Tuesday March 11, 2014
'National Debt' - a Republican Party Con JobTyrone Borelli for Salem-News.com
Misaligned republicans cost all Americans dearly.
(LAGUNA BEACH, CA) - For the life of me I can’t understand why people who are not millionaires vote Republican. At the end of the day if your net assets equal a million bucks or more, then it would make perfect sense to vote Republican. Almost from the get go, the Republican Party has been the party for bankers, industrialists, and fat cats. So it is no surprise that the Republican Party favors capital over wage earners. How many Republicans do you know favor labor unions? No one, right! On the other hand, how many Republicans favor low taxes on unearned income like capital gains and high taxes on income from labor? Right, all of them.
For years I have been writing about the Republican Party con job known as the national debt. Since 1981, Republicans have been responsible for 10 trillion dollars or 63% of the national debt. It was also the Republican Party through it’s control of the Treasury Department that sold more than 90% of the 1.5 trillion dollars in Treasury Bonds to China. After driving this country into a 16 trillion dollar debt and, coupled with their successful campaign to deregulate the economy which, in turn, gave us the Great Recession, the Republicans are now using the so-called debt crisis which they created to beat the hell out of labor unions, wage workers, voting rights, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Over the last 30 years the Republican Party economic policy focused on destroying labor unions, reducing wages, and shipping jobs overseas. Their successful efforts proved to have a profound negative effect on American wage earners. Since 1972 wages in the United States remained flat and at the same time creeping inflation was eating up worker wages. All these Republican Party induced economic currents forced wage earners to borrow against their credit cards trying to keep up with the cost of living. In other words the Republicans have been waging slow motion class warfare with a vengeance for more than 30 years.
Recognizing the growing consumer debt and anticipating the coming Great Recession, the Maryland Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of Maryland National Bank (MBNA) for 8 long years spent more than 100 million dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to get the Republican majority in the House and Senate to enact "The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" (aka BAPCPA). Congressman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis), was one of the bill's key supporters in the House. Sensenbrenner is an heir to the Kimberly-Clark fortune and is the 25th richest member of Congress and a hereditary upper class warrior for the 1%. According to Sensenbrenner, “This bill will help restore responsibility and integrity to the bankruptcy system by cracking down on fraudulent, abusive, and opportunistic bankruptcy claims."
Since the vast majority of bankruptcies were related to medical expenses and job losses, claims by Sensenbrenner and his bankster pals of bankruptcy abuse and fraud were simply horse hockey! But when you're a upper-class Republican carrying water for the banks, facts mean nothing.
In fact, the details of the BAPCPA reveal a bill crafted as a Republican Party ode to MBNA, the largest single contributor to the Republican Party. Far from being either an effort to stem "Bankruptcy Abuse" or an effort at "Consumer Protection", BAPCPA changed the rules and rewrote bankruptcy law allowing MBNA and it's member banks to capture most of the wages from wage earners already suffering from extreme financial hardships.
In particular, BAPCPA chained wage earners and their entire household to MBNA for eight years after which wage earners could liquidate their debts through bankruptcy. BAPCPA also allowed MBNA to go to the head of the line. Credit cards had to be paid first then unpaid child support, alimony, medical bills etc. had to scramble for what ever money was left. Additionally BAPCPA did nothing to curtail the predatory practices of credit card companies, such as exorbitant interest rates, rising fees and hidden fees, and targeting college students and the recently bankrupt for new credit cards.
Republicans hypocritically decry government policy that creates winners and losers. But the Republican BAPCPA specifically targeted middle and working class folks and it was the middle and working classes that came up big losers. Did BAPCPA create winners? The Financial Times noted during the fall of 2008, "the 2005 changes made clear that certain derivatives and financial transactions were exempt from provisions in BAPCPA...” Sheila Bair, the Chair of the FDIC argued that this contributed to the financial crisis of 2008 by removing the incentive that creditors would normally have to keep a borrower out of bankruptcy.
Over the years MBNA and their Republican Party minions took advantage of the plight of wage earners by driving wages down, making credit easy to get, and driving up the national debt forcing the children of over taxed wage workers to pay the national debt down. Then together and in tandem the Republican Party and it's banking pals unfairly moved the goal posts and stuck it to wage earners claiming fraudulently workers demonstrated a failure in "personal responsibility." Personal Responsibility? Ha! More like code for blaming the victims and waging class warfare. By the way, 19 Democrats including Joe Biden voted with the Republicans.
Tyrone and Alice Borelli
_____________________________________Tyrone Borelli, a resident of Laguna Beach for the past 27 years, is a retired high school physics and earth science teacher. He started teaching back in 1973. Tyrone's first high school teaching job was at George Washington High School with the Department of Education in Guam. He later taught math in San Marcos, Texas for several years, and finished his teaching career at Santa Ana Valley High School where he taught GATE and AP Physics and GATE Earth Science for 23 years. You can write to T.C. Borelli at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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