SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

GIVE NO CREDIT TO CRITICS OF BANKRUPTCY REFORM. In "Credity Worthy," Prof. Todd Zywicki discusses the politics surrounding the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which recently passed the Senate. I blogged about this legislation yesterday.

Countering the false claims of the bill's opponents, Zywicki points to the broad base of support that the bill has received and likewise discusses where the opposition is coming from:

Support for the legislation is broad-based, including almost all Republicans and moderate Democrats. What is narrow is the opposition, which has come largely from two quarters. First, there are economic illiterates who believe that losses caused by bankruptcy fraud and abuse just come out of "banks' profits" and are not passed along to other consumers in the form of higher costs for goods and services. Second, the most well-organized opposition has come from bankruptcy lawyers and those congressmen most beholden to lawyers. Straddling both categories are the most hard-left members of the Democratic party.


Zwicki briefly elaborates this point at Volokh Conspiracy:

To clarify one point in the column--note that every Republican and all of the moderate/conservative Democrats in the Senate supported the legislation (Nelson, Bayh, Biden, etc.). The only opposition was from the most liberal Boxer/Kennedy/Feingold/Kerry wing of the Democratic party...


Sen. Patty Murray is clearly part of THAT wing of the Democratic Party. Sadly, so is Sen. Maria Cantwell--both of whom I intend to discuss in relation to this bill in a future post.

Back to Zywicki. After discussing the lawyer lobby on this issue and the dynamics of special interests in bankruptcy reform, he gets to the heart of the reform:

...Republicans and New Democrats are rebalancing the system by targeting the worst forms of fraud and abuse in the system, while leaving honest bankruptcy filers unaffected. The bill rewards old-fashioned values of thrift and personal responsibility and ends the shameful subsidization of upper-class profligacy by those who are forced to pick up the bill...


Additional responses to the countless left-of-center critics can be found at Just One Minute (hat tip, Zywicki at Volokh Conspiracy), and some good discussion of this bill can also be found at Stromata Blog (hat tip, Ramesh Ponnuru at The Corner).

Bankruptcy reform may not be something to rank high on the list of things people worry about each day, but the left has been particiarly fierce on this issue. A decent respect for clarity and the facts demands that the real story be told and the merits of this important bill be highlighted.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

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