Tuesday, March 15, 2005

ROBERT SCHEER blasts the bankruptcy bill and the credit card companies behind it, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece today. He says the only difference between loan sharks and credit card companies is that the latter use the federal government to play the role that hired thugs play for loan sharks.

Among many other trenchant points, Scheer points out the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy (pun fully intended) of members of Congress like Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who "...actively opposes abortion and same-sex marriage on biblical grounds yet believes the Good Book's clear definition and condemnation of usury is irrelevant."

The Old Testament, revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, mandates debt forgiveness after seven years, as was pointed out earlier this month by an organization of Christian lawyers in a letter to Grassley.

"I can't listen to Christian lawyers," said the senator, "because I would be imposing the Bible on a diverse population."
Apparently, for "Christians" like Grassley, the almighty dollar also trumps family values, which in other contexts Republicans of Grassley's ilk are so fond of lauding.

The bill he wrote placed mothers and their children behind credit card companies in the line for a bankrupt ex-husband's paycheck, for example, which is positively Dickensian. Expected to sail through the House and onto the president's desk in the next few weeks, the bill turns the federal government into a guardian angel of an industry gone mad, placing no significant restriction on soaring interest rates and proliferating fees.
One wonders how this guy sleeps at night, but I suppose as long as the money spigot stays on, that's not a problem for him.

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