cried... I threw up. Are there no mirrors in congress? These are the same free-spending bums who've piled a debt the size of the Milky Way on the backs of future generations, not counting the trillions more they would add by supporting Bush's Social Security privatization scheme, his endless warmongering, and more the tax giveaways to the rich not to mention voting themselves another pay raise this year.

     What bothered the critters, however, was not the federal debt, but your credit card debts. Bellowing that poor credit card companies are being swamped by irresponsible so-and sos who run up debts and then declare bankruptcy, they stampeded a new law through congress that prevents average Joe and Janes from getting bankruptcy protection. They wailed about the plight of Mastercard, MBNA, Citicorp, and the other giants being victimized victimized, I say! by you worthless scofflaws.

     But, wait some 90 percent of personal bankruptcies are the result of people suffering medical emergencies, job loss, and divorce. Amendments were offered to exempt cases of medical bankruptcy, members of the armed services, those caring for ill or disabled family members, victims of identity theft but "no, no, no, and no again" bellowed the majority.

     The majority did, however, make one compassionate exception to their effort to stop people from using the bankruptcy law.  Current law contains a "millionaires' loophole" that allows the rich to set up "asset protection trusts" of unlimited size where they can hide their wealth if they are planning to file for bankruptcy. As a gesture of fairness, Democrats tried to restrict this loophole. "No," bellowed the majority, leaving the bankruptcy protection as the exclusive retreat of the rich. 

 

 

Sources: "The Debt-Peonage Society," New York Times, March 8, 2005.

"A bankruptcy bill for corporations and millionaires," Austin American-Statesman, March 13, 2005. 

"Bankruptcy Bill Set For Passage; Victory for Bush," New York Times, March 9, 2005.

"Senate Passes Bill to Restrict Bankruptcy," Washington Post, March 11, 2005.

(c) 2005, Copyright - Saddleburr Productions, Inc.  Reprinted with permission of the author.

 

 


Updated  June 01, 2005

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