Paul Wellstone on Budget & Economy

Bankruptcy is safety net; reform only helps big banks

The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to overhaul the nation’s bankruptcy laws and make it harder for people to erase their debts. The bill’s critics say that credit- card companies and other lenders are themselves largely to blame for the explosion in bankruptcy-specifically, that their mass solicitations for high-interest credit cards and other loans have encouraged irresponsible spending that has landed borrowers in bankruptcy court.

Opponents said the bill would provide billions of dollars to credit-card companies and other lenders over the next decade at the expense of vulnerable debtors, many of them forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills, job loss or divorce. Senator Paul Wellstone, who was the most vocal opponent of the bill, said the bankruptcy system was meant to be a safety net for honest debtors. “It’s being shredded by this piece of legislation,” Wellstone said. “This bill is a wish list for the credit-card industry and a nightmare for vulnerable families.”

Source: Philip Shenon, NY Times Mar 16, 2001

No BBA: Save by eliminating tax breaks and cutting defense.

Paul Wellstone believes we can and must balance the budget fairly and responsibly. Rather than balance the budget on the backs of seniors, families and children by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protections and educational opportunities for children, he has proposed saving tens of billions of dollar by eliminating tax breaks for wealthy special interests and cutting unnecessary defense programs and other wasteful spending.
Source: www.wellstone.org/paul.html 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Advocate for small and emerging businesses.

As a member of the Small Business Committee, Sen. Wellstone helped craft a bipartisan bill which helped Minnesota’s district office of the Small Business Administration to approve more loans to small businesses in 1995 than any other office in the nation. He successfully amended the Small Business Administration reauthorization bill to expedite loan processing for rural small businesses and protected small and emerging technology firms from being harmed by proposed burdensome regulatory changes.
Source: www.wellstone.org/paul.html 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Support fair prices for farmers.

Sen. Wellstone has advocated for reforms in agriculture that help provide fair prices and income for American farmers. He also introduced legislation targeting federal support to small and midsized farms first. And he has successfully expanded the role of value-added products such as ethanol and vegetable inks. His bill, the Vegetable Ink Printing Act, requires the government to increase its use of vegetable-based inks in nearly all its printing operations.
Source: www.wellstone.org/paul.html 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Education and jobs reduces poverty.

“If you want to reduce poverty, stop scapegoating people. Start focusing on a good education and a good job.”
Source: www.wellstone2000.com/wellbio.html 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted NO on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted NO on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

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