Monday, March 07, 2005

The New Swindle

Inspired by a post at DailyKos by Armando

I thought it was pretty well established that the New Deal’s legacy of ensuring that those who have least among us will be protected by the government. What’s more is that the safety nets put into place by FDR’s overhauls made sure that should we befall some bad luck, we would not be left to fend on our own. Apparently, most Americans agree with this understanding as FDR is recognized as one of the greatest presidents of all time.

It is increasingly apparent that Republicans on the Hill will stop at nothing short of erasing FDR from history. There was a minor outcry last year when a Representative proposed replacing FDR’s appearance on the dime with Ronald Reagan. This was just the first step in removing FDR from our history.

Everyone should be familiar by now with the Administration’s goal of partial privatization of Social Security. While they would have us believe that the goal of the proposal is strengthening Social Security there are many contradictions that belie their true goals – the destruction of Social Security. The government is using a technique they perfected in the lead-up to Iraq – create a sense of crisis and stampede all objections. If the War in Iraq is any model for what will happen with privatization, we can expect millions of bankrupt senior citizens – with the Bushies claiming that the program is working.

This week the Senate will pass a bill, which overhauls bankruptcy laws. While I’m not an expert on this issue, there are some major aspects that everyone should be aware of. First off, this is a step that will make personal bankruptcy much more difficult to declare. As things currently stand, a bankrupted individual can protect certain vital assets. This law will severely limit one’s ability to do this. While there may be need to have a reexamination of bankruptcy laws (from personal experience: my dad recently had a contract broken by someone who only wanted to get out of said obligations – so he filed for bankruptcy), the amendments that have been refused to be considered give us a true indication of the purpose of this bill. Among Democratic amendments that have been defeated are proposals to defend people who declare bankruptcy due to medical calamities. This is a continued erosion of the social safety net.

Another new proposal arose this week, with the great Senator from Pennsylvania (that’s sarcasm talking about Santorum) suggesting that we raise the minimum wage $1.10. That’s great right? Well, he also included in his proposal that companies be exempted from minimum wage requirements if they make under $1 million a year, up from the current standard of $500,000. This bill would also include provisions that would deregulate companies under $7 million a year - exempting them from all sorts of security, health and labor laws.

Can even the Republicans lie their way out of what their goals are here? Can the Democrats call them on it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

your were ahead of James Roosevelt Jr.!!

9:17 AM  

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