Saturday, April 16, 2005

New bankruptcy law hits women, low-income hardest

Common Dreams e-newsletter brings a link to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune story about the new bankruptcy law. The story, filed by their Washington Bureau Correspondent Rob Hotakainen, outlines how the law has been toughened and how it will impact consumers appealing for financial reprieve from the courts.

The fact of the matter is, the new rules will disproportionately affect women. We have lower incomes across the board. We have more dependents and lose more financial ground in divorce than do men. We also live longer and, as a result, often have large medical bills at a time in life when income is generally low.

Maria Salas, an Nashville attorney who deals daily with bankruptcy cases, has this to say -

The new bankruptcy law will eliminate the safety net for lower and middle class Americans who are unable to pay their debts due to illness, loss of job, or divorce. The new law does little if anything to address abuse of the system or to deal with the predatory lending practices of creditors. It is another example
of special interest big business winning out over the average American who is living pay check to pay check.

I guess the problem I'm having today is with the Democrats who voted for this bill in light of the Harvard study that concluded that more than half of all bankruptcies are due to large medical bills. Add to that the military families whose reservist breadwinners take major hits to the breadbasket when called to active duty, and I say the 73 Democrats who betrayed us need to be named.

Here they are:

The 73 Democrats Who Sold Out Consumers

Robert Andrews (NJ-1st)Joe Baca (CA-43rd)Brian Baird (WA-3rd)Melissa Bean (IL-8th)Marion Berry (AR-1st)Sanford Bishop (GA-2nd))Dan Boren (OK-2nd)Leonard Boswell (IA-3rd)Rick Boucher (VA-9th)Allen Boyd (FL-2nd)Dennis Cardoza (CA-18th)Ed Case (HI-2nd)Ben Chandler (KY-6th)Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5th)Jim Cooper (TN-5th)Jim Costa (CA-20th)Bud Cramer (AL-5th)Joseph Crowley (NY7th)Henry Cuellar (TX-28th)Artur Davis (AL-7th)Jim Davis (FL-11th)Lincoln Davis (TN-4th)Chet Edwards (TX-17thBob Etheridge (NC-2ndHarold Ford (TN-9thCharlie Gonzalez (TX-20th)Bart Gordon (TN-6th)Al Green (TX-9th)Jane Harman (CA-36th)Stephanie Herseth (SD-At-Large)Brian Higgins (NY-27th)Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15th)Tim Holden (PA-17th)Darlene Hooley (OR-5th)Steny Hoyer (MD-5th)Steve Israel (NY-2nd)William Jefferson (LA-2nd)

Ron Kind (WI-3rd)Rick Larsen (WA-2nd)Jim Matheson (UT-2nd)Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4th)Mike McIntyre (NC-7th)Kendrick Meek (FL-17th)Gregory Meeks (NY-6th)Charlie Melancon (LA-3rd)Bob Menendez (NJ-13th)Mike Michaud (ME-2nd)Alan Mollohan (WV-1st)Dennis Moore (KS-3rd)Jim Moran (VA-8th)John Murtha (PA-12th)Solomon Ortiz (TX-27th)Ed Pastor (AZ-4th)Collin Peterson (MN-7th)Earl Pomeroy (ND-At-Large)David Price (NC-4th)Nick Rahall (WV-3rd)Silvestre Reyes (TX-16th)Mike Ross (AR-4th)Steven Rothman (NJ-9th)Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2nd)John Salazar (CO-3rd)Allyson Schwartz (PA-13th)David Scott (GA-13th)Ike Skelton (MO-4th)John Spratt (SC-5th)Ted Strickland (OH-6th)John Tanner (TN-8th)Ellen Tauscher (CA-10th)Gene Taylor (MS-4th)Mike Thompson (CA-1st)David Wu (OR-1st)Albert Wynn (MD-4th)

Who cares how many Rethuglicans voted for it. I expect that kind of thing from them.