Bernie Sander’s Promises of Minimum Wage and Expungement of Marijuana Convictions Are Misleading
Included in his misleading is demonizing billionaires and criticizing Joe Biden for voting for the 2005 bankruptcy bill.
In the 2016 primary, I voted for Bernie Sanders. This time around I hear a Bernie Sanders who sounds envious, angry, and who is misleading.
This is America where citizens have the right to follow their American dream. If that means becoming a billionaire, then it should not be demonized. Yes, billionaires should pay their fair share of taxes, but complaining about billionaires and corporate America buying Congress is not the real problem. The real problem are those in Congress who allow themselves to be bought.
Bernie Sanders’ Criticism of BAPCPA
Bernie Sanders complains about the bankruptcy bill that Joe Biden voted for. The Bill passed in 2005. Sanders’ complaint is that it makes it more difficult for people to discharge debts, and he blames creditors for wanting the 2005 Bill. Sanders omits how that law provides protection for consumers who use attorneys to file for bankruptcy.
Creditors had a right to complain about bankruptcy law leading to the 2005 Bill. What Congress gave to creditors and debtors is requirements that lawyers who file bankruptcy petitions for clients must personally vouch for the accuracy of all the information their clients provide. That was the root problem, and it harmed creditors and debtors.
A reason given in the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Report 109-031 for the need for The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, (BAPCPA) was;
“A civil enforcement initiative undertaken in 2002 by the United States Trustee Program (a component of the Justice Department charged with administrative oversight of bankruptcy cases) has consistently identified such problems as debtor misconduct and abuse, misconduct by attorneys and other professionals, … “
There had been a pattern in Chapter 7 cases nationwide where debtors informed their lawyers about assets that were sold, transferred or quit claimed and were told it was okay – they no longer owned the property. Debtors were not told that under bankruptcy law, they could not liquidate or transfer assets within a certain number of years before filing for Chapter 7.
When Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees came after debtors by filing adversary cases alleging fraudulent conveyance of property, those lawyers who prepared and filed the bankruptcy petitions withdrew their representation. Not only were debtors left standing in the cold in court, the majority of the trustees were attorneys and they received court approval to represent themselves as their attorney. Debtors, if they could obtain another attorney, could not have the trustee sworn-in under oath, questioned and cross-examined because in court, the trustee was no longer the trustee but the trustee’s attorney.
Bankruptcy trustees often made deals that required the new owners of property or debtors to pay them a certain amount of money to make the adversary case go away. By the time the trustees closed the case, they consumed the majority of the assets for their own fee and attorney fees, which were paid to themselves. In the majority of those cases, creditors received zilch.
The Bankruptcy Bill that Sanders criticizes requires attorneys representing debtors to verify the information they put in petitions for bankruptcy. If a case that they file has inaccuracies or false information resulting in converting or dismissing the case, the attorney may be liable for court costs and civil penalties. That is a consumer protection that debtors did not have under the previous bankruptcy law.
Bernie Sanders And A $15.00 Minimum Wage
In Sanders’ campaign speeches when he speaks about raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, and expunging convictions for marijuana possession, he does not say how he will get around the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reserves the rights of the states. The states have rights to legislate their own laws regarding minimum wage, and all besides 5 states have.
On his website, it says;
“Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was ‘radical.’ But a grassroots movement of millions of workers throughout this country refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. It is not a radical idea to say a job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it. The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage. It must be increased to a living wage of $15 an hour.”
Notice that he mentions “federal minimum wage”, but that is not what Sanders says when campaigning. By omitting that his $15 an hour minimum wage can only apply to federal workers, many hearing him tend to believe that it applies to their salaries regardless of their employer.
Sanders has yet to explain how he will get around the 10th Amendment and force the states to establish minimum wage, much less the amount.
Bernie Sanders And Expungement of Marijuana Convictions
Sanders’ other promise is;
“Under this plan, not only will Bernie take executive action to legalize marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substance Act, he will expunge past convictions of marijuana related offenses, and ensure that victims of the War on Drugs are not passed over by the burgeoning marijuana industry.”
“In a Sanders administration we will review all marijuana convictions – both federal and state – for expungement and re-sentencing. All past convictions will be expunged.”
Sanders’ review will be of federal and state marijuana convictions, but he has not explained how he will get around the 10th Amendment and require all states to expunge marijuana convictions.
Last week, I early voted, and because of the aforementioned I no longer trust Bernie Sanders and voted for Joe Biden.