Dear Bulwark readers. Many people are misreading what Biden announced. Par for the course. Number one, people will not get checks in the mail -- they will simply have less debt to pay. Hardly inflationary. Number two, there has been plenty of debt forgiveness of many other entities recently -- small businesses, congresspeople who filed claims during covid, etc. Number three, the people this debt relief will help truly deserve the help. Pell Grants have been cut drastically -- they used to cover 80% of a college education; now it's 30% -- so what has happened since the 1980s is that the country's funding of higher education has been cut, wages have not kept up with inflation, and students and their families have been forced to take out more debt. Debt that hasn't always been fairly administered. Many of the people needing debt relieft HAVE been paying -- the problem is, their debt has not gone down. I think some of you are missing the story, and some of the Democratic senators are, too. It would help if you'd go into the fine print and if you would talk to some black women who have tried like hell to get on their feet and have been unable to do so because of debt.

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From Newsweek...

Excerpt 1

"As of July 4 this year, 10.2 million PPP loans, introduced to support small businesses, had been fully or partially written off."

Excerpt 2.

"After conservative attacks on the student debt plan, progressive groups pointed out that a number of GOP politicians had benefited from PPP write-offs.

The Center for American Progress posted a tweet showing that companies owned or part-owned by 13 Republican members of Congress had received PPP loan forgiveness.

The 13 include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who received $183,504 in PPP loan forgiveness for her company Taylor Commercial. She has criticized the president's student debt plan in appearances on Newsmax and Real America's Voice."

The average PPP forgiveness is $72,500. So what is the difference?

Hypocrisy abounds.

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You know who objects the most to student loan forgiveness? The people that don’t realize instate tuition for the avg state college is now $40-$50k for a four year degree.

That was about $10k for a four year degree when the ‘pundits’ who are panning this move went to school.

Also no sense of irony on a lot of immediate hot pundit takes that turned out to be wrong?

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Aug 25, 2022·edited Aug 25, 2022

College graduates pay on average $381,000 more in taxes over a life than non-college grads.


As someone who is benefitting from this, I watched nearly everyone else get paid off with handouts. PPP loans, unemployment subsidies, etc. None of it went to me. The bottom half of Americans pay zero in taxes.

What is killing me is seeing conservative who emerge like 20 year cicadas to sing that fact when it is corporate handouts on the table now saying the poor - who I don't blame, but get a ton of stuff including refundable EITC and child tax credits - are paying for this; the audacity is outrageous.

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While I'm not a fan of the student loan forgiveness plan, student debt is fundamentally different than others types of consumer debt (mortgage, auto, credit card) and it's lazy to equate them. Auto and mortgage debt is collateralized by an asset. A significant portion of credit card debt is purely discretionary spending and, importantly, can be discharged in bankruptcy. Student debt is the worst of all words - can't be discharged in bankruptcy, no tangible asset received, and practically required to live a middle class life. Yes, I know many smart, productive individuals went to trade school or found another way to make a living without going to college but a college degree is practically required for most professions.

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The NARA email and Trump's fundraising letter, er..., legal filing for a special master both point out the wisdom of that old legal axiom: the first thing any good lawyer tells a client is SHUT UP!

On the Dobbs decision, it's astounding to me that anyone believed it wouldn't be an issue when half the population had their basic human right to bodily autonomy and self determination taken away - after half a century.

For decades, the 'pro-life' mantra was that public support was on their side, and voters would reward republicans for overturning Roe. Despite every public opinion poll and data point that consistently disputed that claim. Now actual voters have put the lie to it.

When a hard-line minority strips rights away from the majority, this is the result. The completely predictable result.

On the student debt forgiveness issue, while I don't agree with it, I'm also not going to lose sleep over it. After all, the federal government has intervened to help corporations and even whole industries in the past. The effect of this move on consumer prices and possibly inflation will be nominal. One thing I do hope, though, is that this is a first step not the last. The real problem underlying student debt is the out-of-control cost of higher education.

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Aug 25, 2022·edited Aug 25, 2022

I paid for the entirety of College, Grad School and Law school on scholarships and student debt and ended up paying back 230k some thousand dollars (which I did early by living like a monk for years). I have ZERO problems with this debt relief package. I don't think it's great policy but I find it hard to take the histrionics by the right and some centrists seriously, especially when many of those folks who are complaining loudest took advantage of PPP loan forgiveness. Citing McCardle as a rational actor in all this is also not really something I can get on board with after watching her "my parents paid for my undergrad but I slaved as a poor intern for the economist" antics over on twitter.

This is a smart political move by Biden. It helps energize his base, the folks who are going to be upset at this are either Whitey McRichguy's or Maga folks in the trades, people who would never have voted for democratic candidates anyway.

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I agree that the loan forgiveness policy is not that good an idea, but the characterization of it as benefittng college-educated elites at the expense of non-college-educated "working people" is lazy and inaccurate. There are many borrowers (one is my son) who got loans for trade schools, and many of those loans turned out to be bad ideas because the promised jobs weren't there. Those debt amounts tend to be much lower than those of the Ivy League and professional school borrowers with the astronomical amounts of debt. Ten thousand in relief will make barely a dent for those people, but will wipe out all or most of the obligations of less-educated borrowers. I have yet to see any recognition of these facts. I would hope that a moderate site like the Bulwark would be pointing this out.

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I can't get upset about Biden's loan plan for two reasons. First, student loans overwhelmingly burden the middle and working class. (Wealthy families don't need loans). Second, in my town, rent prices have skyrocketed since COVID, meaning recent graduates in fields like teaching, nursing, criminal justice are stuck living with parents because they either can't find or can't afford housing. During COVID, PPP helped business owners by subsidizing payroll. Each year, urban dwellers subsidize farmers, many of whom are doing pretty well selling soybeans and corn to giant ag companies. In my opinion, the democrats should push back, hard, on the right on this issue. It is a benefit for the middle class, and if we're going to nickel-and-dime who subsidizes what, there are much bigger and more questionable programs than this one.

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I love how you Republicans, Charlie, who killed public support for higher education with operations like Right Wisconsin that campaigned for lowering support for the Wisonsin high education system, which allowed anyone intellectually qualified to go to college and university and not graduate with crushing debt, now have this "moral complaint" about the student debt situation. YOU CREATED THE SITUATION! You and all the rest of the morons who thought that "amiable dunce" (as James Garner defined him accurately, which I saw when I met the moron when he was governor here) Sainted Ronnie the Ray Gun was anything but the front for Every Bad Thing on the Right that he was..

You people owe this country a huge Moral Debt that you will still be on the hook for the day you depart, for what you did the 40 years prior to the day Fatso Fatass rode his escalator down to pick up what YOU CREATED.

Yes, it's good that you came to your senses (just at the last damn moment), but don't go around thinking it gives you or Kristol the right to lecture anyone on morality.

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Re voter registration in PA vis a vis the Dobbs decision: thousands of new female voters have registered and are registering by a ratio of four Democrats to every one Republican. Women now far outnumber men in voter rolls.

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For all the people complaining about the "slap in the face" that is the partial debt forgiveness, maybe it would help if they thought of it as yet another tax cut for the rich that they do not get to participate in, yet never seem to complain about.

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I paid off my student loans years ago and I am totally outraged that someone else is getting a break I did not get!!1!1!11!

(not really--well it IS true I pad my loans off).

BUT (and as the saying goes, nothing before the BUT counts) I also had 90% of my tuition paid by the state I lived in because I was a veteran. So no complaints here.

A lot of this seems to me to be either:

1) Jealousy and anger over not getting a break yourself (for whatever reason);

2) The rankest hypocrisy coming from people and politicians that hand out breaks to themselves and THEIR favorite constituencies (as pointed out multiple times here).

This is not going to make or break inflation or the federal budget or the larger economy.

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Another reminder: the very first thing to be cut in state budgets, and this has been happening for decades, is higher education. When the land grant colleges and universities no longer have the support of their states, their tuition has to go up. I watched that happen at Ohio State, and I suspect the same has happened in many other states. What's happened is that the burden for paying for an education has shifted from a shared model -- government, both federal and state, aid provided by colleges and universities, and families -- to an inequitable one -- aid provided by colleges and universities and families, with very little help from the government. High tuition/high aid model. And that model forces families to take out loans. Basically, what has been happening since at least the Reagan years is that this country has decided that having an educated populace is not worth funding. It's happened in K-12, and it's happened in higher ed.

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The podcast with Nicole Hemmer was great. One of my biggest beefs with the current crop of R's that have "seen the light" is that many others were able to see how the fringes of the party were running strong underneath it all back in the 90's but were vilified as "hair of fire" "the sky is falling" D's.

It is lovely that people finally woke (used that word on purpose) up, but had many of them had even a modicum of critical thinking beyond their little tribal desires, this all could have been far less destructive.

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I believe the wording of student debt forgiveness is wrong. If you look at it as interest on the student loans being forgiven, it sounds better and is more accurate in the amounts being forgiven by the government. The government should not be in a position where it is making upwards of 10% off a student loan.

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