Patterico's Pontifications

4/27/2022

Dem President Coming Close to Implementing Policy to Benefit Mostly Upper-Middle-Class, Mostly White, Mostly Urban Voters

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:29 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Because Joe Biden seems to have determined to be President of woke Twitter rather than President of the United States of America, he appears to be inching closer to planting — via an Executive Order of dubious merit — a big fat wet kiss on the mouths of what seems to be left of his ever-dwindling base of support. Michael Brenden Dougherty at NRO has the details:

The plan being mulled by the Biden administration to cancel and forgive up to $1.6 trillion of federal student-loan debt is a brazen act of class warfare by the affluent against everyone else. It is a politically, and cosmically, unjustifiable robbery that offers yet more rope for the decadent and totally indefensible American college system to become even more decadent and indefensible.

The overwhelming majority of student debt is held by the affluent; less than 10 percent of it is held by the bottom third of earners. Nearly 40 percent of it is held by students who earned advanced degrees — many of them now doctors and lawyers. Unemployment for the college-educated is less than 2 percent.

Sounds like a great group of people upon whom to bestow the equivalent of 27.5% of the 2023 Federal Budget, doesn’t it? What is it that Democrats always yammer on about in terms of which party panders to the wealthy? Mr. Dougherty puts his finger on what is wrong with this incredibly annoying scheme:

At every level, the American college system is deranged by the government guarantees and preferment extended to student debt. At the lowest end, schools take advantage of government-guaranteed student loans to prey on service-sector workers. They market a college education as a path of upward mobility, while knowing that most of their students never graduate, or simply return to the service industry after graduation. All that these colleges do is load five-figure-earning students with debt, which is transformed into six-figure salaries for third-rate professors and administrators.

In the great middle tier, the oceans of student debt have inspired colleges to become luxury resorts for the youth. They build endless recreational and athletic facilities, they install baroque food courts in an appalling race to offer something first-rate. These schools are increasingly trying to insert themselves as gatekeepers into fields such as turf management and catering, which never required college education before.

Granted, there are reports that President Biden is only considering cancelling $10,000 of debt for each student. Given that there are apparently 45.4 million Americans who collectively hold $1.75 trillion in student debt, if we assume that some of them will have less than $10,000 in debt and thus not account for the full sum we’re still looking at perhaps $350-400 billion in debt forgiveness. Chuck Schumer is said to be angling for up to $50,000 in debt forgiveness per borrower which would bring us much closer to the full sum, though that might just be a huge pander to the indebted college graduate left secure in the knowledge that it will never happen. But that doesn’t mean that the Elizabeth Warrens and Alexandria Ocasio Cortezes of the party don’t fundamentally believe that the entire sum should be wiped out.

All with the stroke of a pen, bypassing Congressional authorization if necessary.

Enough of that nonsense, declares Charles C. W. Cooke, if the President unilaterally imposes this plan the GOP needs to hang it like a millstone around his neck:

If President Joe Biden follows through on his threat to unilaterally “cancel” all, or any, of the $1.7 trillion in federally held student-loan debt, the Republican Party must respond to the move by taking an industrial-grade flamethrower to the status quo until it is reduced to ashes. What Biden is considering would be an act of political, economic, and constitutional warfare, and Republicans at both the federal and state levels would be obliged to immediately treat it as such by salting the earth as soon as they possibly can.

Second, a GOP-led Washington, D.C., would have to get the Treasury to recoup the “forgiven” loans so that non-graduates — a majority of Americans — didn’t end up paying for the commercial products that graduates freely chose to buy. There are many potential sources for that money, including the beneficiaries themselves. Tax them. Tax the universities they went to; tax the enormous endowments those universities enjoy; tax as income any gifts those universities are given, however small; and, where possible, remove the nonprofit status of donations so that those who give gain no fiscal advantage. When all that is done, sue the worst offenders for fraud. [. . .]

Third, the federal GOP would have to tie up the move in litigation in every way possible. Neither the American constitutional system nor any of the statutes that Congress has placed on the books give the executive branch the power to single-handedly spend $1.5 trillion of taxpayers’ money in this way. The Department of Education has already confirmed that the president “does not have statutory authority to provide blanket or mass cancellation, compromise, discharge, or forgiveness of student loan principal balances, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof,” and nothing has changed since that declaration. [. . .]

Just so, and the threat of litigation (culminating in what I expect would be a likely defeat in court for the Administration) ought to have made Team Biden far more circumspect about these sort of grandiose promises. Do Democrats think it’s a winning electoral strategy to promise young, white, urban, graduate-degree holders a very tangible benefit that notably is not given to their blue-collar colleagues who may have incurred a great deal of debt in starting up a business or in apprenticing at a trade? And whose bright idea in the Administration was it to put Democrats in a position where the President makes a promise which is sure to enrage his political opponents while pissing off a good chunk of the voters he desperately needs to hold on to this fall? His Executive Order, should it come, almost certainly will either be rightfully blocked by the courts on Constitutional grounds or else will be blocked by Congress when skittish Democrat incumbents start to worry about defending this move on the campaign trail. The degree to which the party brain trust is allowing Biden — a man whose intellectual capacities are so clearly diminishing day by day — to hang himself out to dry on this issue is just absolutely puzzling.

Beyond a couple of socialist students writing at The Nation, it’s hard to find too many media commentators willing to go out on a limb and declare that this is good policy. The aforementioned lefty college scribes overlook the obviousness of wealthier whites being the prime beneficiaries and focus instead upon the handful of “Black [sic] and brown” folks who would be helped by debt forgiveness, then raise the childishly Sandersesque notion that the plan will unlock great economic activity by leaving the beneficiaries with more money to spend on Michael Moore movies, Noam Chomsky books, and Pete Seeger records. And, as evidenced by the comments on the piece, at least one reader of The Nation isn’t too sure this is such a snappy idea, though he is immediately brow-beaten by two bullying leftists for his apostasy.

No matter which way this plays out, expect the Democrats to handle this about as badly as they possibly can, and expect a sizable chunk of the GOP to bungle the opposition messaging by bringing in spurious arguments. But I don’t see much chance of this ending up as a net positive for the Democrat efforts this fall, even if the Biden Administration decides this is the right hill upon which to die. (Hmmm, probably not a great metaphor given the President’s advancing age and obvious infirmities.)

– JVW

93 Responses to “Dem President Coming Close to Implementing Policy to Benefit Mostly Upper-Middle-Class, Mostly White, Mostly Urban Voters”

  1. I know that I continue to sound like a broken record, but Chuck Schumer — arguably the one person on Capitol Hill who could most easily influence the President with sound advice — is the single worst Senate Majority Leader of my lifetime. At least the late, lamentable Hairy Reed leavened his obnoxiousness with a modicum of sinister competency.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. The argument that it benefits the wealthy is that some debt iis undertaken for degrees (usually after 4 years) that lead to high levels of income.

    There are people who tried at college and failed. Senator Elizabeth Warren on this weeks;s Sunday intervie shows gave 4 reasons but not that someone wasn’t ready for the courses.

    The whole system needs to be changed.

    Ideas for reform (this can’t be done exactly)

    * Colleges and universities should not charge for the first two years especially if no credits are awarded.

    * Grading must separated from teaching.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  3. Before he became Senate Majority Leader Senator CVharles Schumer was responsible for legislation prohibiting people under 21 without independent income from getting credit cards. But they can take on as much student debt as they like (which by the way has a kickback feature in that money can be taken out in cash and spent for any purpose including living expenses)

    And he made it not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

    As college tuition rose, grants got replaced with loans.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  4. The argument that it benefits the wealthy is that some debt iis undertaken for degrees (usually after 4 years) that lead to high levels of income.

    It used to be claimed that the lifetime mean income of a college graduate was $1 million higher than that of a non-college graduate. Now of course that fact is meaningless unless you factor out all of the doctors, lawyers, engineers and other well-paying fields and instead compare the median income of each group, but it gives you a ballpark figure of what a college education is supposed to unlock.

    Before he became Senate Majority Leader Senator CVharles Schumer was responsible for legislation prohibiting people under 21 without independent income from getting credit cards. But they can take on as much student debt as they like

    Elon Musk is fond of pointing out that the average 18-year old can pretty easily borrow $100,000 to go to college but would almost certainly be denied a $10,000 loan to start her own business.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  5. I actually don’t disagree with a lot of this. One quibble:

    > All that these colleges do is load five-figure-earning students with debt, which is transformed into six-figure salaries for third-rate professors and administrators.

    Leave the professors out of it. Outside of law professors, salaries have been close to flat since around 1970. And now it looks like tenure is becoming a thing of the past, at least in red states, and is increasingly unavailable to most professors, who are not offered tenure-track jobs and make far less than even full professors. It really isn’t the gig a lot of people think it is.

    Administrators – yes, this has been a great period to take your MBA back to school. Salaries for them are more like public companies, heavily size-dependent, but massively up, roughly in line with tuition increases.

    References:

    https://studentloanhero.com/featured/historical-faculty-pay-study/

    https://dailyillini.com/news-stories/longform/2021/11/24/as-university-administration-salary-rises-so-does-tuition/

    john (cd2753)

  6. Leave the professors out of it. Outside of law professors, salaries have been close to flat since around 1970. And now it looks like tenure is becoming a thing of the past, at least in red states, and is increasingly unavailable to most professors, who are not offered tenure-track jobs and make far less than even full professors. It really isn’t the gig a lot of people think it is.

    I think that’s largely fair, and thanks for the comment, john. But having spent a couple of decades adjacent to academia, I can confidently report (and I’m interested in seeing if you agree) that there are lots of tenured college professors who are spending far too much time in non-classroom-related and even non-research-related pursuits. I was amazed at how often I would see a professor who maybe only had one undergraduate course and one graduate seminar assigned to her some semester, and when I inquired about why her course load was so light I would be told that she was serving on some sort of campus committee or had some special faculty assignment or some other duty which was keeping her out of the classroom (and, though less often, the lab). While I understand the need to release a faculty member for other matters from time to time, I got the sense that this soft of thing was easily abused, especially in a progressive and heavily-bureaucratic institution.

    In general I think the current trend we’ve seen over the past couple of decades is probably the right one: far fewer tenured professors, more full-time teaching instructors, more full-time research professors, more adjuncts teaching one-off and specialized courses. I have friends who were denied tenured positions and I know that is a bitter pill to swallow, but I can’t help but think that we are churning out far too many PhDs each year given the limited number of jobs available to them and that this balance between candidates and positions has to return to equilibrium.

    But I agree absolutely 100% with your observation that there are way too many administrators at the average college campus these days. Something has to be done about this, and institutions which have a very high overhead in administrative costs should be warned that they could lose the ability to access federal programs.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. If this b.s. goes through, shame on you 81 million.

    mg (8cbc69)

  8. If Biden can do this, can Trump “forgive” all back taxes owed?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  9. Elon Musk is fond of pointing out that the average 18-year old can pretty easily borrow $100,000 to go to college but would almost certainly be denied a $10,000 loan to start her own business.

    This, from a guy who was literally one launch failure away from cratering SpaceX; has had the bulk of his financing for same sourced and seeded from taxpayer financing, favorable government contracting and sweetheart packages buried in bailout legislation to refurbish launch facilities– and cost-saving leases so as not to have to construct his own launch facilities in Florida.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. The promise of a 150% tax on this forgiven debt the moment the GOP held power would stop this in its tracks.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  11. It turns out that taxes can be retroactive.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  12. It might be a plan to allow this debt to be dischargeable in BK, but only if the colleges who received the money for dubious pursuits have to pay back half.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  13. > that there are lots of tenured college professors who are spending far too much time in non-classroom-related and even non-research-related pursuits

    Maybe. I suspect this depends heavily on institutional culture. I know I don’t have a comprehensive view of academia, and all of my university contact has been in blue states for the last three decades, so I’m ill-positioned to make comparisons on that.

    But I’ve seen that in industry, too. Going to be careful here, but I work at a former startup that was bought out by a huge company you know the name of. The buyout coincided with a marked increase in the number of zero marginal product contributors we started adding. (This is not a case of me not understanding what they do; I’ve managed some of them as they cycled through my group.)

    Yes, at public universities this wastes public money. But my point is that slackers are a management and culture issue; I rather suspect the number of people who get tenure so that they can then thumb their nose at responsibilities is pretty low (most Ph.D programs I know of are unpleasant enough to filter them out). So my guess is to the extent it happens, people are trained in to it. Maybe they can add some administrators to look at the problem.

    I mentioned tenure because at least among professors I know, chasing that security is a (if not the) major reason they didn’t go in to industry. I don’t quite know how to put a dollar value on that, but take that away, and my intuition is that $80K (probably less, adjuncts make squat) and no security is not going to be worth the pain of a Ph.D. to anyone that doesn’t have a pathological passion to teach, or is otherwise not competent to hold industry jobs. So either the quality candidates don’t go that route or take their Ph.D to some machine learning startup that starts them at $200K plus an equity lottery ticket, and we make the “and those who can’t… teach” cliche even more true.

    > institutions which have a very high overhead in administrative costs should be warned that they could lose the ability to access federal programs

    That’s not a bad idea at all.

    john (cd2753)

  14. Faculty salary stats:

    https://www.univstats.com/salary/

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  15. Sorry for the double-post, forgot to comment on this:

    > but I can’t help but think that we are churning out far too many PhDs each year given the limited number of jobs available to them and that this balance between candidates and positions has to return to equilibrium.

    I think you’re right about this, there seems to have been the equivalent of a speculative bubble that is unsustainable, at least the way the market for Ph.Ds are currently structured.

    What a lot of this comes down to for me is I think it is important for there to continue to be incentive for at least some really smart people to stay in academia. I think it is an extremely important societal investment, to be cliche again. And my guess is current trends are going to chase most of really capable ones elsewhere.

    john (cd2753)

  16. I mentioned tenure because at least among professors I know, chasing that security is a (if not the) major reason they didn’t go in to industry.

    Ghostbusters summed this up nicely:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HMgkBcLY7w

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. OT- 50 years ago today- April 27, 1972, when America truly was great; Apollo 16 returns from the Moon, splashing down in the Pacific. Absolutely stellar television of the final phases of an Apollo spacecraft reentry – worth a few minutes look of America at it’s best half a century ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoQTYpAPAME

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. > but I can’t help but think that we are churning out far too many PhDs each year given the limited number of jobs available to them and that this balance between candidates and positions has to return to equilibrium.

    It depends. There are plenty of positions for PhDs in the hard sciences, engineering, computer sciences and math. MDs are useful, too. Not so much for art history and gender studies. If colleges were on the hook for part of these loans, they might not be so keen on accepting loans for courses of study with little employment prospects. Of course, we thought that about banks and housing loans and were unhappy with the results.

    The problem is not the loans, but the repayment prospects being divorced from the approval.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. But I’ve seen that in industry, too. Going to be careful here, but I work at a former startup that was bought out by a huge company you know the name of. The buyout coincided with a marked increase in the number of zero marginal product contributors we started adding.

    Oh brother, I’ve been there and done that too. Worked for a company which was bought out by a larger corporation, and suddenly there was an influx of middle management and professional meeting-goers and not anyone who directly created, marketed, or sold product. I worked at the time with a delightfully crusty old sales guy who would greet each new Head of Corporate Strategy or VP of Human Resources with a very curt, “And what do you do to directly put our product into the hands of our customers?” Needless to say, he was not popular in the new regime. Academia, Business, Industry, and Government all share the same dysfunctional organizational characteristics. I blame the explosion of MBAs for a lot of this.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  20. I don’t quite know how to put a dollar value on that, but take that away, and my intuition is that $80K (probably less, adjuncts make squat) and no security is not going to be worth the pain of a Ph.D. to anyone that doesn’t have a pathological passion to teach, or is otherwise not competent to hold industry jobs.

    It’s a conundrum. I remember talking to a biology department head at Santa Monica College (a two-year community college) over 20 years ago and she was telling me that they had an open faculty position and received over 80 applications for it, 50 of whom held doctoral degrees. This for a job that is all about teaching and has no official research role. This is what I mean by churning out too many PhDs in this country; there’s no reason there should be such a glut of them chasing teaching jobs which should at most require maybe a master’s degree (by the same token, check out any hoity-toity private high school or even some of the top-ranked public ones and marvel at how many teachers there have doctoral degrees, many of which are PhDs and not EdDs).

    We need to really re-think how we do higher education. Keep the good — the prestigious research institutions which also provide instruction, the small liberal arts schools with low student-to-faculty ratios, the democratic public institutions which are affordable and provide a solid education for the modern workforce — but stop convincing marginal students that a bachelor’s degree is the key to happiness, stop funneling “B” students into master’s programs just to squeeze a few more bucks out of them, and for Heaven’s sake, stop handing out doctoral degrees for students who do research of questionable value in increasingly esoteric and needless academic pursuits.

    Here endeth the rant.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  21. Heinlein was here:

    …Which reminds me: I don’t like to be called ‘Doctor.’ ”
    “Sir?”
    “Oh, I’m not offended. But when they began handing out doctorates for comparative folk dancing and advanced flyfishing, I became too stinkin’ proud to use the title. I won’t touch watered whiskey and take no pride in watered-down degrees. Call me Jubal.”
    “Oh. But the degree in medicine hasn’t been watered down.”
    “Time they called it something else, so as not to confuse it with playground supervisors.

    Jubal Harshaw, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961 version)

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  22. But I’ve seen that in industry, too. Going to be careful here, but I work at a former startup that was bought out by a huge company you know the name of. The buyout coincided with a marked increase in the number of zero marginal product contributors we started adding.

    Been there, too, but it was a major investor in the startup who thought that we’d get stuff done sooner if out all-As technical taff an adequate number of “helpers” (e.g. HR, legal, product quality, vendor relations, as well as a number of technical managers) none of whom understood the product we were trying to make. R&D engineering is its own thing, but try to explain that to the HR department as they send you yet another meeting-goer.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  23. *…our all-As technical staff had an adequate …

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  24. If Biden can do this, can Trump “forgive” all back taxes owed?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/27/2022 @ 4:46 pm

    I’d settle for a nice fat check for the loans my wife and I paid off 5 years and 10 years ago, respectively, plus the interest.

    The sob stories I’ve seen connected with this push by the media have been absolutely laughable. People in their 50s who owe upwards of $75K or more, often because they took out PLUS loans. Zoomers and Millennials whining that having to pay back loans at the age of 23 meant they had to put off “things I really wanted to do, like travel.”

    I sure am glad there’s enough Boxers out there to keep the pigs fed.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  25. Elections have consequences. Students are heavily bernie sanders/AOC supporters so biden and the DNC needs to buy their support away. The right does the same thing on abortion.

    asset (28c732)

  26. There’s so much wrong with this forgiveness scheme.

    First, this is a point-in-time forgiveness, which means it does nothing for the loans that are made next week. So the likely outcome is that student loan debt will simply climb back up again over time, probably higher. Especially since the precedent has now been set that loans can be forgiven. So we have the perverse incentive that future students will borrow more money believing rationally that all with be forgiven. Colleges will also see this as a rational opportunity to raise tuition to score some of that future forgiveness money. The problem is that politicians have no incentive to think long term when most elections are short term.

    The second part of this is the bitterness that this will engender for two classes of people: those in the recent past that saved and scrimped to pay back their loans and those who chose not to go to college because of the fear of taking on irresponsible amounts of loan debt. Both groups are made to feel like suckers, especially if this is taken outside of the democratic process and done by executive fiat. The politics seem short sighted.

    The other side of this is its regressive nature, wherein I at least give Biden some credit for advocating a more reasonable (sic) limit on the forgiveness level ($10k). A good portion of this debt is held by degree earners that can and will pay it back….doctors, lawyers, engineers, progammers…..and some advanced degrees that have realistic increased earning potential. We have to avoid over generalizing and painting all academic pursuits as foolish and unproductive. Our economy needs smart people with cutting-edge skills who are trained problem solvers and creative thinkers. It seems like our university system is pretty darn good at this…..given in part the number of foreign applicants but also by our clear advantage in high tech sectors and startups….and that should be noted.

    So what else can be done? First, it seems that more loan terms should be based on realized earnings. Meaning,loan payments should be tied to borrowers’ actual earnings. Those that can pay, do. Those who ended up with a dubious degree, pay what they can pay (not necessarily zero, since there has to be some marginal cost of making a poor decision). Maybe this also creates feedback to the loan originators and their willingness to make loans for students proposing to earn degrees in basket weaving or transgender, ethnic-morphic studies. Just like a person starting a new business must present a detailed business plan…with actual numbers, maybe that should be more the model for student loans. Certainly this changes the dynamic of “finding oneself” in college and organically evolving one’s interests, man, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

    Finally, this is likely just a cynical political ploy to try and get the GOP to be painted to be against struggling students being hustled by slick academic and financial institutions. For the above arguments, I don’t see this playing out. Though it really worries me the persistent legislative paralysis that leads to such obvious executive overreach. We need serious pushback on the notion that the Executive can unilaterally obligate trillions (or even billions) of dollars without a democratic process. I doubt this slips through, but it’s concerning that it is even being discussed.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  27. All this will seem very quaint when AOC invents the geniusinator and all the Latinx have IQs of 200.

    nk (bf228f)

  28. Graduating from college still drives up the median lifetime income, per the SSA:

    Men with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $630,000 more. Men with graduate degrees earn $1.5 million more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates.

    Note that these are median incomes, not mean incomes

    TW2020 (824a6b)

  29. I’d settle for a nice fat check for the loans my wife and I paid off 5 years and 10 years ago, respectively, plus the interest.

    It took me some time to pay back my loans, too. But I eventually did and Carter’s inflation helped. The current inflation is already diminishing the amount owed at 10% per year. Isn’t that enough?

    As for the whole notion of student loans, they were originally created post-Sputnik and limited to the hard sciences, math, engineering and languages (a Cold War need). But the humanities departments wanted their gravy train, too, and LBJ obliged.

    We aren’t really talking about people with degrees in the hard science, math or engineering when we hear whining about not being able to pay these loans back, are we?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  30. … all the Latinx have IQs of 200.

    By law, if nothing else.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  31. Graduating from college still drives up the median lifetime income, per the SSA:

    This conflates any number of things. I am willing to bet that a BS in Engineering gives one a lifetime income higher than someone with a PhD in Medieval Languages.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  32. By law, if nothing else.

    Exactly. And our official language will be Swedish and all 36Cs will be 38Ds.

    nk (bf228f)

  33. JOE’s detumescent economy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  34. @33. He just asked for $33 billion through September for Ukraine. But Austin said this was not a ‘proxy war.’

    … and the MIC smiled.

    DCSCA (bb9623)

  35. In addition to the problems with this, as JVW and others have pointed out, it does nothing to curb the ever-increasing tuition of public and private colleges and universities. In fact, it will probably encourage more college loans in the future, and colleges and universities will respond by jacking up prices even more.

    And the increase just isn’t from university administration salaries, but from the bells and whistles they provide students in the room and board portion of the tuition. New dorms with fully-stocked rec rooms, lazy rivers, state-of-the-art rec centers, etc.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  36. #34

    Is it proxy war when the other country invades, and you help the country invaded with weapons to keep from being overthrown and overrun?

    Appalled (1a17de)

  37. Exactly. And our official language will be Swedish and all 36Cs will be 38Ds.

    My all-too-short survey of Swedish-speaking women suggests that they are all 38Ds.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  38. I would like to see a ranking of colleges based on

    1. Graduating class debt, measured in both dollars and tuition-years.
    2. Debt-to-income ratio, average first job salary
    3. Percentage remaining debt, 5 years after graduation.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  39. @36. Yes.

    DCSCA (7bf95e)

  40. Aside from the likely secret, CIA-styled American commando teams already busy there, be prepared for “U.S. advisors”- that is, ‘boots on the ground’- the camel nosde under the tent, in Ukraine to be publicly acknowledged in the future. We’ve seen this before- and Joey knows he’s going to lose everything after the midterms as it is so he’s got the wrecking crew ready to leave a GOP Congress and an all but certain GOP POTUS a helluva mess. All thanks to the anti-Trump conservatives who bailed on their pasrty nominee. $33 billion proposed to ‘GIVE’ to a country as corrupt as Russia itself that’s turning itself into Rubbleland and expects the West to come in and rebuild once the smokes clears. This is utter madness; total Biden stupidity with the scent of Susan Rice all over it. And we’ve been here before. War, war, war: America’s economy cannot compete without it…

    -September, 1950 – Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Truman announces “acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina…”. and sends 123 non-combat troops to help with supplies to fight against the communist Viet Minh.

    – 1951 — Truman authorizes $150 million in French support.

    – November, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. This marks the official beginning of American involvement in the war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

    – August, 1962 — JFK signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962, which provides “… military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack”.

    – May 1963 — Republican Barry Goldwater declares that the U.S. should fight to win or withdraw from Vietnam. Later on, during his presidential campaign against LBJ, his Democratic opponents accuse AuH20 of wanting to use nuclear weapons in the conflict.

    – March, 1965 — First U.S. ground troops arrive in Da Nang composed of 3,500 US Marines of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. [Hello, five-student-draft-deferment Joey!]

    – July, 1965 — In a nationally televised speech, LBJ announces decision to send an additional 50,000 American troops to South Vietnam, increasing the number of personnel there by two-thirds and to bring the commitment to 125,000. Johnson also said that the monthly draft call would more than double, to more than 1,000 new young men per day (from 17,000 to 35,000) for enlistment and training in the U.S. Armed Forces. By 1966, LBJ [another stale senator just like Joey] expanded the number of troops being sent into Vietnam to 385,000.

    – January, 1968 – General Westmoreland’s public reassurances that “the light at the end of the tunnel” was near were countered when PAVN and NLF forces broke the truce that accompanied the Tết holiday and mounted their largest offensive thus far, in hopes of sparking a general uprising among the South Vietnamese. [Confucius say light at end of tunnel is oncoming train!]

    – March, 1968, three companies of Task Force Barker, part of the Americal Division, took part in a search and destroy operation near the village of My Lai, in Quang Ngai Province. [The Ugly Americans.]

    – April, 1969 – The Big Dick orders the withdrawal of 150,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam over the span of 12 months, citing “Vietnamization”… [can you spell Ukrainization, Joe?] U.S. troop presence peaks at over 540,000.

    – October, 1969 – Hundreds of thousands of people attend mass protests across the U.S for the United States’ withdraw from the Vietnam War.

    – December, 1969 – The first draft lottery since 1942 is held.

    – April, 1970 – The Big Dick announces 2,000 U.S. troops were sent into Cambodia, reversing his April 20 decision to withdraw 150,000 troops. [Tricky Dicks pull tricks!] By June, The Big Dick withdraws half of the 31,000 troops in Cambodia to fight in South Vietnam.

    – June, 1971 – The Pentagon Papers begin to be published. [Oops! The U.S. government lied; people died, eh Joey?!?!]

    – January, 1972 – The Big Dick announces plans for 70,000 U.S. troops to be pulled out of Vietnam, half of the remaining forces. In February, The Big Dick meets Red China’s Mao; becomes the first president in US history to meet with a Chinese Communist leader face to face.

    – January, 1973 – U.S. troops to be withdrawn from South Vietnam in 60 days due to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. March 29, 1973 – The last American combat troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.

    COSTS: More than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and more than 150,000 were wounded. South Vietnamese deaths topped 1 million, and North Vietnamese losses ranged between 500,000 and 1 million. Based on the current dollar value, the Vietnam War cost the U.S. equivalent of about $1 trillion. The United States pays $22 billion per year in war compensations to Vietnam veterans and their families.

    Joe Biden is by far the worst POTUS of my near 70 year lifetime.

    DCSCA (7bf95e)

  41. Madness – Joe Biden Asks Congress for $33 Billion More for Ukraine to Fund Their Government Salaries, Pensions and Budget Obligations.

    mg (8cbc69)

  42. DCSCA —

    I did ask, didn’t I? I do see where your argument comes from. I think your answer, ultimately, is that it’s OK with you if Putin gets the Ukraine, and it would have been better if the US and the Ukraine leadership just let him have it with no muss and fuss.

    Is that a fair statement? I don’t want to misrepresent this — but I think the bald truth needs to be out there so that we don’t waste time chasing squirrels.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  43. More “Not A Proxy War” porn, on the eve of the NFL Draft no less:
    https://www.cbssports.com/general/news/u-s-military-considering-recruiting-plan-to-enlist-college-athletes-per-report/

    urbanleftbehind (666267)

  44. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/27/2022 @ 4:46 pm

    If Biden can do this, can Trump “forgive” all back taxes owed?

    Haven’t you heard all those advertisements on mostly right wing talk radio?

    Talking about something called “the fresh start initiative?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of45ZhtswE8

    It may not be true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1hfEfPe-IA

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  45. Ukraine – The new Puerto-Rico

    mg (8cbc69)

  46. It is still possible to get student loans discharged in bankrutcy.

    https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/bankruptcy

    ou may have your federal student loan discharged in bankruptcy only if you file a separate action, known as an “adversary proceeding,” requesting the bankruptcy court find that repayment would impose undue hardship on you and your dependents.</blockquote? Incidentally:

    On March 9, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education asked the U.S. Department of Justice to request a pause of any active bankruptcy case if the borrower wishes.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  47. “Proxy war” has been Commie Pedophile Putin’s Big Lie from the beginning, even as he was only preparing the invasion. “Po’ little sweet victim Russia is not invading-invading Ukraine. It is only defending instead from that mean old NATO.” And his pro-pedophile sympathizers have been grooming people with it, not only here but all over the world.

    nk (44dfc2)

  48. @42. Whether it’s “okay’ or not is not the issue; it is NOT an American problem- certianly not one for the taxpayers of the United States to play buttinski over. You want Russian nuclear missiles placed in Russian allies Cuba, Central and South America nations targeted toward the USA again? This idiocy by Biden is a perfect excuse for the ultimate escalation by Putin; they know old Joe all too well and unlike Nikita, this time, Russia won’t blink.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  49. Yes, DCSCA, because this is so like the Vietnam War, except for all the ways (e.g. every which way) that it isn’t. But please persist in your silliness.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  50. Let the EU cough up $33 billion; let Macron’s France arm Ukraine– they’ve got a much more immediate concern with this than Americans do; the Froggies have some pretty good military systems; let Macron’s French taxpayers carry the burden for Airbus to arm them. Then see how long their national healthcare systems and month long August vacations contunue.

    This is NOT an American problem– cetainly not one costing $33 billion on top of the earlier expenses charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card, financxed by borrowed $ from China.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  51. Let the EU cough up $33 billion; let Macron’s France arm Ukraine– they’ve got a much more immediate concern with this than Americans do; the Froggies have some pretty good military systems; let Macron’s French taxpayers carry the burden for Airbus to arm them. Then see how long their national healthcare systems and month long August vacations continue.

    This is NOT an American problem– certainly not one costing $33 billion on top of the earlier expenses charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card, financed by borrowed $ from China.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  52. @49. Except it IS: this is exactly how it starts— how soon you forget the same imbeciles who managed the Afghan debacle are now meddling in this mess.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  53. When do we send them a U.S. Mint?

    mg (8cbc69)

  54. Some people will never admit this buffoon in office resembles themselves.

    mg (8cbc69)

  55. Long article about why we really need nuclear power in the WaPo.

    Eleven years ago, the mightiest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history pushed forth a 49-foot tsunami that flooded the backup electricity generators at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. With no electricity, the workers at the plant could not control the cooling water, and the reactor’s core melted. Tsunamis pose no risk to Western Europe, but two months after the earthquake, the German government decided it was done with nuclear power.

    The decision marked a dramatic reversal for then-Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former scientist who had declared a few years earlier, “I will always consider it absurd to shut down technologically safe nuclear power plants that don’t emit CO2.”

    As Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine in February, the consequences of that “absurd” reversal only deepened. Over the past decade, Germany phased out most of its nuclear plants and scheduled its last three to power down this year. That has increased the country’s reliance on natural gas, most of which it buys from Russia.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  56. @53. Mint? Counterfeiting is more likely their speed, given Ukraine is nearly as corrupt as Russia. And the comedy team of Blinken/Austin- on their ‘Hope & Crosby Road to Kyiv’ tour has the idiocy to say that America be there for Ukraine now– and AFTER the war ends- so Americans can finance rebuilding Rubbleland. This is brain-damaged, Biden lunacy with a side dish of Susan Rice.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  57. When do we send them a U.S. Mint?

    One of those trillion dollar coins would be easier.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  58. That DCSCA would double down on his nonsense was pretty predictable.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  59. What happens to weapons sent to Ukraine? The US doesn’t really know.

    Washington (CNN)The US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine, sources tell CNN, a blind spot that’s due in large part to the lack of US boots on the ground in the country — and the easy portability of many of the smaller systems now pouring across the border.

    It’s a conscious risk the Biden administration is willing to take.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/19/politics/us-weapons-ukraine-intelligence/index.html

    Golly… anybody recall what the NVA regulars and Vietcong did w/U.S. weapons they managed to get a hold of? Oops.

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  60. @58. Kevin: shower after swimming in ‘denial.’

    DCSCA (ce2694)

  61. DCSCA (ce2694) — 4/28/2022 @ 3:22 pm

    d unlike Nikita, this time, Russia won’t blink.

    It’s blinking already – but trying to bluff.

    This war is different from France in 1940, South Vietnam in 1975, Iraq in 2014 (which was saved by reintroducing U.S. troops) and Afghanistan in 2021. There’s not the lack of confidence in the government.

    Now you can say: What does this all matter to you? If nothing matters, maybe you can say that.

    You can’t say: You’ll be safer if you ignore all this.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  62. @61. Wait ’til the missiles are planted in Cuba, Central and South America, Sammy. If you were Putin, you’d play the card at the right time; Lavrov has already hinted same as a move to deter American meddling.

    DCSCA (ceff72)

  63. Putin’s Navy can’t make it out of the Black Sea, let alone cross the Atlantic.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  64. The difference between the Ukrainians, Afghanis and South Vietnamese is that Ukrainians are actually fighting and dying defending their country. The latter two, not so much.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  65. Re: urbanleftbehind’s interesting link from 1:41 pm:

    “We have funding challenges, and we’re looking at how to solve them,” Tanner Gardner, chief operating officer for athletics at Rice University, told Sportico. “But there’s a lot of inertia in college sports right now, and I have a hard time understanding how you’re going to convince student-athletes to commit to something other than an athletic scholarship.”

    I went to school with dozens of men and women who balanced varsity athletics with ROTC. I think Tanner Gardner sounds like someone who has never dealt with anyone outside of football or basketball, but I think there are any number of volleyball players, wrestlers, swimmers, runners, lacrosse players, etc. who would be interested in a program like this. The one question I have is whether this will operate as a traditional ROTC program where the student-athlete will have military commitments during their undergraduate years and over the summers, or if they will simply enlist upon graduating.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  66. I don’t like Biden unilaterally transferring these loans from the borrowers to tax payers.

    Because, that exactly how this is going to happen.

    Ideally, Congress could change the law to allow it to be dischargeable via Bankruptcy and force the schools to pick up a portion of the outstanding balance, and that the loan servicers to take a massive hair cut. But the schools and these loan servicing companies will lobby against it, so it’s never going to happen.

    Frankly, and this is addressed to all those “not-GOP” voters… what did you expect?

    Biden & Democrats literally campaigned for this.

    The outcries from the “not-GOP” voters is ringing a wee bit hollow.

    whembly (7e0293)

  67. I’m pretty sure that the forgiven debt is income.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  68. Putin’s Navy can’t make it out of the Black Sea, let alone cross the Atlantic.

    Well they can, but they’d have to fight their way through Turkey first.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  69. @67

    I’m pretty sure that the forgiven debt is income.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/28/2022 @ 6:30 pm

    I think most would take that tradeoff.

    whembly (7e0293)

  70. Putin’s Navy can’t make it out of the Black Sea, let alone cross the Atlantic.

    Uh-huh. Dream-on. Where were you in ’62?!

    Photos of soccer pitches was the tip off of Rooskies in “Cuber.” Cubans play baseball.

    DCSCA (181bb5)

  71. I think most would take that tradeoff.

    Most would pay more THIS year.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  72. 72. Joe Biden has a history of stuttering, but he may have been looking for a different word than kleptocracy (to mean the people associated with or benefiting from Putin.).

    I think he may have been looking for oligarch(s) which is used there, although it may be technically a wrong word, since they don’t rule,

    Unless it was kleptocrats.

    He’s slowed down, but he’s not disabled.

    And how come you’re not concerned about Kamala Harris as president? Because you know that, in actuality, Joe Biden will not resign to make way for Kamala Harris?

    Some Republicans are pushing this meme of the disabled Joe Biden because they know that the first time any member of the general public will have a chance to act on the belief that Joe Biden is disabled is the 2024 electon.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  73. https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamminsky/2022/02/10/is-student-loan-forgiveness-taxable-in-2022-its-complicated

    …As a general rule, whenever a debt of any kind — including a student loan — is reduced or cancelled, the debtor or borrower may incur taxes. The lender would issue the debtor a Form 1099-C during tax season for the year in which the debt was cancelled, which would show the exact amount of loan forgiveness or debt cancellation. The debtor may then have to report that amount on their tax return as “income.”

    ….There are some exemptions for borrowers in these situation that may allow some to reduce or even avoid tax liability — for example, if the debt is invalid or disputed, or if the borrower was insolvent at the time that the debt was cancelled (meaning the value of their total debts exceeded the value of their total assets). [with no need for formal bankruptcy].

    ….But while debt cancellation in general can be taxable, student loan forgiveness specifically may or may not be, depending on the context in which the loans were forgiven…

    …For example, loan forgiveness at the end of 20 or 25-year repayment terms associated with income-driven repayment plans would normally be taxable events. However, a provision of the American Rescue Plan Act that was passed last year temporarily exempts federal student loan forgiveness from federal taxation on a general basis through 2025. So loans forgiven, for example, under income-driven repayment plans within the next few years may not incur federal taxation. This may also apply to future federal student loan forgiveness initiatives within that timeframe as well, depending on what actions (if any) the Biden administration takes.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  74. Putin Accepts Invitation to Attend G20 Summit, Setting Up Biden Showdown

    https://www.newsweek.com/putin-accepts-invitation-attend-g20-summit-indonesia-biden-showdown-1702103

    DCSCA (d95dbc)

  75. Uh-huh. Dream-on. Where were you in ’62?!

    Photos of soccer pitches was the tip off of Rooskies in “Cuber.” Cubans play baseball.

    DCSCA (181bb5) — 4/28/2022 @ 8:39 pm

    The Russian Navy in 2022 is not the Soviet Navy of 60 years ago. The current Russian Navy cannot keep itself afloat.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  76. Sammy, thanks for #74.

    Since I have no idea what law a Biden loan cancellation would proceed under, it is of course hard to say, but this doesn’t seem to be related to an income-based repayment plan.

    Also, one main way to avoid taxes on a cancelled loan is for the loan to be non-recourse. A default on a non-recourse loan requires no forgiveness of any sort — the lender presumably has access to collateral, but that is all he gets; the borrower is otherwise not obligated. For example, purchase-money home loans in CA are (or were at one time) non-recourse, and the borrower can walk if upside-down.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  77. DCSCA:

    Look, if the only reason to avoid helping Ukraine is to avoid having missiles pointed at us from Cuba or Nicaragua, I’m not that impressed. If Russia wants to nuke us, they can do it from Russia. Unlike 1962 (when the technology was more crude), I don’t think the proximity marginally increases the danger.

    I do notice we seem to be getting closer to nuclear war, judging from Russia’s apocalyptic tone in their propaganda. But that leaves us with the choice — let Putin have his way in Ukraine (and some other places, too) or accept some risk that he really is off his nut and will send the nukes flying.

    I don’t like that choice — but we need to be clear that this really is the choice and be honest about it.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  78. The current Russian Navy cannot keep itself afloat.

    A kleptocracy all the way down.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  79. Unlike 1962 (when the technology was more crude), I don’t think the proximity marginally increases the danger.

    Missiles in Cuba or Nicaragua are less likely to have had their tail fins sold on the black market.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  80. I don’t like that choice — but we need to be clear that this really is the choice and be honest about it.

    If that IS the choice, then killing the bastard ought to be a national goal. And soon.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  81. @78. LOLOLOLOL You must be young. And the Monroe Doctrine means nothing to you. $33 billion through September, 2022 should– on top of previous freebees to corrupt Ukraine totalling $50 billion so far.

    Macron’s France makes some fine munitions and military equipment and THEY are in the immediate vicinity of the problem. The Froggie’s Airbus makes some fine stuff. This is NOT an American problem; it’s an EU issue. Let the French taxpayers carry the financial burden of $33 billion and give up their national healthcare system and moth of August vacations to finance it all. It’s modern, rebuilt, ass-saved-three-times-in-100-years-Europe that’s at risk, not America.

    DCSCA (1d9e65)

  82. @76. The current Russian Navy cannot keep itself afloat.

    Pfft. You should be tired of being wrong by now:

    Why The Russian Navy Still Makes U.S. Admirals Sweat

    https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/10/why-the-russian-navy-still-makes-u-s-admirals-sweat/

    DCSCA (1d9e65)

  83. DCSCA —

    The Monroe Doctrine is a national ego thing and, over the years, is what we did instead of having African colonies. Its importance and efficacy increased with American strength. (It did not keep Napoleon III from meddling in Mexico during our Civil War) So I remain not impressed, and younger than you.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  84. @84. Ego?

    Forfeit it and it’s just another benchmark signaling the decline of American power:

    https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/cuban-missile-crisis

    ‘The tone of [President Kennedy’s television] remarks was stern, and the message unmistakable and evocative of the Monroe Doctrine: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced a military readiness status of DEFCON 3 as U.S. naval forces began implementation of the quarantine and plans accelerated for a military strike on Cuba.

    To What Extent Was the Monroe Doctrine Invoked During the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    https://colinatoxford.wordpress.com/about/to-what-extent-was-the-monroe-doctrine-invoked-during-the-cuban-missile-crisis/

    DCSCA (1d9e65)

  85. #85

    As a technical matter, the era of the Monroe Doctrine was “over” in 2013, per John Kerry, then Secretary of State. I assume that is operative policy in what is effectively the third Obama administation.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  86. @86. Over??? you want a lesson in over?!?!

    The American Century: Born 12/7/41; Peaked 7/20/69; Died 9/11/01.

    DCSCA (1d9e65)

  87. DCSCA —

    I’ll leave that determination to the historians.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  88. @88. Like the Monroe Doctrine? LOLOLOLOL

    DCSCA (1d9e65)

  89. 74 77. Congress can change the tax law and has in the past. But there are not enough votes to do anything. Still something can be folded into a continuing resolution. as most members of Congress don’t want to hear screaming from constituents.

    Biden seems to be planning to forgive the last (or first?) $10,000 of all student loans.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  90. Some people walk with a limp, Joe walks in circles with a stutter step. He is incoherent on a minute by minute timeline.

    mg (8cbc69)

  91. Yes this isn’t great, but at least we don’t have mean tweets to worry about. That’s way more important that a president violating the Constitution. We got our norms back, finally!

    PH2 (ab9e6f)

  92. The evolving Catholic Joe Biden on Roe v. Wade,abortion and the Hyde Amendment.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFDMcUfabbo

    Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (da499e)

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