EDITORIAL 

Bankrupt Heirs

Nothing could better illustrate the current dereliction of FDR's Democratic Party than the fact that a substantial minority of its members in the U.S. House of Representatives -- and, shamefully, all five Democrats from Tennessee -- voted to enact the infamous bankruptcy "reform" measure that passed last week by a 302-126 margin.

As various judges and experts in bankruptcy law had warned in testimony before Congress, the new law will impose hardships on families afflicted by catastrophic financial crisis resulting from illness, layoffs, and other unexpected loss of income. These are, in fact, the chief reasons for most personal-bankruptcy filings, and the new law strips away the meager protections that had previously offered middle- and low-income Americans some shelter. State senator Rosalind Kurita of Clarksville -- who seeks the same U.S. Senate seat coveted by 9th District congressman Harold Ford Jr., one of the aye voters -- denounced the bankruptcy measure as "an early Christmas gift to big credit card companies and a lump of coal to a number of Americans who are working hard and struggle to get by."

That is well said. The Squire of Hyde Park would have been proud. •

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