Cruelest Legislation Ever:
Has there ever been legislation as blatantly cruel in its intent as the bankruptcy bill that is on the verge of passing the Senate? Congress may as well pass a law allowing collections agents from Visa to walk into your house and smack you in the head. No, actually, this bill is so vicious in its specifics, it may as well say that goons from the Discover card can come into your home, beat your spouse to death with a lead pipe, cut off your cat's head and fuck its neckhole, and slice open your gut and fill your stomach with starving rats. All while your children are forced to watch.
Here's the short version of the five-hundred page bill, given the oh-so-sweet name "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005," that's a corporate ball-lickin' lawyer's wet dream: if you, as an individual, incur too much debt, whether that's from credit card spending sprees or your husband's brain cancer, filing for bankruptcy will no longer be a kind of protection from homelessness. In fact, the bill specifically applies a "means test" to income without regard to why bankruptcy may be necessary, like the aforementioned brain cancer. So individuals whose income and assets fall above some arbitrary line would have to file under Chapter 13, which allows for creditors to sodomize you and leave you naked in the hole where your house once stood with more debt to be paid. The kinder, gentler Chapter 7 fucks your credit, but gets rid of all the debt, but for most people, that'll be off the table.
The Senate had a chance last week to soften the bill with Democratic amendments that would have capped interest at a slightly less-than loan sharking 30%, would have given an exemption to all military members on the means test (instead passing a more restrictive Republican amendment), would have shielded those who have to file for medical-related reasons, and more. All, all were defeated because they would have, in the end, made this fierce wrecking of the lives of the average citizen less toothsome. Now Ted Kennedy is trying to add a minimum wage-raising amendment that'll fail, as will Rick Santorum's, which has the added bonus of eliminating the 40-hour work week and exempting some "small businesses" from the minimum wage and labor laws.
There is no justification for this bill beyond some vague idea of "abuse" of personal bankruptcy, which occurs in such a low percentage of filers that it'd be like banning cars because some people drive drunk. The bill is worse than the Patriot Act - fuck, it's worse than the Espionage and Sedition Acts because at least one could wrap one's brain around the idea that someone, somewhere was so insane that they believed these were good for national security. With the bankruptcy bill, there's none of that.
And the Republicans (and their enabling Democrats) aren't even trying to justify this. There's no moral, biblical reasoning, like if a gay marriage amendment passed. It's punishment, pure and simple, for daring to not be rich when you incur enough debt to need bankruptcy. It's an ideological throwback to the Reagan era when Reagan's administration embraced the cruel and immoral ideas of George Gilder's Wealth and Poverty, in which the poor are pathetic fuckers with lives of "resignation and rage, escapism and violence, short horizons and promiscuous sexuality." (Kevin Phillips' work bitch slaps Gilder out of relevance, but neocons cling to it, like some Catholics cling to the Latin mass.) This blame-the-victim approach is one of the main thrusts of conservatism, from the prosecution of drug users to their desire to outlaw abortion.
Finally, of course, this is a pay-off to the credit card companies, those motherfuckers, whose executives oughta be treated like Pablo Escobar and hunted down. For what is the credit card but a temptation, a crack-pipe-like delivery device that promises you satisfaction with little risk for those who can handle it. Why not make credit card addiction a forgivable offense like, say, slot machine or oxcontin addiction? MBNA, Capitol One, Citibank, all of those wads of fuck, are depraved assholes who prey on the innocent and desperate. They are filled with criminals who should be the first rich ones to be eaten when the time comes.
The bankruptcy bill is class warfare in its purest form: it states that the poor and middle class are bad and that the rich are good. And maybe it's time to start considering how we respond to such blatant, intentionally barbarous acts by those in power.