Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

The Bankruptcy Bill, but not really

I am not an economist and I don't understand economics well enough to discuss them beyond the barest fundamentals without sounding like I am well, not an economist. But I have real issues with the bankruptcy bill that just passed in Congress. It is obviously a bad bill; it provides no protection for those who have suffered from a medical tragedy in their families, or for the soldiers in Iraq or in Afghanistan. It also doesn't put limits on the fees charged by credit card companies. Obviously, this is a hand out to the credit card companies at the expense of ordinary, everyday, middle-class to lower income Americans. I have seen this bill derided by netroot Republican and Democrats alike. It is not a bill that represents the interests of the American people. It represents the interests of Big Business; which is the point of this post. Proportional representation.

In Buckley v. Valeo 424 U.S. 1 (1976), the Supreme Court ruled that Monentary Donations to political campaigns equaled speech. All campaign finance reform laws have had to meet the burdens set forth in Buckley since. The problem with the Buckley decision, then and now is that it makes speech proportional. Those with the most money have the most access and the most 'speech'. Laws that serve the interest, of the monied, are more likely to be passed, at the expense of those who do not have the same amount of access or 'speech' i.e. money. In other words, our system of government is becoming, if it has not already become entirely bought by the haves at the expense of the have nots. Money must be removed from the equation for us to have a truly representation form of government. If, the credit card companies were not such big campaign donors, and did not have such a 'big voice' in Washington, the voice of the voters would have been heard last week when this bill came up for a vote. In fact, there is a distinct possibility this bill would have never been written.

It is time for real campaign finance reform. If this horrid bill doesn't illustrate that we are all soon to become serfs again and government is about to become nothing more than a form of corporate feudalism, I don't know what it will take to convince us, how many more bills it will take, how in debt to corporations must we become before we will act to remove them from government.