The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill Takes a Knee...
...which, of course, isn't the same as knocking it out. And it's pretty depressing that dismantling pieces of the sweeping bankruptcy bill of four years ago requires such Herculean effort on the part of the same Congress that had voted it in, time that would be better put to use on non-counter legislation.
Yesterday by a 90-5 vote, the US Senate passed a credit card bill that's already being touted as tough on the same predatory lenders that helped craft the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill, as well as the 2000 version that President Bill Clinton had pocket-vetoed. But how tough is it?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), noting the same restrictions on credit unions, had wanted to cap interest rates at 15% but a week ago was shot down faster than John McCain over Hanoi. Therefore, interest rates will not be capped nor will it "prevent lenders from finding new ways to drain customers' bank accounts or keep consumers from spending money they don't have."
Which were really two of the biggest reasons for passing the Senate version of the bill. And it doesn't look as if the House version that may be voted on today, and will surely pass, will contain either of those two features. All it does is force the credit card companies to be more devious and crafty in plundering our bank accounts in the name of keeping credit liquidity flowing.
It's kind of like passing an anti rape law that doesn't exactly ban rape but would impose a slightly more stringent set of conditions for the rapist before the act becomes legal. Like, say, if the victim wore a red dress above the knees showing more than two inches of cleavage and whose blood alcohol count was at a certain level.
Now, when those criteria are satisfied, can you both make the two-backed monster on one leg while humming "Bolero"? Then, by all means, proceed, my lusty young gentleman.
This version of the credit card bill just leaves smaller loopholes for the credit card companies but they're loopholes, nonetheless. And given enough incentive even the most bloated of rats can squeeze their way through the smallest of holes.