Joe Biden calls himself “Middle Class Joe,” but his 36-year Senate record of helping wealthy people while at the same time screwing over middle class debtors will probably spur many of his political opponents to give the prospective 2020 presidential candidate a new nickname.
“Credit Card Company Joe” and “Big Banks Joe” may or may not be catchy enough to change voters’ perceptions, but they’re more accurate than the nickname he keeps using to describe himself.
“I know I’m always referred to as Middle-Class Joe,” Biden told the Huffington Post, but in actuality a quick internet search of news archives reveals few instances of anyone other than Biden using that nickname to refer to him.
Biden’s attempt to brand himself as “one of us” or a man of the people is no accident. All of the allegations that have emerged this week of Biden’s inappropriately touching, kissing and hair sniffing of women and young girls has turned a lot of voters off. Biden has such a reputation for his “over-familiar style” that some people were calling him Creepy Veep as far back as 2015.
But the most important reason that Biden wants to keep calling himself Middle Class Joe is that it creates an image that hides the truth — Biden often utilized his power as a senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009 to help banks and other financial institutions make more money at the expense of tens of millions of ordinary Americans, many of whom were precisely the middle-class residents he keeps saying he has helped throughout his career.
Biden, 76, claims that helping middle-class people will be the focus of his presidency, but his record suggests otherwise, according to numerous conservative, liberal, and mainstream media outlets.
“Expecting penitence now from Biden is, of course, wishful thinking, considering his loyalty to (his) home state of Delaware, which is the primary reason Biden supported every effort to screw middle class debtors,” argued Bob Cesca in an article for Salon magazine in a 2015 column as Biden considered running for president in 2016.
Bank of America Joe
Can you tell who a politician really is by finding out who his most avid supporters are?
If you can, Biden is much closer to being “Bank of America Joe” than “Middle Class Joe” because his No. 1 source of campaign donations while he was a senator was MBNA Corporation, a large financial services company that was bought by Bank of America in 2006. The Wilmington, Del.-based company’s employees donated more than $214,000 to Biden’s campaign coffers from 1989 to 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
MBNA supported Biden because he supported the company’s efforts to change the USA’s bankruptcy laws in favor of the credit card industry, an effort that paid off in 2005 when the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act became law. The law made declaring bankruptcy more difficult and requires people with very modest incomes to pay off much of their credit card debt.
Biden also helped kill an amendment to the bill that would have ended the practice of credit card companies judge shopping for more favorable bankruptcy court judges. He also helped defeat amendments that made lenders more responsible for bankruptcies and would have given consumers more information on how much paying just the minimum due on their credit card bills each month would hurt them financially.
MBNA’s efforts to lobby Biden began long before 2005. Do you want to guess what else the company did to woo him besides being his No. 1 campaign donor? When you read the answer to this question, you might conclude that Biden is closer to “Corrupt Joe” than “Middle Class Joe.”
“During the years that Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. was helping the credit card industry win passage of a law making it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection, his son had a consulting agreement that lasted five years with one of the largest companies pushing for the changes,” reported The New York Times.
Hunter Biden worked for MBNA twice from 1996 to 2005, earning more than $100,000 per year as a consultant in his second stint with the company while he was also earning money as an attorney and a lobbyist. In addition, the senior Biden sold his house in Delaware to MBNA executive John Cochran for $1.2 million in the mid-1990s.
Wall Street’s Friend
MBNA’s “investments” paid off as “Middle Class Joe” supported pro-credit card company bankruptcy bills in 1998, 2000, and 2001 before the bill became law in 2005.
“I’ve never seen a bill that was so one-sided,” Consumer Federation of America chairperson Howard Metzenbaum, a U.S. senator for 20 years, said when the bill passed.
The New York Times reported several years ago that some of Biden’s critics gave him the nickname “Senator from MBNA,” but “Bank of America Joe” would be more apropos today because MBNA is gone.
Bank of America Joe has supported other laws that contradict his Middle Class Joe image and moniker. The HuffPost reported that Biden has supported laws that:
* Gave the soft drink industry an exemption from antitrust laws.
* Limited the right of consumers to sue, giving only wholesalers the right to sue manufacturers for antitrust violations.
* Allowed banks to expand across state lines.
* Allowed commercial banks to engage in risky securities trades by repealing the decades-old Glass Steagall Act.
* Allowed more credit default swaps, which became “financial weapons of mass destruction” during The Great Recession in 2008.
Middle-class Democrats who trust Biden to fight for them will probably be very disappointed if and when a President Biden makes decisions about their economic interests.