SocraticGadfly: Sen. MBNA Joe Biden gets his Presidential Medal of Freedom

January 12, 2017

Sen. MBNA Joe Biden gets his Presidential Medal of Freedom

Did you tear up when Vice President Joe Biden teared up? I didn't.

Let's not forget that Sen. MBNA has a history of neoliberal screwing of the middle class, as old blog posts of mine and other things will make clear, along with the two-party party line on Israel and more.

The biggest? Voting for the euphemistically named Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005. And that AFTER pushing a similar bill that failed in 2001. Since his boss, the man who put the medal on him, pushed Obamacare in part in answer to medical-driven bankruptcies, I know that JoePa knew well back then that this was a primary cause of bankruptcies.

As Sen MBNA, representing Delaware corporation credit card companies and predatory card offers, he knew that was another big cause of bankruptcy. But yet, per Salon, linked above, he was a "primary cheerleader" for this:
In light of what occurred in its wake, this law is easily one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Bush and Biden legacies. The harm it did to middle-class Americans, especially during the crushing events of the recession four years later, is immeasurable. The bill made it nearly impossible for average families to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, also known as “clean slate” bankruptcies intended to discharge nearly all debts, a matter of a few years before they’d need it the most. The bill instituted an all new means test to determine whether debtors with insurmountable financial hardships earned enough income to pay back all or part of their unsecured debts, specifically credit debt. If they earned too much, a clean slate bankruptcy became impossible, and they’d be forced to file Chapter 13, which would force debtors to pay back their debt over a five-year timeline, thus legalizing neo-indentured-servitude to creditors.
Yep, that's courtesy of Sen. Joe Biden.

He voted for the 1983 Social Security "reform" bill that did NOT index the proportion of income subject to FICA taxes. That, in turn, continues to provide ammo to Pete Peterson, the Koch Brothers, etc., about the alleged pending "bankruptcy" of Social Security.

A decade later, in 1993, he voted in favor of NAFTA. (He hasn't supported every free trade deal since then, but, that opened the gates.)

He did vote against an early version of Gramm-Leach-Bliley in 1999, the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall, but that was largely a procedural vote. He voted for the final version.

Yes, he said he regrets that. But, this video is just a month old, and arguably, is legacy-polishing:

And, even with that, he did not apologize for the bankruptcy bill. Maybe because it was even more egregious, or else it was even more blatantly a reward for home-state businesses. But, he didn't apologize for it; he didn't even remember it as part of a list of bad bills.

It's kind of like the financial crisis, where the banksters wrote up come-up crap for mortgages, and then blamed the people who signed up for them as irresponsible.

Early in his vice presidency, he gaffed about giving Israel a green light to bomb Iran. Imagine Dem reaction if Reagan, let alone Trump, had said similar.

He of course voted for the Iraq War, and before that, in 1998, supported PNAC's push to overthrow Saddam Hussein. As Veep, he essentially persuaded Obama to "split the difference" on troops for a mini-surge in Afghanistan.

So, don't tear up for Biden getting that medal. Tear up about him getting it.

Is Joe Biden a decent person? Overall, that's likely so. And, yes, he was in front of Obama on gay rights issues — not that that was hard to do. Yes, he is a "son of Scranton," albeit one who at some point seems to have lost connection to Scranton's history.

And, no, this is not "too soon" or anything like that. That idea is as absurd as Dear Leader's "look forward, not backward."

Now, if Dear Leader will free Leonard Peltier, we might be cooking. Wake me up if he does. Or Chelsea Manning.

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