Friday, April 15, 2005

Bad Week For The Middle Class In Congress

This week the war on the middle and lower class continued in the U. S. House of Representatives with the passage of two bills. Our Congressman, John Carter, voted AYE on both of course. The main one was the Bankruptcy Bill. The Republicans and the credit card companies have been licking their chops waiting for this one to pass for years now. The other was the bill to permanently abolish the estate tax. Which will save all those billionaire families from being driven into poverty. The saddest part about both of these is the large numbers of Democrats that went along with both of these bills. These two bills provided great opportunities for Democrats in the house to draw a line and make a stand for the lower and middle class. It sure would have been a great issue for the 2006 campaign.

In my opinion this is one of the major problems with the Democratic Party. We want to be the "party of the people" but then do something like this. It makes it real hard to do that and then come the next election try to tell voters we are the "party of the people". My research into the bankruptcy bill has shown me, time and time again, that there was false information being spread about who files for bankruptcy. Those for the bill would frame this issue as if the only people filing for bankruptcy were people that ran up credit card debt and then didn't wan to pay it back. When in reality most were filing for completely different reasons:
In a letter to Congress recently posted on the Web site of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a nonpartisan professional organization, 92 law school professors of bankruptcy and commercial law said the proposed legislation "is deeply flawed, and will harm small businesses, the elderly, and families with children."

Contrary to the bill drafters' image of bankruptcy filers as deadbeats, said the letter, "the overwhelming majority of people in bankruptcy are in financial distress as a result of job loss, medical expense, divorce, or a combination of those causes."
In other words they're kicking people while they're down. This surely won't be happening as much now? Knowing this administration's record of job creation. So now that we've established why people are going into bankruptcy let's talk about the loopholes in the bill. Check this out:
In fact, for a bill purported to fight abuse, it leaves intact a huge loophole through which wealthy filers can protect millions - even billions - of dollars while being absolved of their debts. The loophole takes the form of a certain trust exempted from the requirement to liquidate. Also, the bill only narrows another loophole that permits the wealthy to protect their assets by putting them into mansions in five states that have no limits on exemptions for homes.
73 Democrats voted for this! Once again, this is the problem. If you're for the people you don't do this. It's that simple. Steve Soto from the Left Coaster says it better than I can:
I don’t care if you call yourself a member of the "New Democrat Coalition" or whatever other CYA label you want to give yourself. If you vote for the extremely wealthy yesterday and for the banks today, where I come from they call you a Republican.
These Democrats can't have it both ways and if you're wondering why so many people stay home or don't vote for Democrats it's because of actions like this. Many people feel there is nobody fighting for them and this reinforces that point of view. How will we defend this when block walking and trying to get someone vote Democratic?

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