My turn: The bank(ruptcy) of America

Posted: Friday, April 08, 2005

Not only is the current administration out to bankrupt the United States through tax and corporate giveaways or discretionary military spending intending to create a legitimate economic environment for Halliburton, Bechtel, and others out to rape Iraq, but they're now pushing hard to create an oligarchy's utopia of indentured servitude right here by killing Social Security and rewriting the bankruptcy laws.

First off is their unmitigated attack on Social Security. Corporately connected big-wigs like Vice President Dick Cheney or advisor Karl Rove are hoping to get their sticky fingers into, likely, the largest pool of funds ever amassed. The administration wants to put a major source of funding for most Americans age 65 or older in the hands of people like Ken Lay and his cronies at Enron or the robber-barons of Tyco or Worldcom.

Social Security in the year 2000 provided over 50 percent of the all income for 64 percent of total beneficiaries age 65 and older. With a median income (half more, half less) for these people at $31,188 for married couples and $12,715 for singles, that's certainly nothing to be gambling in the stock market.

According to Social Security Administration records, the poverty rate for persons over 65 was 8.5 percent in 2000, but without Social Security it would have been 48.1 percent. The rate for men was 5.9 percent and would have been 42.3 percent. For women, their 10.5 percent would have been 52.5 percent. For whites, it was 7.4 percent but without would have been 47.2 percent. For blacks it was 21 percent and would have been 59.6 percent. For Hispanics, 15 percent with the SSA's help but 55.3 percent had Social Security not been a source of their income. The poverty level back in 2000 was $10,419 for couples and $8,259 for singles.

Second, this administration is pauperizing the middle and lower classes by making it tougher, not only for the spendthrifts who max out their credit cards (as seen by the tunnel-vision majority as the single reason for claimants of bankruptcy), but the real majority of claimants like single mothers, the elderly and working families who suffer financial disaster from uninsured major medical expenses.

What's worse, their bankruptcy plan allows real millionaires to move their money to the five states that sanction sheltered assets from creditors after claimants file Chapter 11 when money is placed in special trusts. This "millionaire's loophole" fits right in with the real Bush agenda of indenturing the majority to a minority who live in a banking surreality.

It's a little ironic that the Bank of America, a major force in the financial industry that spearheaded lower lending laws for home building in the 1930s and 1940s, created a stronger middle class, but will now become another culprit in its destruction!

The current administration's policy's to wipe out the middle class is seeding a majority in the misery of indentured servitude.

• Juneau resident John S. Sonin is a 44-year-old custodian.

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