Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Republicans and Middle America

When the Republicans solidified their majority in Congress last November, Democrats could often be heard muttering under their breath, "Good, now they'll have no opposition 'cover' to hide behind. Let them get blamed for their own mess." Now they can be heard gasping, "Aye, what a mess!" The party that supposedly reflects the "values" of mid-America sure knows how to sell them out. Two recent bills winding their way through Congress reflect this disconnect with the average worker. The first, a bankruptcy bill scheduled for a vote today will make it harder for individuals to file chapter 7 (a clean sweep), forcing them to file chapter 13 (with a stricter repayment schedule). Conservatives cite borrowers with no intent to repay their debt as the impetous behind this bill. Which sounds great, except that the facts say otherwise. Most bankruptcies are the result of medical emergencies or people losing their jobs - but the credit card companies want their money back so conservatives play along. Let's see, the party that labels liberals as elitists is selling out middle America to the credit card companies. Details here. (updated link)

Two bills dealing with raising the minimum wage were just defeated yesterday. The Republican version would have raised it to $6.25 while the Dems wanted it increased to $7.25. Read up on it for more details. Apparently, a Congress that raises its own salaries every year can't be counted on to do the same for the average worker in the service industry. That means that Joe Average is making less and less money (adjusted for inflation) and any late fee to his credit card company means his interest rate can jump to 36%. Now that's compassionate conservatism!

Quite a mess indeed!

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