|2:16 PM EDT||
Brad Miller, D-NC 13th
Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, this bill is a huge step forward. Working and middle class families should not again have to worry that financial ruin lurks in the fine print of a contract that their bank's lawyer wrote. Families that qualify for prime mortgages that they can pay will not again get trapped instead in predatory subprime mortgages that they cannot pay. They can use a credit card without worrying about getting [Page: H5228]
gouged. They can
have overdraft protection that is the convenience that their banks say it is, that it should be, not a trap to run up indefensible fees.
If this legislation is properly enforced, we can begin to believe again that our government is on the side of honest Americans trying to make an honest living. This bill is about our values. Our economy depends on our acting in our own self-interest and enjoying the rewards of our efforts, but every major religious faith forbids unrestrained greed.
On the stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai there is the commandment, ``Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor's.'' And according to the First Book of Timothy, ``For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.''
When Franklin Roosevelt spoke in his first inaugural address about the practice of unscrupulous moneychangers in the temple, he spoke in language easily recognized by that generation. Roosevelt spoke of restoring ancient truths. ``The measure of the restoration,'' Roosevelt said, ``lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.''
The financial practices that this legislation seeks to reform have made a few Americans very rich, but by taking advantage of working and middle class families who needed to borrow money and honest investors who wanted to lend it, and by diverting too much of our economy from productive, honest work. We need to restore the faith from which we have erred. This bill is a start.