Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 9, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

BANKRUPTCY WEIRDNESS....The more I read about the bankruptcy bill the more perplexed I get. Liberals don't like it. Moderate liberals don't like it (Bill "DLC" Clinton vetoed it the last time it cropped up). Conservatives aren't really very excited about it. And it's sponsored by the credit card industry, which is roughly the 21st century equivalent of being sponsored by the German Bund.

So how is it getting such wide support? Sure, Republicans are rewarding their corporate paymasters as usual, and I know their discipline is pretty tight, but 100% support? And support from a dozen Democratic senators as well? Plus both the Blue Dog Coalition and New Democratic Coalition in the House?

I'm missing something here. Not only is this bill pretty crappy on a policy level, but it doesn't seem like much of a winner on a political level either. Does the credit card industry really contribute such vast sums of money that even many Democrats feel like they have to vote for this thing? What other reason is there?

There's something weird going on here that I don't quite get. Tort reform and Social Security privatization I understand, but not this. What is it that makes bankruptcy reform worth fighting for for eight years? And why would any Democrat vote for it?

POSTSCRIPT: And as long as I'm at it, can anyone point me to the arguments in favor of this bill? Aside from being a straightforward payoff to the credit card industry, it's supposedly designed to curb abuse of the bankruptcy process. But is there any actual evidence of widespread and growing abuse? As near as I can tell, the backers of this bill haven't even bothered to gin up the usual phony studies. Or have I missed them?

Kevin Drum 1:08 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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