All I can tell my fellow Dems is: if you want a true democracy in the United States, vote for Bernie Sanders because the competition ain’t looking so good. I’m sorry to report some disturbing facts I’ve learned about our Vice President, Joe Biden, who seems not to be the egalitarian playing-field leveler that his media image portrays him to be.
Along with Bill Clinton, Biden helped drastically increase the United States prison population. According to the ACLU 1 in 99 US adults are living in prison and, “One in 31 adults are under some form of correctional control, counting prison, jail, parole and probation populations.”
It should be pointed out that while being far to the left politically might seem incompatible with investing in prisons (or managing a hedge fund in the first place), the Democratic party is totally fine with the incarceration rate. Although Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan are largely responsible for the drug-war policies that caused the prison population to skyrocket, Bill Clinton was a “tough on crime” president who continued their ideas. And Vice President Joe Biden was a principal player in the Clinton era’s crime policies—he wrote the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
The Act allocated $9.7 billion to build new prisons, strong-armed states into making parole tougher and as Mother Jones writes, it:
…expanded the number of crimes that qualify as death penalty cases, encouraged states to keep inmates locked in jail*, criminalized gang membership, eliminated Pell Grants for inmates, and put in place mandatory drug testing for people on supervised release.
Stiffer penalties are part of the mechanism used as an easy excuse to lock more people up.
Biden also substantively helped the finance industry by crafting tighter laws to prevent US students from declaring bankruptcy in order to bust free of crippling college debt. The International Business Times tells us:
Then came the 1990 Crime Control Act, whose chief sponsor was Biden. Though the bill was primarily focused on toughening criminal sentences, Biden’s legislation also included provisions that further lengthened the amount of time debtors would have to wait before they got access to traditional bankruptcy protections for their federal and nonprofit student loans.
In 1997, a federal panel appointed by President Clinton recommended that Congress reverse all the changes, and once again make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy court like other forms of consumer debt. But lawmakers went in the other direction, making it even harder for student debtors to get bankruptcy protections. With Biden’s support, Congress in 1998 passed a law limiting bankruptcy protections for educational loans to students who could prove their loans were an “undue hardship.”