Friday, October 10, 2008

Sen. Joe "Credit Card" Biden

And the reason that it's a problem to go shopping state by state, you know what insurance companies will do? They will find a state -- maybe Arizona, maybe another state -- where there are no requirements for you to get cancer screenings, where there are no requirements for you to have to get pre-existing conditions, and they will all set up shop there.

That's how in banking it works. Everybody goes to Delaware, because they've got very -- pretty loose laws when it comes to things like credit cards.

And in that situation, what happens is, is that the protections you have, the consumer protections that you need, you're not going to have available to you.

-Barak Obama, from the second debate with that other one

I don't know if anyone else noticed the reference to Delaware by Sen. Obama, but I have to ask, why did he choose Sen. Credit Card Companies , a man who was directly responsible for those "pretty loose laws", as his running mate?

One clear example is bankruptcy reform, which made it tougher for consumers to rid themselves of debt. Biden supported it. Critics say the stand he took in favor of legislation that made it harder to escape credit card debt typifies his long career of siding with big corporations.

Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1971 and no doubt has spent more than three decades getting financial support from the banking interests that call Delaware their home.

According to the New York Times, Biden was seen as so close to MBNA, the credit card company that was purchased by Bank of America, that he was referred to as the "senator from MBNA." Instead of the standard senate designation (D-Delaware), he was (D-MBNA).

The Times notes that Biden's son Hunter was actually employed by MBNA and that the senator had close ties to MBNA executives: "Employees of MBNA Corporation had heavily contributed to Mr. Biden, pouring more than $214,000 into his campaign coffers going back to 1989, making the company his single biggest supporter, according to the Center for Responsive Politics," according to the Times.

Biden supported passage of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Reduction Act while Obama voted against the measure. The banking industry lobbied heavily for passage. But consumer advocates have criticized the law because it has meant financially distressed consumers must wait longer and go through more steps before they can seek protection from their creditors.

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