Biden's America #2

Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2022 11:32 pm
Universities are free in other countries.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 01:39 am
Not this one, tuition fees were introduced by Tony Blair in 1998.

Admittedly not as high as America, but still there.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 02:44 am
Biden’s Student-Loan Gamble

Why loan forgiveness is politically risky

An Unforced Error

President Joe Biden has finally announced his program for alleviating the burden of student debt. Biden and his party have been on a winning streak for most of the summer: With a 50–50 Senate, they have managed to notch a string of legislative wins while gas prices have plunged, inflation has cooled, unemployment has remained low, and a dreaded summer COVID-19 meltdown has failed to materialize. And how will the Democrats spend this political capital? By celebrating a niche policy that will hand the Republicans a free issue in America’s ongoing culture and class wars, just as Biden and the Democrats head into the 2022 and 2024 elections.

It could have been worse. Some Democrats were pressing the president to write off $50,000 of debt, an idea that I said more than a year ago would have been a political disaster. The current plan, by comparison, is merely bad and politically obtuse.

The argument for loan forgiveness is not only that it is the right thing to do—I’ll come back to this—but that young, college-educated people are an important pillar of the Democratic Party’s base. It sounds moral and caring, at least within the bubble of a highly educated party, to advocate for relieving some of the cost of higher education. After all, everyone has to go to college, right? It’s practically a life requirement now. And kids don’t know what they’re signing up for when they take on boatloads of student debt—they’re only teenagers!

The truth, however, is that most people don’t go to college, and the majority of those who do go manage to get out without life-destroying debt. Fewer than four in ten Americans over 25 have a four-year college degree. Only 13 percent have federal student debt, and the average undergraduate leaves college with an obligation about the size of a moderate car loan. (Graduate school is where the numbers really climb.)

Worse, this policy is aimed at the young and college-educated, a group that is, in the main, composed of reliable Democratic Party voters—and who should by now be plenty motivated by the ongoing threat to democracy from the Republican Party. The legendary American general George S. Patton, describing his disdain for retreating and then having to retake the same ground, reportedly said that he hated to pay for the same real estate twice. But that’s what Democrats are doing: They are trying to buy a constituency that ought to be firmly in their camp. The point of a “base” is that it will vote for its own party come hell or high water. A “base” that needs to be enticed with a $10,000 bonus isn’t, by definition, a base.

Instead, the whole business seems like class-based special pleading for a very specific and small group residing mostly within the Democratic Party. The right-wing narratives and Republican attack ads easily write themselves—and they will carry some sting with independent voters in swing states, many of whom are workers in blue- or gray-collar jobs, or in service, clerical, and other nonprofessional occupations. “Did you go to college? No? Tough luck. Your debts don’t qualify for forgiveness. Medical bills? Business failures? Too bad. Joe Biden is giving 10 grand to a select group of people as a thank-you, and you’re not one of them.”

Yes, such ads will stink to the skies of rank hypocrisy. Republicans are happy to take bailouts when it suits them. And it will be unfair in the extreme to go after the Democrats for servicing an interest group in their party when the GOP is, in my view, nothing but a giant, cronyist pandering machine that hands red meat to its culture warriors and tax cuts and other breaks to its own special interests. But political messaging isn’t about fairness; it’s about messages that work, and this one is likely to land a punch that could cost the Democrats otherwise winnable votes. With democracy hanging in the balance, taking such risks for the transitory sugar high of a onetime hand-wave is irresponsible.

I have said nothing so far about whether loan forgiveness is a good idea. It isn’t. Even if the Democrats controlled legislative supermajorities, I would still argue that one more bailout won’t solve very much (and might even contribute to reigniting inflation, according to Larry Summers and other economists). As my Atlantic colleague Jerusalem Demsas recently pointed out, some of the main arguments about who would benefit, and by how much, don’t hold up very well. “The issue’s prominence in our discourse,” Demsas writes, “has less to do with its merits than the changing political landscape that has stymied legislative efforts and given college graduates agenda-setting power.” The progressive political analyst David Shor has made the same point—and warned that the dominance of a college-educated elite in the Democratic Party could undermine effective messaging from the Democrats to the rest of America.

My complaint here might seem pointless, since Biden’s decision is now done and dusted. And I think Biden’s doing a solid job—more than he gets credit for—as president. But I see this debt policy as an unforced error, and I hope that the Democrats do not make this a talking point in an election year. Republicans would be much happier debating college-debt forgiveness to households earning a quarter-million dollars a year instead of talking about how the GOP is a menace to American democracy.

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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 04:55 am
Didn't say all other ountries. The propaganda machines have convinced many people that they don't deserve, or else we can't afford, the fruits of our labor. The drivers of the propaganda then plunder the treasury at will.
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 09:19 am
That is not the case - there are countries that have free tuition (about 20 -30 if I remember correctly for their citizens), but the majority of countries do not. There also could be stipulations in that "free" tuition - like military service - but some countries do not require that.

Although the US may be much higher, they also offer significantly more scholarships so if you are strong academically, tuition can be very low. And also the US does off up to 100% tuition free while you are active duty - you also have the GI bill that can be used until 10 years after your active service.

People slam the US tuition amounts, but if you do a little research college is affordable. You might not go to that expensive private college, but you can take an honors program in a public university and get as good an education for peanuts. I had one student who people were pushing her to go to some ivy or just below that level because to be quite honest the girl was brilliant. Instead she did the smart thing - she went to a very good public university in the honors program with 100% tuition paid. Whereas an ivy league since they only give "need based" scholarships - she would get little.

Most of the high debt is actually from graduate school and not undergraduate.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 09:23 am
Erin McHale

I just saw another friend post something and feel compelled to educate my friends about the state of our country’s federal student loan program. This is in no way showing support for any political party. It is about the facts surrounding the current state of a very large portion of our country.
I have been paying my student loans on time, for over 10 years, since the day I graduated from grad school in 2012. The numbers in the image below are exact numbers taken from my 3rd set of student loan providers (they have been transferred twice in the past 3 years because loan companies keep buying eachother out).
If you think that people should “pay for the loans they took out” - WE ARE. WE HAVE BEEN. I have paid over $120,000 to be more specific, and I now owe $8.58 MORE than I did 10 years ago.
Our country and its student loan companies have been robbing people for years, and blaming it on young adults who went to school to better themselves, making them look like lazy kids who don’t want to pay back what they borrowed. We have been TRYING to. Student loan interest rates are not federally regulated. Student loan companies are not federally regulated. Their repayment plans have been grossly mismanaged for over a decade, which has been proven through federal investigations over the last few years.
Many people are on income-based repayment plans, which are made up of payments based on their previous year’s taxable income. These payments are calculated and decided upon by the student loan company, and rarely cover the interest due. The amount left over gets compounded and added to the principal, which adds to the total value of the loan. The next month that person is paying the same “income based” payment, on a loan that is now valued higher than the month before, which in turn has a higher amount of interest, which is again not covered by the income based payment, and is compounded onto the value of the loan… and so on.
NO part of student loan repayment in our country is as cut and dry as those who are complaining about forgiveness, make it to be. I’m actually happy that you appear not to know, because that means you aren’t stuck in the nearly impossible situation that so many of us are stuck in. People are paying. The loan companies just pocket that money. Student loans are a business, when they should be an asset to our youth.
Oh, and by the way... The same population of “lazy kids” are also federally mandated to pay into social security that they will never be able to collect because it will be dried up before they’re old enough, school taxes for children many of them will not have because they can’t afford them due to student loan debt, Medicaid and food stamps for a vast majority of people the same age who are ACTUALLY lazy and living off of the system, and rent for apartments they they will never own because they can’t afford to buy their own homes. Oh, and most of them have no 401k to take care of them when they are old and social security is drained, because they live paycheck to paycheck just to pay their student loan interest.
Believe me when I say that this is the furthest thing from a handout for lazy kids who don’t want to pay what they owe.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 09:25 am
Nobody ever said all countries.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 10:37 am
Of course not, but you insinuated that - or at least that is the appearance that others of us had.

Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 12:03 pm
You and others commenting want to change the nature of what is being discussed rather than addressing the issues I brought up. Education should be free. Other nations' universities are tuition free and so should ours. What's hard about that?
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 12:45 pm
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 01:20 pm
I disagree and I work with this frequently. It should be affordable - not free.

Not everyone should be going to college. Make it free and you have kids attending for the "party" and not the education. I work with these kids daily I know. Make it free and you know who will benefit - those that do not need the free education. Yep, that is what is happening in many of these countries that provide free public university...the wealthy are the ones attending in much higher amounts.

I agree that the cost of higher education is getting out of hand, even in many public colleges. However, there are ways to work around this even currently. A student can take a year off to work to save money to pay for college. A student can attend a community college for 2 years and pay about a tenth the cost of private four year. They then can transfer to a public 4 year university to complete their education. Students can apply to schools well below their academic position and receive higher scholarships. And students can enlist in the military to get their college education paid for and even work for the Peace Corps to get reduced tuition.

Some things also need to change at the high school level. All high schools should give better and appropriate advice to students - many high schools push kids to go to these more prestige and more expensive schools as it reflects better on their high school if they say have so many students go to Ivy colleges, etc. Instead they should work with students to give appropriate advice all around - do you really want to go to college 5,000 miles away? Do you really want to go to a school that you will need to take out thousands of dollars in loans? Is it really worth living at school and paying those high room and board fees vs commuting? Does it make sense to go to an expensive private college when you don't even know what you want to do later? Do you really want to go to college vs go into work right away or a trade school?

Everyone is pushing these kids to go to college and the most expensive and "best" school they can get into no matter the cost.

College should be affordable (not free) so students can gain an appreciation for the cost of their education and they should want to go to learn - not to party and be a kid for another 4 years. I think we all need to educate our high schoolers on what is important and what college really should be for. Then they are more likely to chose an appropriate college and major - one in which they can use to actually apply to a future career.

Just to add to this - one change that has occurred more recently is the amount of students going right from their bachelor degree to a graduate degree. When I went to get my graduate degree, I went while I was working full time. Now students are not. Two fold why they should not in most cases - the cost (this is where the student loans have skyrocketed) and having a year work experience behind you is helpful in knowing what would be an ideal graduate degree to pursue - not to mention many employers will reimburse you for those graduate classes.
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 01:33 pm
Education should be free. That doesn't have to mean every person in the country should attend college if they can't meet acceptable standards.

Everything a citizen does is victimized by the notion that profits have to be made. We pay enough taxes that it doesn't have to be so. That tax money is rightfully ours but if we don't demand it the powers that be will continue to keep it for themselves.
Real Music
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2022 07:40 pm
The cheap bastards don't even feed the kids who can't afford it.

(Republicans) Won't Renew Free School Meal Program Which Could Hurt Millions of Children.

Published June 3, 2022

A pandemic program allowing waivers for schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to up to 10 million additional students is set to expire on June 30. Currently, Congress has not provided a solution to extend the program to the dismay of many advocated, Salon reports.

The waivers gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authority to lift regulatory obstacles to universal school meals, such as income-based eligibility requirements. With that new flexibility, millions of families were able to discard paperwork and red tape for kids to get fed. The National School Lunch program feeds 22.6 million school children daily.

However, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Republicans killed a temporary program extension in March – saying they did not see “pandemic-era flexibilities as necessary anymore.”

Some states around the country are taking measures into their own hands to extend the lunch program themselves. These efforts come with a high cost, given higher food prices, supply chain breaks, and staffing issues.

It would only cost Congress $11 billion to reauthorize the program. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) introduced the (Support Kids Not Red Tape Act) to extend the waivers, but only has support from all Senate Democrats and two lone Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.

Some representatives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) want a permanent solution. Last year, they introduced a bill to enact a permanent, universal, and nationwide free school meals program, guaranteeing free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack to all school children, regardless of their family income. That proposal has not received a vote in the House or Senate.

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Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2022 03:53 am
edgarblythe wrote:

Education should be free. That doesn't have to mean every person in the country should attend college if they can't meet acceptable standards.

It's certainly preferable than the system that allows the rich to pay for courses they're not really capable of completing.

Dubya was able to go to Harvard because daddy paid for it despite being thick as mince.

We have a similar situation here where the top public schools have already got guaranteed places at Oxford and Cambridge.

That's why one public school dominates, prince William and 20 prime ministers, including Johnson, all went to Eton.

What we need is a meritocracy, we had the beginnings of one after Atlee's government, but that was all taken away by Thatcher.

(Still hate Thatcher.)

(In the UK Public Schools are the most prestigious private schools with a long history. All public schools are private, but not all private schools are good enough to be called public schools.)

Us ordinary plebs attended state schools.
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Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2022 08:27 am

Freeman’s remarks were reported the next day in the San Francisco Chronicle under the headline “Professor Sees Peril in Education.” According to the Chronicle article, Freeman said, “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. … That’s dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow [to go to college].”

“If not,” Freeman continued, “we will have a large number of highly trained and unemployed people.” Freeman also said — taking a highly idiosyncratic perspective on the cause of fascism —“that’s what happened in Germany. I saw it happen.”

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Real Music
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2022 09:30 am
Biden slams ‘MAGA Republicans’ in fiery speech urging Democrats to ‘save democracy’

Published August 26, 2022

ROCKVILLE, Md. — President Joe Biden called on Democrats Thursday “to vote to literally save democracy once again” — and compared Republican ideology to “semi-fascism” — as he led a kickoff rally and a fundraiser in Maryland 75 days out from the midterm elections.

Addressing an overflow crowd of thousands at Montgomery High School in Rockville, Biden said: “Your right to choose is on the ballot this year. The Social Security you paid for from the time you had a job is on the ballot. The safety of your kids from gun violence is on the ballot, and it’s not hyperbole, the very survival of our planet is on the ballot.”

“You have to choose,” Biden added. “Will we be a country that moves forward or a country that moves backward?”

The events, in the Democratic-leaning Washington suburbs, were meant to ease Biden into what White House aides say will be an aggressive season of championing his policy victories and aiding his party’s candidates. He is aiming to turn months of accomplishments into political energy as Democrats have seen their hopes rebound amid the legacy-defining burst of action by Biden and Congress.

From bipartisan action on gun control, infrastructure and domestic technology manufacturing to Democrats-only efforts to tackle climate change and health care costs, Biden highlighted the achievements of the party’s unified but razor-thin control of Washington. And he tried to sharpen the contrast with Republicans, who once seemed poised for sizable victories in November.

Just months ago, as inflation soared, Biden’s poll numbers soured and his agenda stalled, Democrats braced for significant losses. But the intense voter reaction to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and a productive summer on issues of core concern to Democrats have the party feeling like it is finally on the offensive heading into the Nov. 8 vote, even as the president remains unpopular.

Ahead of the rally, Biden raised about $1 million at an event with about 100 donors for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund in the backyard of a lavish Bethesda home.

After his speech at the rally, Biden lingered with the largely mask-free crowd for more than 15 minutes, diving back into the style of campaigning that had been disrupted for Democrats for more than two years by the COVID-19 pandemic. The president, who was identified as a close contact of first lady Jill Biden on Wednesday when she was diagnosed with a “rebound” case of the virus, did not appear to wear a face covering as he posed for selfies and hugged supporters.

Biden’s Thursday events come a day after the president moved to fulfill a long-delayed campaign pledge to forgive federal student loans for lower- and middle-income borrowers — a move that Democrats believe will animate younger and Black and Latino voters.

Republicans, though, saw their own political advantage in the move, casting it as an unfair giveaway to would-be Democratic voters.

“President Biden’s inflation is crushing working families, and his answer is to give away even more government money to elites with higher salaries,” said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. “Democrats are literally using working Americans’ money to try to buy themselves some enthusiasm from their political base.”

Biden on Thursday expanded on his effort to paint Republicans as the “ultra-MAGA” party — a reference to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — opposing his agenda and embracing conservative ideological proposals as well as Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden told donors at the fundraiser. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”

“I respect conservative Republicans,” Biden said later. “I don’t respect these MAGA Republicans.”

The Republican National Committee called Biden’s comments “Despicable.”

“Biden forced Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers, and sent our country into a recession while families can’t afford gas and groceries,” said spokesperson Nathan Brand. “Democrats don’t care about suffering Americans — they never did.”

Since the June Supreme Court ruling removing women’s constitutional protections for abortion, Democrats have seen a boost in donations, polling and performance in special elections for open congressional seats. The latest came Tuesday in a Hudson Valley swing district that, in a Republican wave year, should have been an easy GOP win. Instead, Democrat Pat Ryan, who campaigned on a platform of standing up for abortion rights, defeated Republican Marc Molinaro.

“MAGA Republicans don’t have a clue about the power of women,” Biden said, noting the resonance of the abortion issue with women voters as some in the GOP push a national ban on the procedure. “Let me tell you something: They are about to find out.”

The shift is giving Democrats a new sense that a Republican sweep of the House is no longer such a sure bet, particularly battle-tested incumbents polling better than Biden work their districts.

Meanwhile, Democrats have benefited from Republican candidates who won primaries but are struggling in the general campaign. Trump-backed Senate candidates have complicated the GOP’s chances in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, while several Trump-aligned candidates in House races were not always the party’s first choice.

Trump’s grip on the GOP remains strong and has perhaps even become tighter in the aftermath of the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

JB Poersch, the president of Senate Majority Project, an outside group that is working to elect Democrats to the Senate, said the Republican candidates are “getting caught up in the Trump tornado once again — that is exactly what voters of both parties don’t want.”

Biden’s political event, sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, comes as the president and members of his Cabinet are set to embark on what the White House has billed as the “Building a Better America Tour” to promote “the benefits of the President’s accomplishments and the Inflation Reduction Act to the American people and highlight the contrast with Congressional Republicans’ vision.”

Meanwhile, the White House has benefited from a steady decline in gasoline prices, which, while still elevated, have dropped daily since mid-June.

“Our critics say inflation,” Biden said, dismissing GOP attacks that his policies resulted in inflation being at a 40-year high. “You mean the global inflation caused by the worldwide pandemic and Putin’s war in Ukraine?”

In Maryland, Biden was joined by gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore and a host of other officials on the ballot. Moore, introducing Biden, said his Trump-backed rival “Dan Cox is not an opponent. He’s a threat.”

Months ago, Democratic lawmakers facing tough reelection fights sought to make themselves scarce when Biden came to town, though White House aides said Biden could still be an asset by elevating issues that resonate with voters and sharpening the distinction with Republicans.

Now, allies see the fortunes beginning to change and the president as more of a direct asset to campaigns.

“Joe Biden is not the ballot technically,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer. “But Joe Biden is on the ballot, and Joe Biden needs your support.”

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Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2022 12:03 pm
The factors helping his recent poll numbers would be so enhanced if he

How Democrats can deserve the independents' vote

1. Give us the other $600
2 Ignore or replace the parliamentarian
3 Actually fight for a minimum wage even if it gets stifled, as promised
4. Cancel student debt - all of it
5 keep the promise to push the George Floyd act
6 fight evictions
7 Actually make a fight for health care instead of insurance profits
8 Kill Trump's program aimed at privatizing Social Security instead of embracing it
9 Get DeJoy out of the Post Office
10 Quit spending millions to deny progressives on the ballot
11 Quit expanding oil drilling on public land
12 Take pot off of the Schedule One drugs list
13 Pardon all non violent pot convictions
14 Release Leonard Peltier
15 Try harder to tax the rich
Real Music
Reply Sat 27 Aug, 2022 11:22 am
Biden Lays SMACKDOWN on Trump & MAGA Republicans

Published Aug 26, 2022

0 Replies
Reply Sat 27 Aug, 2022 11:35 am
I think "how Democrats can deserve the left-leaning independents' vote" would be more accurate.
Reply Sat 27 Aug, 2022 11:55 am
Independents don't really like either party. That's why we ask for positive results. Those who don't agree with my post will likely vote Republican.

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