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From Steny Hoyer, the new House Majority Leader and major proponent of the Bankrupcy Bill:

TPM Reader KS:  Mr. Hoyer, please explain how the passage of the bankruptcy bill last year will actually benefit anyone OTHER THAN the credit card companies and the big banks in light of the rising expense, employment instability, and healthcare uncertainty of living in the United States, especially given that more than half of all bankruptcies filed by individuals in the past were in response to a single catastrophic event, such as losing a job or experiencing a health-related crisis.

HOYER:  I voted for it because I believe in personal responsibility. For people who incur debt but can't pay through no fault of their own because of a catastrophic event, obviously there needs to be protections.

Since there are no "protections" in the Bankruptcy Bill for people who develop cancer or other serious illnesses (or for those who must leave higher paying jobs when they are called into National Guard service), I guess these are not considered "catastophic events" and people who recklessly court them are, therefore, at "fault."  Good to know.

GS:  But who does the bill help other than insurance companies and big banks?

HOYER:  The incursion of substantial debt and bankruptcy not through catastrophic events I think hurts consumers in that it makes debt more expensive. [The companies] simply charge higher rates to cover their losses. We can bring prices down for consumers by insuring that those who incur debt pay that debt.

Mr. Majority Leader, as a cancer survivor myself (two times) I want to thank you and the "fiscally responsible" Blue Dogs so much for showing me the error of my feckless, immoral and financially flighty ways and I hope that along with my fellow medical goldbrickers (who comprise roughly 50% of all those who file for bankruptcy) we can show how much we appreciate the opportunity to work like indentured servants for the rest of our lives to pay off not only our medical bills but the non-negotiable credit card interest rates that pile up as a result of our shiftless refusal to work during surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and the other forms of frivolous time-wasting we indulge in when we could be contributing to society in the productive ways  you envision for us. As a member of Congress I realize that all your medical bills are paid for and this is not a worry for you, but that probably just means that you are more responsible than us and had the good foresight to get yourself a job where you could cast a vote to have us taxpayes pick up your bills on your behalf.  If only we had been so "responsible."

Anyway, thanks again Mr. Majority Leader.  I just want you to know how happy I am that the Republicans are no longer going to be in charge of Congress, and I look forward to the "choices" that Newt you will offer me to take personal responsibility in my own life. I'm sure I will be a better, stronger, more productive person for it.