The legislation Congress will vote on is more than 500 pages long, all in highly technical language. But the Republican leadership and corporate lobbyists are in such a rush to push it through that the text is full of misspellings and repeated phrases. Representatives might not even be allowed to make amendments. But the overall thrust is pretty clear:
* Make families pay more to creditors, both in bankruptcy and after bankruptcy, so that instead of offering a clean start, a bankruptcy filing will leave families burdened by credit card debt, car loans, and continued payments to banks or to payday lenders.
* Make it more expensive to file for bankruptcy by driving up fees so that the people in the most trouble can't afford to file.
* Make it trickier to get through a bankruptcy so that more people will get pushed out of bankruptcy with no debt relief.
* Make it harder to repay debts by increasing the minimum payments in repayment plans.
* Preserve at all costs the millionaires' loopholes—special privileges that allow the super-rich to escape their debts by hiding their money in special exemptions and trusts.--You realize it's all a big kick in your unwealthy pants. Even legendary Democratic Presidential ticket deadweight John Edwards is against it. And the President's going to sign it because he has no concept of anything outside his narrow interests. It's all depressing.