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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 29, 2002

Congress bankrupts the bankruptcy law

If you doubted that a Bush White House would be any different, really, from a Gore White House, have a look at the new bankruptcy legislation emerging from Congress, which President Bush says he'll sign into law.

President Clinton vetoed the same legislation, as would Al Gore if given the chance.

The bill, pushed hard by banks and credit card companies, would make it harder to file for bankruptcy escape from indebtedness.

Congressional Democrats share the blame with Republicans, but should be more embarrassed because they claim to defend ordinary consumers against Big Business. At least Republicans are doing what they said they'd do.

The final bill makes no attempt to restrain banks from so freely handing out credit cards. The banks complain about being unable to collect billions from card-holders, yet they send out literally billions of cards, many entirely unsolicited, each year.

The lawmakers now have made it easier to collect that debt, but refused to rein in the proliferation of credit cards.

It's a shame that Congress, which was forced by the heat of scandal to pass no-nonsense corporate reform legislation, could still look the other way on this pro-bank, anti-consumer bill.