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March 09, 2005

Bankruptcy Protest: A Coalition

Be sure to bookmark or blogroll Politology.US to keep track. Read the main blog for new entries!
Next Action: here.
Bill Passes, 75-24: Remarks here
2:24 PM PST: This coalition was featured on MSNBC Connected's "blog roundup" today - thanks to Jeff Jarvis for the mention. Here's the video. Brief mention on CNN too (video).

The opposition against the bankruptcy bill crosses party lines, among the grassroots.

The support for the bankruptcy bill crosses party lines among Congress.

This is clearly an example where the interests of Congress are divorced from the interests of the public. This bill is about politicians and lobbyists, not the American public.

So we should call them - a lot. Let your congresscritters know that you do not support the bill, that it does nothing for American citizens, and that if the politicians let the credit card companies dictate their vote, we will hold them responsible.

There's appetite for a blogosphere-wide effort against the bankruptcy bill. I will be including a list of conservative and liberal weblogs that are signed on to this effort. All you need to do is leave a comment, preferably a trackback (now enabled), or drop an email, and endorse the effort on your own weblog.

The final Senate vote is expected for today, March 10th. Call your Senator's office today. The House battle is coming soon. For more details, click "Continue Reading".

Updates:

BuzzMachine will be discussing the emerging opposition.

Read this weblog for future updates on the same subject. Bookmark, rss feed...

Instapundit links to the effort.

JustOneMinute has good ideas:

Folks who plan to fight on (don't rush me) ought to check something - where is Rush Limbaugh positioned on this bill?  Could he be re-positioned? (...) Last point - I am not going to instruct activists in how to boil water for coffee, but - is there a House committee this bill needs to clear?  Are there Congressman who might be swayed by phone calls, e-mail, and a letter campaign to their home-town newspapers?  Who are the targets?

Tacitus and Redstate have front-page action alerts on the bill:

The bankruptcy bill before the Congress is bad law, bad practice, and an example of bad faith with the common people whom elected officials presumably serve.

Other sites linking up:
PowerPundit
Think Progress
Heretical Ideas
Centerfield
Insane Troll Logic
Pinko Feminist Hellcat (heh)
(links taken from Technorati)

Here is some of what conservative bloggers are saying about the bankruptcy bill:

Instapundit says:

I'm deeply skeptical of the bankruptcy bill in front of Congress now, and this report on credit-card industry practices goes a long way toward explaining why. Credit extended to people who can't handle it, absurd hidden fees, high interest rates, etc.: There's a lot of scamming here. The argument, of course, is that people who sign up for credit card accounts ought to know what they're getting into. But shouldn't the companies that extend credit to people who obviously can't handle it be held to the same standard?

bizzyblog has a rundown of cross-blogosphere opposition.

RedState has a discussion that shows a lot of conservative opposition to the bill.

Free Republic has opposition to the bill.

Here are the top ten states in terms of bankruptcies - meaning, the states that will be hit hardest by this bill:

1 Utah
2 Tennessee
3 Georgia
4 Nevada
5 Indiana
6 Alabama
7 Arkansas
8 Ohio
9 Mississippi
10 Idaho

Leave comments for more examples of bipartisan grassroots opposition to this turkey, and suggestions for a unified action we could take. Right now the best suggestion is a branded "call-in" day.

Posted by tunesmith at March 9, 2005 11:40 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bankruptcy Protest: A Coalition:

» Everybody Hates the Bankruptcy Bill from Simianbrain
Except the Credit Card companies. Glenn Reynolds thinks it sucks. Any chance that left and right could declare a truce in 2006 to take down the architects of this tripe? Nah, didn't think so, but if we were worth anything... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 11:53 AM

» Join the Bipartisan Blogosphere Bankruptcy Bill P from Nobran
Tunesmith over at dKos is spearheading an effort that is so far doing a great job bringing internet activists from both parties together. Pretty cool stuff... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 12:15 PM

» Bi-Partisan Opposition to Loan Shark Prtotection Act from Licking County PAC
The grass roots on both sides of the political isle are unifying against the Loan Shark Protection Act, which we mentioned here yesterday at Licopac. While DC politicians may like the cha-ching of big money from the Credit Card Industry, [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 12:35 PM

» Bipartisan Anti-Bankruptcy Coalition from nick davis

I hereby would like to offer usage of the CongressTrack.org tool for this cause, reagrdless of who would like to run it. This bill is bad for all the people of America, and people from both sides of the line can see that.

The coalition is locate

[Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 01:14 PM

» Crazy Train from Centerfield
All aboard! Politology is trying to amp up the volume against the bankruptcy bill. Instapundit, Buzzmachine, Tacitus, and others are on board. I say we go off the rails! This has a flavor of getting rammed through, and I don't... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 01:18 PM

» Bankruptcy Protest: A Coalition from OweBoat
Politology is putting together a coalition to oppose the bankruptcy bill. As stated in their post: This is clearly an example where the interests of Congress are divorced from the interests of the public. This bill is about politicians and lobbyist... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 01:39 PM

» People's solidarity against the bankruptcy bill from mediagirl.org

Nobody likes class warfare -- especially when it's the corporate class against the lesser "people" (aka "citizens") recognized by our government.

The dissent across party lines and political

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Tracked on March 10, 2005 02:39 PM

» The Bankruptcy Bill is flawed. from justbarkingmad.com
In all honesty I have been torn by this bit of legislation. On one hand I understand the concept of TANSTAFL, that letting people off the hook for debt is a bad precedent. There was a time when going bankrupt myself would have dramatically increased ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 02:43 PM

» KILL IT from technopuritanism.net
Fuck MBNA Fuck Dept Kill the Bankruptcy Bill Now.... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 03:00 PM

» Bankruptcy "Reform" Blog Opposition Is Growing from BizzyBlog.com
Note: Some links in this post may require free registration I really didn't think that a brand-new blogger simply expressing his personal opinion on a piece of legislation that appeared (and to be realistic, still appears) to be certain of passage ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 03:11 PM

» 'Bankruptcy Bill' Headlines from Dr. Laniac's Laboratory
Dr. Laniac news items on the Bankruptcy Bill: Paul Krugman concludes: "And any senator who votes for the bill should be ashamed." Well, Republicans know no shame. But for the record, here are the Dems who voted down the filibuster:... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 03:40 PM

» Extra! Extra! Hell Freezes Over from Citizen's Rent
Who'd a Thunk? Atrios is actually commending freepers while dissing Democratic leadership. Instapundit and DailyKos are working together. Matt Yglesias and Red State agree. Conservative Christians and Ariana Huffington share the same values. Did hell f... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 04:03 PM

» Bankruptcy and Bloggers on CNN from Nobran
The Politology effort, which you can find here, got on CNN today. Here's a partial transcript of the relevant parts: TATTON: Now a Washington story all over the blogs. This evening the Senate votes to overhaul bankruptcy laws in this country. ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 04:25 PM

» Just Plain, Ugly Meanness from Dogged Blog
So, given this rare instance of the left and right halves of the blogosphere seeing eye to eye on something, the sky is falling, hell has frozen over, pigs are flying... you get the picture. Run, do not walk, over to Politology and find out what you c... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 05:02 PM

» The new bankruptcy bill is bad, bad, bad from JohnHays.net
But it's great for credit card companies and loan companies that routinely gouge American consumers legally. The bankruptcy bill also completely undermines the reason for having bankruptcy in the first place. It's incredible to me that anybody in C... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 05:49 PM

» Bankruptcy Bill passes the Senate; Last Ditch is the House from Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print
Sadly, the Morally Bankrupt Bill has passed the U.S. Senate. This bill makes it more difficult for average people who run into hard times to keep even the most basic of assets when they run into already rich megacreditors who want just a bit more prof... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 08:37 PM

» Bankruptcy "Reform" Blog Opposition Is Growing from BizzyBlog.com
Note: Some links in this post may require free registration. I really didn't think that a brand-new blogger simply expressing his personal opinion on a piece of legislation that appeared (and to be realistic, still appears) to be certain of passage... [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 09:20 PM

» Bankruptcy Is Bad, This Bill Is Worse from POV
I had not really followed the Bankruptcy bill that just passed through the Senate but briefly skimming the news coverage it didn't appear to be good. [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 09:58 PM

» There are 24 Senators who deserve a standing ovation... from Simianbrain
For not backing down against the deceptively titled, "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005". They are all Democrats and their names are: Akaka (D-HI), Boxer (D-CA), Cantwell (D-WA), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Dodd (D-CT),... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 05:24 AM

» Running to the government for protection from Eyes On The Ball News
All across America, people who have made bad financial decisions are running to the government for help. These people are losing money each day because of their mistakes. Now, they are asking the government to help by bailing them out. Who are these pe... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 06:28 AM

» Grassroots gets bi-partisan on bankruptcy bill from Preemptive Karma
Wow. It's not very often that the grassroots on the right and the left find real common ground. But the stinker that is the bankruptcy bill (screwing individual consumers and creating windfalls for banks and credit card companies)has given rise to... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 07:28 AM

» What's Next, Debtors' Prisons? from Demosophia
I'm sorry, but there's just something obscene about the way this Bankruptcy Bill is sailing to passage, without even token opposition from anyone. It seems almost self-evident to me that if it's such a walk in the park to file [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 07:57 AM

» More On Bankruptcy Bill from Brain Fertilizer
I still like the idea that the Bankruptcy Bill before Congress right now tightens up the rules to make it harder to declare bankruptcy, and makes the penalties a little stiffer. But the more I read, the more I am... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 08:34 AM

» Can We Work Together? from PSoTD
Can bloggers of all stripes that believe that we will be hurt by the Bankruptcy Bill - individually and as a nation - work together to try to stop it? Check out the efforts to organize a multipartisan protest at Politology. [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 09:33 AM

» Free your campus from slacktivist
I've spent the week mad as hell about the wretched bankruptcy bill the credit card companies are pushing through our Rent-a-Congress. It's encouraging to see how broad and bipartisan popular opposition to this bill seems to be. Anyway, to keep [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 12:13 PM

» You Bet Your Ass I'll Endorse It, Sporty from Jim Snowden's Second Omnibus
Count me as on board, and let me know what I can do. [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 12:33 PM

» i thought i'd never see it from rubber hose
but both sides of the political blogisphere is fairly united against the bankruptcy bill currently before congress... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 01:52 PM

» Calling All Bloggers from Simianbrain
(Press release.) From The Unpaid Punditry Corps, Hey bloggers, we probably oughta all jump in on Glenn Reynold's and Politology blog's idea for a bipartisan blogosphere coalition to oppose (and punish) those who support the Bankruptcy Bill. As a multi-... [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 01:57 PM

» Fighting the bankruptcy bill from Loaded Mouth

As Kathy points out, the bankruptcy bill isn't a law yet -- it still has to be approved by the House. Given the fact that Democrats are voting for this thing, and since Demo

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Tracked on March 11, 2005 03:04 PM

» Immorally bankrupt and dis-credited from Effect Measure
We're primarily a public health blog, so Bankruptcy Deform might seem beyond our scope. Remember, however, that for average people the main cause of bankruptcy is overwhelming medical bills. And anyway, this legislation is a moral outrage. Indeed The... [Read More]

Tracked on March 12, 2005 04:58 AM

» Left, Right, Left Right Left from The Tattered Coat
I've begun reading a few conservative blogs in an effort to understand where the right-wingers are coming from (and honestly, to find material for my own posts). On one site, I tried to add a progressive voice to a set of conservative comments. So ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 12, 2005 09:56 AM

» Politology's Coverage of the Bankruptcy Bill from The National Political Observer
Politology.us says "the opposition against the bankruptcy bill crosses party lines, among the grassroots." The blog has great coverage on the bill, which passed the Senate 75-24 on March 10, 2005. It's viewed by many as a great victory for... [Read More]

Tracked on March 12, 2005 03:27 PM

» The ethic of responsibility from the smedley log
... I oppose this bill. I don't oppose it because it holds individuals responsible for their own debts. I oppose it because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it doesn't attack half of the real problem. ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 14, 2005 01:09 PM

» The whole world is watching... H.R. 685 from newsrack
Via dailyKos, I see that Politology has started an anti-bankruptcy bill blog coalition, complete with writing assignments and the works. Maybe their voices will carry more weight with Republican representatives. At any rate I'm glad to see the attempt,... [Read More]

Tracked on March 14, 2005 09:01 PM

» For what it's worth, there's a bipartisan blog co from Atavistic Endeavor
Needless to say, the Atavistic Endeavor supports this coalition. I'm really skeptical about what any of us can do to stop the foregone conclusion at this point though. Maybe they can sneak a last-ditch abortion amendment in the house version or somet... [Read More]

Tracked on March 15, 2005 07:18 PM

Comments

LJ's Blogorific supports this cause by the "unified" blogosphere to stop the Senate from passing the Bankruptcy Bill.

Though it may be a bit late in the day I definitely support a bi-partisan blog effort against this donor class payoff.



CaliBlogger.com

The Bhlog and its band of weary fighters supports this coalition. It is perhaps too late to affect the vote in the Senate but the fight in the House looms ahead.

RabidNation opposes this sickening grab for yet more power over the lives of individuals by the banking crime families at MBNA, CitiCorp, Chase, et al.

But wait... I thought most bankruptcies were because of health care costs?

Trust me, most people should be directed to Chapter 13 by a judge - not automatically granted Chapter 7 when they have up to $185,000 more in assets than debts. See my blog for more.

Although I cannot comment on the good/bad of the bankruptcy bill, I see a danger in the 'blogosphere' taking up a cause. Blogs are powerful tools because there is independence and cross checking of facts, etc. Once there is a 'cause' structures must evolve to govern the 'cause'. Structure is the last thing we need. Structure is what makes the main stream media obsolete.

Young Philly Politics is definitely a supporter of this effort.

Indetured servitude is not American.

ITPAA - The IT Professionals Association of America strongly opposes this bankruptcy bill.

The Razor opposes this bankruptcy bill.

I called on President Bush to veto this last night at my blog http://www.democracyguy.com. It will likely get out of the House. The last chance to kill it is likely the veto pen.

"The last chance to kill it is likely the veto pen."

You're kidding, right? The last chance to kill it has already passed I fear. Ok, perhaps there will be a miracle in the House, but it will be a cold day before Shrub would ever veto a bill like this.

I wrote to my two Republican Senators from Georgia, and published the letter on my site. One has responded with boilerplate, the other is silent.

I'm not an R or a D but an I. You're right about the whole political spectrum being against this ... other than our Congresscritters. I don't know if it's too late or not, but I completely support any efforts to stop this bill.

I've got a bunch of Government contact resources listed on my blogroll for anyone who is interested (scroll down to "Government"). Here's the link: Max Black

Sound Off supports this effort as well. Let's overwhelm the House with contacts from the 'sphere...how about a voluntary 6 - 12 month moratorium on the use of credit cards? That might get the lobbyists' attention.

SoundOff. Sorry, forgot the tag. Preview is my friend.

Now That's Irconic lends its (incredibly small) voice to the Coalition of Bloggers Against the Bankruptcy Bill.

Electronic Darwinism is on board, for what it's worth.

I've had an ad up, and contacted my representatives.

People who have resources should pay their bills. People who foolishly run up credit should pay their bills. People who foolishly don't save for a rainy day should be their bills.

The new bankruptcy bill is a good if it makes people pay for what they owe. When they don't, the rest of us do in the form of higher interest rates and higher priced products.

There is no such thing as a free lunch; i.e. that the cost not being repaid by bankruptcy debtors has to some from somewhere. And it ain't coming out of credit card companies' pockets, you can be sure of that. That cost is passed on, and ultimately borne by consumers in higher interest rates -- this is generally how all risk/reward reationships in all debt markets everywhere work.

So again, in essence the people not paying their bills are being subsidized by those who are. If you want to redistribute wealth in cases of hardship, I say go for it. But bankruptcy court ought not to be the place to do it.

I had a friend in college who, shall we say, spent foolishly. She racked up around 15K in cc debt and had no way to repay it. She could have declared bankruptcy, but instead she took an extra job and after 5 years was able to finish paying it off. It's an insult to the character of people like this that others can just go to court and have the debt wiped, and 7 years later be good as new.

I bet a post with some background on the process in the House would help - for example, is there a committee this bill needs to clear, and who is on it that might be swayed by phone calls and e-mail?

Are there Congressman who might be swayed by a letter-writing campaign to their home-town newspapers?

Well, the activists know how to be active, I suspect.

You have an ally from Left Blogistan.

Let's torpedo this bitch.

To David L. Hanson and Moody Loner,

Most people WANT to pay their bills, but due to the greedy, predatory practices of the credit card companies, get to the point where they can no longer pay. If you have to choose between buying food for your family and putting every dime you have towards a debt that will never go away, you're gonna choose groceries.

Most bankruptcies are not by "deadbeats" abusing the system, most are caused by illness, jobloss, death, etc.

Most people wouldn't oppose this bill if restrictions were placed on the card companies, if there weren't loopholes for the wealthy, if the system were set up so people could truly pay off a debt without losing their house, without becoming and indentured servant. But it doesn't work that way.

Credit card companies also make a hefty profit off of merchants who accept their cards.

If you think the credit card companies are "hurting" you are a fool. They make record profits in spite of all the bankruptcies. The average debtor ends up owing twice as much as they originally charged. This is WRONG!

Oops, my post should have been addressed to Tall Dave and not Moody Loner, sorry!

Insane Troll Logic is committed to exposing the complete illogic of this bankrupt Bankruptcy Bill.

I didn't see the credit card company forcing you buy antyhing.

As far as illness, joblessess, death -- as I said before: If you want to redistribute wealth in cases of hardship, I say go for it. But bankruptcy court ought not to be the place to do it.

"If you think the credit card companies are "hurting" you are a fool"

If you think ANYTHING would hurt them you are a fool. All they do when there are more bankruptcies is raise interest rates. You can't win.

The current system just rewards irresponsibility and punishes responsibility.

The average debtor ends up owing twice as much as they originally charged. This is WRONG!

LOL Why do you think that is? It's because the interest rates are so high! Why are they high? Because it's unsecured debt, and you can slide out of it by declaring BK!

What should happen is that interest rates come down as good debtholders no longer are forced to subsidize bad ones. If they don't, there should be a DOJ case against the credit card companies for collusion.

No, talldave, YOU are wrong.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10361-2005Mar5.html

Another leftie against this thing.

The article seems to confirm exactly what I said -- interest rates are high. Fees are simply another form of de facto interest, and should be treated as such. If fees are too high, this is an usury issue not a bankruptcy issue.


I should amend my statement above - there is one way you can win: by being one of the people declaring bankruptcy. Then you get make the rest of us suckers subsidize your debt.

But that doesn't hurt the credit card companies. They just pass the cost along to us responsible debt-paying suckers in higher rates and fees.

LightUpTheDarkness.org supports a cross blog effort on the bankruptcy bill.

It is something I suspect all of us have noticed in our offline worlds, put the R & D aside, and people agree more than they disagree.

People agree that it is not fair that there are different standards for corporations and citizens. People can't file bankruptcy, change their names, and continue on. Even getting billions in government contracts like Worldcom did when they moved back under MCI.

Many people use credit cards to pay their doctor bills because they don't have insurance. It isn't fair to broad brush these uses and paint all credit card debt as shopping sprees.

Working people don't have the ability to shelter their homes the way the wealthy do. In many areas, the average home is worth more than $150,000 and Democrats couldn't even get amendments to protect those homes.

This is a bad bill for many reasons, not just because it doesn't do anything about predatory lending practices. The whole point of interest is to offset potential losses, it is the benefit of accepting that business risk. This bankruptcy bill transfers business risk to the consumer and lets the CEO and shareholder gain all the benefits.

Anybody who believes interest is going to go down as a result of this bill is living in a fantasy land. Has the price of a pair of Nike's fallen even though labor went down to 50 cents a day? No. The benefit of outsourcing went to the CEO and shareholder, not the consumer. The same will be true if this bankruptcy bill passes.

(Investor alert, buy credit card stock!!)

Me too.

Anybody who believes interest is going to go down as a result of this bill is living in a fantasy land. Has the price of a pair of Nike's fallen even though labor went down to 50 cents a day? No. The benefit of outsourcing went to the CEO and shareholder, not the consumer. The same will be true if this bankruptcy bill passes.

Shoe prices are not regulated; interest rates are. Also, consumers can choose companies that sell cheaper shoes or lower interest rates.

As I said, if interest rates don't come down, this means illegal collusion is taking place and the DOJ should bring suit against credit card companies.

This debate reminds me of the welfare reform debate, where we were told it was going to throw children into the street to starve. The problem here is similar: current laws encourage irresponsible behavior.

What this bill lacks is any semblance of balance. I agree that as a society we should expect debtors to live up to their obligations. We should not encourage people to seek easy debt relief from the bankruptcy court. HOWEVER, lenders have obligations too. Lenders have a fiduciary obligation to their depositors and shareholders to lend RESPONSIBLY. This bill does nothing to encourage lenders to be more responsible in their lending practices. Usury, indentured servitude, and loan sharking are no longer illegal in this country, but they are as morally wrong and corrupt as they have always been. Penalties and fees that drive effective interest rates above 30% are morally wrong and indefensible. Giving credit cards away to college students who are still wholly dependent on their parents for financial support is underhanded, corrupt, and indefensible. Granting loopholes to rich people for "asset protection trusts" is morally wrong and indefensible.

Tall Dave

Imagine if you will that while you're reading scripture to your toddler or reading Ayn Rand or otherwise being the fine upstanding citizen with no debts or mortgages that you seem to be, imagine that you feel sudden shooting pains radiating from your heart. You call the ambulance, they take you to the hospital, you're having a heart attack. You're in the hospital for 2 weeks, but your insurance only covers 70 percent of the bill. You have to take a leave of absense from work, and so you're put on disability, which only pays half of your regular salary. During your rehabilitation, your wife is involved in a car accident and totals her car, racks up even more medical fees, and is also out of work.

Do you see where this is heading?

You haven't been irrisponsible. You haven't been buying plasma screens, you're been buying cheerios.

The bill as written is not there to help you, and it for damn sure won't reduce interest rates.

Sign me up.

The same people that support a bill to bring back debt peonage for the poor, also vigorously oppose any effort to help make poor people more economically viable and self-reliant.


The same people that support penalizing the paycheck-to-paycheck poor and middle class for job loss or divorce or a health crisis, support loopholes that would let the rich do exactly that.


The same people that are so pedantic about other people’s responsibilities and so Draconian in how they want those other people punished, have gleefully spent us broke on an optional war, and treat the idea of rolling back a tax break for a few thousand of the Richest People in the History of the Universe as if it were tantamount to using the Constitution as kindling to set fire to Jesus.


If you are an elected official and you support this bill as-is you are a liar, a thief, a class warrior in the filthiest sense, a bully and, in a very real way, a traitor.

And –- Left or Right -- the blogosphere has a looooong memory for such things.

As a conservative GOP bankruptcy lawyer, I oppose the proposed changes. However they are couched, they are based upon reactionary social attitudes we haven't heard since the 1920s: that it's somehow "dishonest" and "immoral" for consumers to file bankruptcy. The idea that our entrepreneurial and credit-happy economic system encourages taking risks and borrowing on credit, and that some risk-takers will fail, or credit card holders overextend themselves, is the foundation of the bankruptcy system. If an honest debtor goes into debt to take an economic risk, whether wisely or foolishly, and fails, he or she can get a bankruptcy discharge, and a fresh start in life. The fresh start is not cost-free: the debtor must surrender all assets (except for homestead and exempt property) to the bankruptcy trustee. Among the mean-spirited aspects of the legislation is its attack on bankruptcy lawyers, with requirements that we certify that our clients are telling the truth on their bankruptcy schedules. Clients already swear that their schedules are true under penalty of perjury; lawyers generally lack the resources to audit their indigent clients' books and records for accuracy. Under the current bankruptcy system, creditors willing to pay for audits can do so. Requiring routine audits, and shifting the costs of those audits to indigent consumer debtors and their lawyers adds an additional and cruel economic cost to bankruptcy filings without any real corresponding benefit, a result clearly contemplated by this legislation. Creating the potential to set lawyer against client is only one reason these proposed amendments are offensive.


Thanks for this effort, tunesmith.
We support it.

Liberal Street Fighter

Our article of 3/9/

Stand UP Damned Democrats, IF you can

We have joined your fight.

We agree this bill is unAmerican and unChristian.

I wholeheartedly support the effort, and will link to this on my site. It's important for us to highlight these points of crossover in the blogosphere, so that everyone knows full well that many are watching what legislators are doing on The Hill, and that we no longer will brook back-alley, clandestine, pay-for-play deals between politicians and big business. It's OUR government.

This is the most hopeful thing I have seen in six years. Democrats are always whining about how toxic the atmosphere has gotten and how we wished we could return to the days when Republicans were just people we disagreed with. It's time to put our money where our mouths are, suck up our pride and extend an olive branch.

The Conservative bloggers are absolutely right on this, and they're patriots enough to try to do something about it. God Bless America.

You can count me in.

I hate this piece of legislative drek.

Thank you for doing this.

just another Cranky Little Blog supports blogs united against unjust usurpation of American citizens' rights to liberty from tyranny of all types (and banks just plain have sucky practices anyway).

The Stinging Nettle is in full support.

Thanks for doing this. I am a Bankruptcy practitioner, usually representing creditors. This law is horrible.

Sorry if I missed it, but is there a link for the list of 10 states you provided?

I found the link here (for the ten states). I didn't read it deeply.

OweBoat is in as well. We have been covering the bill for the last week or so.

Usury is a sin.

I've been railing against this at:
http://www.bloggerradio.com/2005/03/beltway_bizarro.html and I've telephoned, faxed, and E-Mailed not only my reps. in both the Senate and The House, but I have also done the same for Dems who've whored out to the credit card companies, like Biden. There is no hope for girlie-men like Lieberman though. --DA

Count me in.




The theoretical reason that credit card companies charge high interest rates is because they are giving unsecured money to people who are very likely to have problems repaying it. That’s supposed to be the basis for the capitalist system. People take risks and that risk has a price. The more risk you take, the more chance you have of making more money…or losing it all.




This bill changes that equation, and does so in favor of those most able to withstand the failure of one party in the agreement. To me it seems manifestly unfair. It isn’t the government’s job to make sure that those who take risks actually have less risk. It destroys the entire concept of the entrepreneurial system in America.

Sign me up on my little tiny blog as well.

Takes a lot of drops to make a river, eh?

Bankruptcy is not an easy answer for most people who find it necessary. Yes, there are abusers of that process, but they'd be the ones who could shield their assets under this law as well.

There is NO good-NONE-in this proposed law.

Any comments on the idea of framing the bill as "The Indentured Servitude Act" or some such? Is it too complicated for the Survior-mesmerized masses?

This Tennessee Christian Democrat can see the bill for the sham it is.


Indentured Servitude Bill? Kick 'em When They're Down Bill, is more like it. This is the kind of legislation that makes Christians look like hypocrites. Well, the Senate passed it so now the House needs to hear from us all. Call your Representatives ASAP!

lets make a web site its sole perpose is get the guys and girls of the congress who voted for this bill. voted out of office lets cross party lines and make those people pay with their jobs. and watch them to see if they get jobs with the credit card companys after they lose thier jobs .
post every congressman or woman to see when they have to be re-elet for office " we will not forget"

I think it's also worth noting that it was the DEMOCRATS who put forward amendments that would protect soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the elderly, and those whose bankruptcy is related to medical bills. The Republicans killed those bills.

Sorry to add a partisan note into a non-partisan blog but those were damned good ideas. Why can't we get those amendments back on the table, at the very least?

And could someone please explain to me why it's OK for Enron and WorldNet to default on their obligation to their employees, whose retirement funds they jilted by going into bankruptcy? We need to hit these people where it hurts -- in their corporate pockets.

Make corporations follow the exact same rules as everyone else. After all, they are "persons."

Can we have a Traitors list of the senators who voted for the Indentured Servitude Act? Maybe as the next major coalition act we should make calls to the traitors before we start calling people in the House. When is the House vote?

A good place to get the attention of Congress is at Congress.org you can post your "soapbox" for $5.95 I just finished my soapbox entitled "MAJORITY OF CONGRESS MORALLY BANKRUPT"
If you want to talk about bankruptcy let's discuss the moral bankruptcy of our government.
I think we need to remind our governmental
leaders that they work for us not the large corporations. If they don't get it we will vote them out and vote for people who do or maybe just have a recall like they did with Governor Gray of California. We can make this just as dirty as they want.

Bankruptcy Bill: God Is Angry To See "Plunder From The Poor" In Their Houses


This perverse and very unChristian legislation just passed the Senate by a depressing margin and will soon show up in the House of unAmerican activities. So I am going on the record as very much against this bill and all its colossal selfishness and shortsightedness. Join me via the comments - or by visiting some of the other blogs - if you please.

(Then follow quotes from InstaPundit, Isaiah, and Jesus.)

re:
bankrupcty bill

I'm tired of calling and critiques that do no good; protestsschmotests. Suppose, on one certain designated day, say, 10 million new bankruptcy filings (or more!) hit the federal courts all over the country. That takes some sacrifice, some courage, but, you know, fuck em . . .

Just a thought. You bloggers mobilized an awful lot of folks during the campaign. How hard would it be, really? And the power's in hoisting em on their own petard, not "protesting."

Action, bloggineers, action . . .

Thanks

Man, I in no way endorse people engaging in bankruptcies for political purposes. The costs would be passed on to us one way or another. But, it would be dishonest not to acknowledge that this bill would not create short-term *demand* for bankruptcies, due to an impending date at which the new rules would come into effect.

Anyway, protests that involve underminining oneself are never a good idea.

Imagine if you will that while you're reading scripture to your toddler or reading Ayn Rand or otherwise being the fine upstanding citizen with no debts or mortgages that you seem to be, imagine that you feel sudden shooting pains radiating from your heart. You call the ambulance, they take you to the hospital, you're having a heart attack. You're in the hospital for 2 weeks, but your insurance only covers 70 percent of the bill. You have to take a leave of absense from work, and so you're put on disability, which only pays half of your regular salary. During your rehabilitation, your wife is involved in a car accident and totals her car, racks up even more medical fees, and is also out of work.
Do you see where this is heading?
You haven't been irrisponsible. You haven't been buying plasma screens, you're been buying cheerios.
The bill as written is not there to help you, and it for damn sure won't reduce interest rates.

That would be very sad. So the answer to my problem is... I should steal money (that's when you borrow money you're not planning to pay back) to save my life? How is that any different from robbing a bank? Hey, what's the big deal, it's the bank -- they can afford it. They've got insurance anyway, right? I'll use a plastic gun, no chance of anyone getting hurt. The only difference between that and intentional bankruptcy is that to steal from a credit card company you don't need a ski mask.

As I said before, if people need help in cases of hardship, I say great, let's help them out. But bankruptcy court is not the venue in which to do that.

The answer is, you should appeal to charity and pay back what you can. I know, paying what you borrowed -- what a novel concept. There is means-testing in this bill, so if you are truly destitute your debt will be discharged. Otherwise, you should thank God someone loaned you the money to save your life and realize that in gratitude the least you can do is have the decency to pay them back.

You say it "for damn sure won't lower interest rates." I remember hearing the same thing about welfare -- "this for damn sure won't put anyone back to work."

*welfare reform, sorry

Interest rates are set fundamentally by supply and demand in the money markets. For example, when the fed pumps more money into the banking system, supply increases and interest rates drop. When the fed tightens the supply of money, interest rates rise.



Similarly, there is supply and demand along the curve of credit quality, whether you're talking about home mortgages or corporate junk bonds, that affects interest rates.



If bankruptcy is harder, this will encourage lenders to shift the supply of money toward lower-quality debt. Suppose you're a bank -- before you had to worry about Joe Deadbeat never paying you back if he went bankrupt, now you know the feds will help you garnish his wages from now to eternity if he has trouble paying his bills. This means you want to make more money available to the Joe Deadbeats...your risk is lower than it used to be, but you're still able to make a much bigger profit on the outrageous interest rates, late fees, etc.



Money shifting to the lower-credit-quality borrowers may mean that they end up paying lower interest rates, as lenders compete for their business. But that has to come at the expense of other borrowers in the market -- namely, the good-credit-rating borrowers.



So ironically, this bill seems likely to flatten the yield curve across consumer credit quality. Rather than enhancing responsibility, it will mean less reward for financial responsibility and good credit scores.



All kinds of folks who want to blame the debtors and say it's their own fault (which could well be true) may not realize that they, the people who work hard and play by the rules and pay their bills on time, will wind up paying more as a result of this.

Newcomer to the blogosphere Reality.Hole throws what miniscule support it can muster behind opposition to this bill.

If this bill gets all those folks -- from all different sides of the political dodecahedron -- to agree that it's bad, take my word, folks ... it's bad.

- busta_cap, Reality.Hole


-b_c

I'm glad we're finding common ground with the Right. This matters. I hope this sets a precedent. We can agree to disagree on philosophy as long as it's in realm of good responsive government. This bill is a baldy corrupt payback to big-time donors. We may not have $500,000+ to donate like MBNA but SO WHAT? we shouln't have to!
Biden can kiss his hopes in the Dem. primaries GOOD-BYE with this one. Hillary and Kerry were on the correct side of this vote. we won't forget, Joe!

It's great that Politology got the Jarvis mention, now we've just got to jam the phones.

Also, is there a list of all the blogs participating? dKos did this with ThereIsNoCrisis and it was a real hit.

And where are my bigdaddy lefty brethren blogs? MyDD, dKos, Atrios? Get on board, fellas.

You know, with the Corporate Cowboy in charge pf the country this kind of bill is more the norm than the exception. No effort to make the companies more accountable for thier bad business practices, just step on the average guy. It reminds me of baseball owners screaming about the need for a salary cap while overpaying players. You don't get much sympathy when you are your own worst enemy

Here's another centrist Republican happy to throw in his support. My personal harrumphing on the subject is here.

The fear I've had about supporting conservatives is that they'd use that support, garnered for an excellent and "progressive" shift in foreign policy, to promote what amounts to a "Simon Legree" economic agenda that presumes the state ought to be on the side of short-sighted business interests (rather than neutral). My understanding of Public Choice holds that this is just as illegitimate as a needs-based society. I was gratified to hear the support for the "ownership society," but the implications of this bill would amount to a massive "capital grab" reward for what are essentially unsound business practices... at the expense of the middle class and the nation as a whole. Just the opposite of an "ownership society" in other words. It's both unsound, and unpatriotic, to support this bill. Add Demosophia's miniscule voice to the growing chorus of opposition.

It sure didn't take the Republicans long to reinforce their "fat cat" stereotype, did it?

I don't defend people not paying their bills, but all the people I have known who have filed bankruptcy have been forced to do so by a run of bad luck, and medical problems have been the biggest factor. This is a bad bill that will hurt the economy, not help it.

Here's a post on why it will hurt the economy.
Here's a post on predatory credit card lending.

We should do all we can to stop this bill.

Yes ... this bill makes absolutely no distinction between someone in debt over medical bills and someone in debt over pizza.

And actually the thing is so complicated you can't quite figure out WHAT would happen if you actually tried to file.

I hope we can find a way to stop this thing in the House. This is an absolutely horrendous bill.

I've blogged constantly about S.256 over the past week. It's refreshing to see an effort to protest this draconian measure that crosses ideological boundaries.

Link to Noam Scheiber article March 8 in The New Republic online about Congressional Reps in the New Democrat Coalition who wrote an open letter to Hastert asking for quick consideration of the bill. They are listed.

Someone would do a huge favor if they could post the House bill number here; I haven't succeeded in finding it via Thomas. It will go first to at least one subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.

Democrats.com is delighted to join!

We're building an all-purpose site at http://debtslavery.org.

The site links back to the blog here at http://politology.us/

It also has a working Write Your Rep feature.

We can add lots more links - just let me know.

If you want to link to it, use this graphic:

Would someone please rush me a copy of the Senate Bill? I would like to read it before contacting Congressman Smith in the 9th Congressional District. I recall a similar measure that the Republicans attempted a few years ago and I was against it then. I am wondering if this bill is the same type of propaganda?

Aside from being a moral outrage, we at Confined Space (workplace safety & labor issues) wonder what is to become of all of those workers disabled from on-the-job injuries and consigned to a fraction of their former income. Posts about the bankruptcy bill here and here.

Linked to Bankruptcy Bill info blog and coalition.

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