Thursday, March 03, 2005

MaKe ThE MiNiMUm PAymEnt AnD NoBoDY GeTS HuRT 

Following up on Leah’s great post below, I post these snips from Molly Ivins, who manages, as usual, to put this bankruptcy bill (read "corporate giveaway") in terms even Bobo can understand. And she mentions Prof. Warren’s testimony before congress, too:

Gross! How to take a horrible bill and make it genuinely loathsome. Look at this -- look at what they are doing with this bankruptcy bill…

…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...

…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."

The whole thing’s over at Bad to worse courtesy of Working for Change. Share it with your friends who are drowning in credit card debt. Maybe it’ll stir them to action.

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