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;

Bernie believes that American workers are way overdue for a raise in the minimum wage. When the Raise the Wage Act was introduced in the Senate in 2019, Bernie stated:

“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.

Posted on 03/10/2020, in politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The Sanders of 2016 was harassed, cheated and misrepresented. He tried to be the nice guy, but he was brutally assaulted by the DNC. I will never vote for Biden. Your examples? Biden won’t change ANY of those! No raise in ANYBODY’S Minimum wage. No freedom from for ANYONE from petty weed crimes. Seriously? I see the much bigger picture where Sanders can really make a difference in making America relevant again. We NEED universal health care coverage. Biden does NOT support that. I shudder to think how many people will not get checked for this virus, or any other, because they cannot afford the office visit and/or the medication. Our economy cannot rebound, nor indeed run, when all the money is tied Up by just a few people. Students should NOT be in debt for decades. Biden is NOT in favor of forgiveness of student loans or having free tuition for those capable of attending college. They cannot raise families or buy homes. People working two jobs can’t even pay rent! This is all well documented. And Biden will support the industries which continue to enslave and cheat the Middle Class. I encourage everyone to say HELL NO TO JOE!

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    • It’s good to see you, Cielo. I hear you regarding what Biden won’t do about minimum wage and expungements, but that’s the point I made, which is, a president can only seek that for federal employees and federal convictions.

      I have an opinion about student loans and free college, but it’s much too long to share in a comment. It is based on historical oppression and why the educational bar was raised in the first place.

      The United States definitely needs free health care, but it’s not the Medicare system. IMHO, the reason why older voters have gravitated towards Biden rather than Sanders is because those of us 65 and over already know the Medicare mess.

      For many of us, this is a one issue race, and that issue is to defeat Trump. Trump already has his “socialism” attacks planned for Sanders, and my concern is that Sanders will come off sounding angry and envious of people with money.

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  2. I wasn’t aware of some of those things with Sanders and didn’t think about the federal laws or bills going on. Besides that, I wasn’t a fan of him saying that black people don’t deserve reparations. I’m not a fan of Biden either with the things he’s passed in his career even though I wasn’t aware about some of those things until about the past year in doing research on him like how he authored the 1994 crime bill for example.

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    • Ospreyshire,
      Sanders is misleading to get hopes up. With Biden, it’s my impression that he learned from Obama and the Biden we’ve have since 2009 is an improved and better man.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Totally agree with you about Sanders. He’s not as progressive as some people make him out to be. I really hope Biden learned his lessons and didn’t use Obama as a race buffer. We’ll see what happens.

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        • Ospreyshire, I really hope that Biden did learn lessons. One reason I am confident that he did is because he agreed to run as Obama’s VP. Then, he never tried to outshine Obama. He showed him respect and friendship. In many cases, a White man would not have taken the job working under the authority of a Black man.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Same here. I do agree that he never tried to outshine Obama despite him having more experience in politics and he was in the background more often than not during that administration. Good point about the race dynamic in working with or for others. I hope that was a good learning experience if that’s the case.

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