Wednesday, March 9, 2005

S 256

There is something fundamentally rotten about a legislature strengthening and protecting corporations from the so-called free market while the rights (and options) of individuals dwindle, dry up, and die on the wayside. Fellow free-thinking Americans: write your senators today! Let them know you strongly oppose the proposed overhaul of the bankruptcy laws [S-256].

Why further exacerbate the poverty-stricken by denying them equal protection under the law? Manipulating bankruptcy laws merely avoids the real issue of economic disparity in the United States.

Minimum wage hasn't been raised in eight years, and the standard of living has, for the most part, stayed the same for the past thirty. Demand fairness for all! Demand the right not to pay your bills! (Okay, I sometimes forget to reign in the sarcasm....) But it is time to keep the pigs off the ladder (an allusion to Orwell's Animal Farm): equal equality for all, not just the rich, and no more corporate welfare without human welfare first. (And this time I'm serious.)


  1. Schumer's amendment to S-256 going down to defeat only reinforces where the lines are drawn and who this war is really being waged against.

    On human welfare...if you haven't already..worth checking out is:
    The Price of Citizenship: Redefining the American Welfare State by Michael B. Katz.

    On a different note--I'm thinking of ways that smart people could take advantage of the new SAT's and make a buck or two. Ideas?

  2. Here's the response I received from one of my senators. I love how their letters never have anything to do with the letters I send them. I guess they don't get paid enough to *communicate* with their constituency; just sending out a form letter will solve all our problems.

    Dear [Skajlab]:

    Thank you for contacting me about the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S. 256). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this issue.

    As you may know, on February 1, 2005, Senator Chuck Grassley introduced S. 256 to amend the federal bankruptcy code and reform many areas of bankruptcy practice—including consumer bankruptcy filings, small business bankruptcy, and family farmer reorganization. S. 256 will establish rules for bankruptcy filings to ensure the system is fair and objective. Specifically, it will institute a needs-based test to help determine whether filers can afford to repay at least some of their debts. Additionally, this legislation will preserve the availability of bankruptcy relief to individuals who—because of divorce, job loss, serious illness, or another life-altering event—have been forced into bankruptcy. The Senate approved S. 256 on March 10, 2005, by an overwhelming margin of 74–25.

    Under the current bankruptcy system, many higher-income filers who can afford to repay at least some of their debts are able to avoid their financial commitments by filings for bankruptcy. Rather than seeking shelter under Chapter 13 bankruptcy—which calls for debtors to repay a portion of their debt—higher–income filers often exploit a different chapter of the code in order to avoid their obligations altogether. I supported S. 256 because I believe that we need to restore a greater sense of personal responsibility to our financial system and to prevent the recent abuses of the bankruptcy law that we have witnessed. Bankruptcy relief should be available to those who are unable to pay—not to those who are simply unwilling to pay. S. 256 is a bi-partisan, commonsense solution that is long overdue. I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will approve this legislation and send it to President Bush for signature.

    I appreciate the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


    United States Senator

    517 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-2934
    Fax: (202) 228-2856