Closing Thought–31Aug22

If you visit many buffets these days one of the big draws is crab….Dungeness, King, Snow, Blue and Stone….all you can eat for 19.95….but sadly like the Atlantic Cod the King and Snow crabs are getting scarce….

Where did the Alaskan king and snow crabs go? The tasty crustaceans have all but vanished from their usual haunts within safe range of Alaska’s crabbing fleet. Per the Washington Post,king crabs—by far the larger of the two species—have been in decline for years, but the industry was unprepared for the sudden collapse of the snow crab population. Commercial crabbers, including many small business owners, went deep into debt in anticipation of a great 2021 snow crab harvest. Those expectations were based on 2018–19 surveys showing record populations of juveniles; but when 2021 rolled around, the stock of mature snow crabs was down by some 90% compared to prior years.

The state sharply reduced the allowable snow crab harvest from 45 million to 5.5 million pounds, but fishers didn’t even get that much. Many now face bankruptcy or are looking for creative ways to make ends meet. Meanwhile, there was no 2021 season for king crabs, and the state will announce what’s in store for 2022 on Oct. 15. Per the Anchorage Daily News, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is also developing a “snow crab rebuilding plan,” which it is on track to unveil in December. In any event, the outlook seems grim, not only for crabbers but also for dozens of remote, indigenous villages in western Alaska, where crab processing is the only economic game around.

The Bering Sea has experienced several straight years of above-average temperatures, and while scientists aren’t sure of the exact reasons for the mass crab die-off, temperature seems to be key. Higher temps could make crabs more vulnerable to parasites or predators like cod, which shy from frigid waters. In any case, the decline is dramatic in both scale and speed. Mike Litzow, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service lab in Kodiak, refers to it as the “borealization” of the Bering Sea, which, like the nearby boreal forests, is rapidly transforming due to climate change.

Climate change claims another victim….

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What’s Next For Liz?

The mid-terms are just a mere 60 days away and time for IST to take a closer look at the possibilities of our vote.

The big story is that Liz Cheney was beaten in Wyoming in the GOP primary.

So what’s next for the beaten Repub?

But first let’s talk about Liz for a moment…..

Liz Cheney didn’t do the one thing she was meant to do: convince any of her fellow Republicans that Trump was a threat to the Republic and, by extension, the “values” of the Republican Party, because Trump’s “values” are now symbiotic with those of the GOP. So, she was a failure. In fact, the Cheneys–Dick, Lynne & Liz–have been agents of political corruption since Dick’s tenure in the Nixon Administration, steadily eating away at whatever frail ethical foundations the party may have had for three decades, rotting clean through by 2001–the detritus providing the seedbed from which the toxic tendrils of Trumpism sprouted. So it is fitting that this is her political end, undone by the savagery of a party her family re-shaped in its own depraved image.

Ideologically Liz Cheney was pretty much in lockstep with Trump, backing nearly every vicious social and economic policy he sent to the Hill. (She voted for Trump bills 93% of the time.) She might as well be Stephen Miller’s political doppelgänger. Liz only diverged from Trump on those few occasions when he went soft on foreign policy–on Russia, Iraq, Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan. She’s always been a guard dog of her father’s ruinous legacy. Her objections to the J6th insurrection were to its overtness, which risked exposing the way the continuity of power–real power–is maintained in the US, from one administration to the next, with little real change in policy. Call it the Deep State if you like–though it’s really just “the State.” If anything, it was the clumsiness of Trump that offended the sensibility of the Cheneys. Because Liz and Dick both know from experience there are subtler ways to fix the outcomes of elections.

During her abbreviated tenure in Congress, Cheney voted Liz Cheney against restoring the Voting Rights Act, against raising the minimum wage, against the Equality Act and the Equal Rights Amendment, against the George Floyd Act, the Build Back Better and Infrastructure bills, against the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, against the $35 Insulin bill, against the Women’s Health Protection Act and against anti-gas price gouging bill. A real hero for our time…

Just a quick look at candidate Liz……

There are those out there that like Liz and think she would do well as an independent presidential candidate…..I do not agree….in fact she would probably help Trump (if he decides to run)….

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) confirmed last week that she is considering running for president in 2024.

But a new poll shows that if Cheney runs as an independent, her campaign would backfire and help former President Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee against President Joe Biden.

In fact, Yahoo News said Cheney would “single-handedly swing the election to Trump.”

Specifically, the poll discovered that in a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Trump, Biden would win by three points, 42% to 39%; 20% of respondents said they are not sure who they would support.

But when Cheney is thrown into the race as an independent spoiler, Biden’s re-election chances sink completely — and Trump is propelled to victory.

With Cheney in the race, Trump would win by eight points over Biden, 37% to 29%, while Cheney would secure 11% of support. Nearly one-quarter of respondents (23%), however, said they are unsure of who they would support in such a scenario.

So if you are considering that independent candidate I would re-think that decision and do a little research before casting your vote.

As I always say….choose wisely.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Mississippi Makes The News–Again

Why is it that my state, Mississippi, cannot make the news for something positive….instead it keeps dragging the state back to the 1950s. The latest ruling does nothing to change that opinion.

According to the Mississippi Free Press, the traditionally right-wing U.S. Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit has upheld an 1890 voting law in Mississippi that was explicitly designed to make it easy to strip Black people of their voting rights for life — even as the court admitted that was the original purpose of the law.

“The court’s conservative majority admitted that the Jim Crow law was ‘steeped in racism,’ but said the State had made enough changes in the 132 years since to override its white supremacist taint,” reported Ashton Pittman. “A 2018 analysis found that the law still disproportionately disenfranchises Black Mississippians compared to white residents.”

“The 1890 provision at issue is Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution, which originally permanently disenfranchised people who committed the following crimes: bribery, burglary, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement and bigamy,” noted the report.

These are all crimes that were disproportionately, or in some cases almost exclusively, used to prosecute Black people, many of whom hadn’t actually done anything wrong.

In their effort to only include crimes they believed Black people were most likely to commit, the white-supremacist drafters of the 1890 Constitution did not originally include murder and rape as disenfranchising crimes,” the report noted.

As the report noted, the Mississippi legislature adopted race neutral language in the law — something that, contrary to popular belief, a lot of Jim Crow laws of the era did — but the drafters of the law made clear in speeches what the law was for. Mississippi Speaker of the House James Vardaman said: “There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter … Mississippi’s constitutional convention of 1890 was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the n–ger from politics. Not the ‘ignorant and vicious’, as some of the apologists would have you believe, but the n–ger.”

The Fifth Circuit argued that since the list of crimes was later updated, with burglary being taken out and murder and rape being added, there was no longer a racial intent in the list of crimes, and therefore it was now allowed — even though the state still firmly had a segregationist code at the time that list was amended.

https://www.rawstory.com/jim-crow-mississippi/

There may be a ‘New South’ but Mississippi is not one of them…..I have always said when visiting Mississippi then set your watch back 150 years.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Is Inflation Slowing?

The good news lately has been that the rate of inflation is slowing…..that report made most of the MSM……good news indeed….but is it all show much smoke and mirrors?

While many economists are anxious to have the Fed push forward with an aggressive path of rate hikes, there is good reason to be cautious. If we deliberately raise the unemployment rate, and throw millions of people out of work, it will be the most disadvantaged in the economy and society who will be hardest hit.

And, the impact is not just on the people who actually lose their jobs, but on millions more who will be fearful of losing their jobs. In addition, tens of millions may feel stuck at dead end jobs with poor working conditions and abusive bosses. We should always be cautious about a policy that deliberately throws people out of work and try to avoid going this route unless it is absolutely necessary. (We should also come up with better routes for dealing with inflation, but I’ll skip that one for now.)

The recent government data on inflation, along with a wide variety of private measures, give us good reason to believe that we are seeing at least a temporary pause where the monthly inflation data will be moderate. As noted, there is clear evidence of substantial labor market weakening, which could slow the pace of wage growth to a rate consistent with moderate inflation. The Fed should take advantage of this pause to slow its path of rate hikes and get a better sense of where the labor market now stands.

Inflation: Where Are We Now?

The things that I buy shows no slowing….food is still up….gas is down….

Economists see things that we mere mortals do not……but I can only say how it is affecting me and my family…..so far inflation is still biting hard.

How about you?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Pesky Affidavit

Know it is Sunday and I try to avoid the ‘news’ for happier or informative things….in that light this post is an FYI post…..

Well the social media sights are burning up with opinions on whether this raid on Mar-a-Lago was valid or not.

This post is about the affidavit…..

The Justice Department released its blacked-out version of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit Friday afternoon, and news outlets were scrambling to make sense of what could be read. In the affidavit, the department argued that the FBI search had to be conducted because a batch of documents retrieved from the Florida residence in January contained an alarming amount of classified information—14 of 15 boxes had documents with classified markings, reports the AP—and they were sure more were still at the residence. Coverage:

  • Read the redacted affidavit yourself here.
  • The department said the material retrieved in January included top-secret information obtained by “clandestine human resources” who were monitoring “foreign communications signals,” per theHill. If such information got into the wrong hands, it could compromise spies and their intel-gathering operations, said the affidavit.
  • How did the department know that Trump had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago? Through “a significant number of civilian witnesses.”
  • The affidavit asserted that “there is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found” at the residence, per the Washington Post.
  • Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich declared in a statement that “this is a grave travesty, and what is unredacted only further supports President Trump’s position, there was NO reason for a raid—it is all politics!” Trump himself is using the familiar phrase “witch hunt,” per the New York Post.
  • In terms of specifics, the affidavit said the boxes retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in January by the National Archives contained 184 classified documents—”25 of which were marked ‘top secret,’ 92 of which were marked ‘secret,’ and 67 of which were marked ‘confidential’—the lowest level of national security classification,” per Politico. Some of the “highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified,” the affidavit said.
  • In assessing the January batch, FBI agents “were most alarmed to discover that many of the materials included the highest national security restrictions, requiring they be held in controlled government storage facilities, and barring them from ever being shared with foreign governments,” per the New York Times.
  • On the first page of the affidavit, an FBI agent summed things up: “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”

Below is the affidavit for those that did not read the above part of this post…..

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/26/politics/mar-a-lago-search-warrant-affidavit-memo/index.html

Documents already made public show the FBI retrieved from the property 11 sets of classified documents, including information marked at the top secret level. They also show that federal agents are investigating potential violations of three federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The other statutes address the concealment, mutilation, or removal of records and the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations. Trump and his backers have maintained that he had the authority as president to declassify any documents he removed from the White House.

Hopefully this will help clear any misunderstandings there has been around this document.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

California Makes History

This time it is not news of wildfires or mudslides or earthquakes…..nothing as a natural disaster but rather the possibility of an economic disaster (if you believe what the naysayers are on about)……

The state of California has moved to ban gas powered cars….this ought to set the GOP’s hair on fire…..here is what is reported…

California has followed up its move to phase out gas-powered mowers with an even more ambitious goal—phasing out gas-powered cars. The California Air Resources Board voted Thursday in favor of banning the sale of new gas-powered cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs by 2035, the AP reports. After that date, people will still be able to drive older gas-powered vehicles, but the state will only allow the sale of new electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, plus a limited number of plug-in hybrids. More:

  • Newsom wants to make the tailpipe obsolete. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who first announced the plan in 2020, tells the New York Times that the move is “one of the most significant steps to the elimination of the tailpipe as we know it.” “Our kids are going to act like it’s a rotary phone, or changing the channel on a television,” he says.
  • Other states are likely to follow suit. California is the nation’s biggest buyer of vehicles, and the move will have a big effect on other states. Washington and Massachusetts have already announced plans to follow suit, and another 15 states follow California’s emissions rules, which are tougher than federal rules. “Automakers don’t like making different cars for different states, so California sets the de facto standard for the country and other parts of the world,” Vox notes.
  • Auto industry is on the same page. While there are massive production challenges ahead, including sourcing enough raw materials for batteries and expanding charging networks, major US auto makers and their overseas counterparts are moving in the same direction as California and are spending tens of billions of dollars to expand their electric vehicle offerings, reports the New York Times. Ford wants 40% of its vehicles to be electric by 2030 and Volkswagen plans to phase out gas-powered vehicles in Europe by 2035 at the latest.

Pushback. The California rule, called the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule, still requires a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. While the Biden administration has signaled it will be granted, opponents are urging the EPA to reconsider. Reuters reports the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association urged the administration Thursday to reject the “unlawful ban,” saying granting the waiver “would hand over sweeping federal government authority to California regulators, effectively appointing Governor Newsom and CARB as car and truck czars for the entire United States.”

This ought to fire up the fear mongers….more ammo for the naysayers…..

But has anyone stop to think about the draw on electric grid if we all go electric?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those MediCare Advantage Plans

You have seen the ads…..everybody sells these plans, even AARP, that say they can put money back into your Social Security check….but what of these plans?

First of all the whole US health care system is a scam.

But what of these ‘advantage’ plans?

At least one Senator is not convinced these are anything but a deception….

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday launched an inquiry into “potentially deceptive” marketing tactics being used by private insurers and other companies that offer Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, citing “alarming reports” about contractors “engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.”

In his capacity as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal healthcare programs under the Social Security Act, including privately run Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D drug plans, Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters requesting more information from 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs.

The letter—sent to officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas—comes amid a surge in complaints about MA and Part D marketing materials that purport to inform seniors of their coverage options.

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which has the authority to regulate materials used to market MA and Part D plans, reported that complaints from seniors more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

Among other things, Wyden wants officials to provide data on the number of complaints about MA and/or Part D marketing materials they have received in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, including possible patterns of discrimination, as well as “examples of potentially false or misleading marketing materials and advertisements in MA or Part D, including mailers, robo-calls, websites, television commercials, and online advertisements.”

Of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries, nearly half are enrolled in MA plans and 50 million are enrolled in Part D plans. Corporations that manage MA plans have come under fire for upcoding, or exaggerating patients’ illnesses in order to reap larger payments from the federal government—something they do while refusing to provide necessary care for tens of thousands each year.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/08/23/wyden-launches-probe-deceptive-marketing-medicare-advantage-plans

So the question remains….is Medicare Advantage a necessary expense?  Is it a scam?

My thoughts are this is an unnecessary expense with promises that may not be realized or needed.

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“lego ergo scribo”

That Usual Saturday News–27Aug22

It is Saturday again and time for the usual news that no one can use…..

It’s what is called the ‘Dog Days Of Summer’ that time before Autumn, that time when the final vacay days like going to the beach before cooler weather sets in.

If you are planning that last trip to the seaside keep in kind the dangers that could await you…..like sharks, jellyfish, rip tides ans of course beach umbrellas…..

Beach umbrellas?

Glad you asked.

A midweek beach outing turned tragic for a South Carolina woman after an umbrella blew over and fatally impaled her. WMBF reports that 63-year-old Tammy Perreault of Horry County was struck in the chest Wednesday around 12:40pm by the umbrella. It had toppled with the wind on the shore of Garden City. “It just kept going and going,” friend Sherry White tells the news station. “Everyone [said], ‘Duck,’ and we did, but unfortunately she was in the line of fire.” Off-duty medical professionals and other beachgoers assisted Perreault, who was suffering from chest trauma, until first responders arrived to take her to a nearby hospital, per a spokesman for Horry County Emergency Management.

She died there about an hour after the accident. Per a study last year in the Journal of Safety Research, most patients treated at the ER due to injuries from beach and patio umbrellas were women over the age of 40 like Perreault, reports CBS News. “The most frequently reported injury was laceration followed by contusions or abrasions and internal organ injury, and the body part with the highest proportion of injuries was the head/neck followed by the upper extremity,” the study notes.

Such incidents have been concerning enough that Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia asked the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to run a safety campaign around them, spurred by the death in 2016 of a 55-year-old Virginia woman. WTKR cites a CPSC warning that “airborne beach umbrellas can be dangerous, even deadly.” The agency notes that between 2010 and 2018 there were about 2,800 unconfirmed injuries due to beach umbrellas. The CPSC offers tips on safely erecting one, including anchoring the base of the spiked pole with something hefty to keep it down, packing sand down around the base, and tilting the umbrella into the wind.

Keep that in mind while you visit the seaside.

How many of you old farts remember the gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida?

She has decided to enter into Italian politics…..

The Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida has said she is running in general elections next month because she is “fed up with quarrelling politicians”.

Lollobrigida, who turned 95 in July, is endeavouring to become a senator with the Sovereign and Popular Italy party (ISP), a new Eurosceptic, anti-Mario-Draghi political alliance that opposes sending arms to Ukraine and “warmongering Atlanticism”.

She told Corriere della Sera she was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, for his “way of doing things, for his non-violence” and that she was a “great friend” of India’s first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi. “I saw her every time she came to Rome. She was an extraordinary woman.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/15/italian-actor-gina-lollobrigida-95-says-she-will-run-in-general-elections

If you live anywhere mosquitoes are a problem and what to do about them in your yard…..

Life comes with lots of little annoyances, few of them littler or more annoying than mosquitoes. Although it may seem difficult to avoid mosquitoes, the AP offers some ways to reduce or eliminate them from your yard and garden—without resorting to insecticidal foggers or sprays (which the AP points out threaten essential pollinators and other beneficial insects while controlling only a small portion of the adult mosquito population). With the exception of those who live near a lake, marsh, or swamp or in densely packed neighborhoods, most of the blame for mosquito invasions usually falls on the property’s residents.

Mosquitoes need only one-quarter inch of water to breed, and a female can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Inspect your property for standing water. Drain or dump water as you see it, even if the amount appears insignificant—in a children’s playset, clogged gutter, pot saucer, overturned trash can lid or flying disc toy—and drill drainage holes in the bottoms of vessels like tire swings. For water that’s intended to stand, such as in ponds and bird baths, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is a safe and effective way to kill mosquito larvae.

Several strains of Bt are available, each targeting different insects, so be sure to buy the israelensis strain to target mosquitoes. Bti comes in various forms, including donut-shaped briquettes called “Mosquito Dunks.” The floating rings offer 30 days of protection and “will not harm people, pets, and other animals, aquatic life, or other insects, including honeybees,” according to the CDC. If you don’t have a pond or bird bath, you can make a DIY mosquito trap. Add a handful of straw, hay, or grass clippings to a (preferably dark-colored) pail filled with water, and let it sit for 1-2 days. Then add one mosquito dunk.

For large infestations, tuck several buckets around the yard. The decomposing organic matter will attract the insects, which will lay eggs on the treated water. Replace water and add a fresh dunk every 30 days to thwart future generations of mosquitoes. As for so-called “mosquito plants” marketed as repellents: They do contain oils or chemicals that the insects find unappealing, but they’re not effective unless those compounds are released, such as by crushing the leaves. Merely having such a plant in the garden or a pot will not provide any benefit. In case you’re wondering, mosquitoes do serve a purpose—as pollinators and bird food. Still, because the roles they serve in these areas are minor, eliminating them from your yard will not adversely affect the ecosystem.

Finally, a new study has me concerned…..bacon could cause dementia…..

There are 10 million new cases of dementia every year and this trend is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. The reason for the jump is ageing populations. However, it’s worth pointing out that age is a risk factor not a cause of dementia, and there are things you can do to modify your risk. Research published earlier this year suggests cutting back on processed meat.

Scientists from the University’s Nutritional Epidemiology Group used data from 500,000 people, discovering that consuming a 25g serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent to one rasher of bacon, is associated with a 44 percent increased risk of developing the disease.

But their findings also show eating some unprocessed red meat, such as beef, pork or veal, could be protective, as people who consumed 50g a day were 19 percent less likely to develop dementia. 

The researchers were exploring whether there is a link between consumption of meat and development of dementia.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1654251/dementia-symptoms-risk-bacon

Okay this sounds like a story by the Turkey Bacon people to increase sells…..besides with enough bacon I could eat a bowling ball.

This is it for all the news that means absolutely nothing….hope you enjoyed it.

Have a great weekend.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–26Aug22

We hear lots of positive stories coming out of Ukraine….and equally disturbing reports coming out of Russia….

But the question is….are things going well in Ukraine?

The latest issue from the State Department raises many question and that is just one….

The US embassy in Kyiv is imploring any American citizens still in Ukraine to leave, citing intel that Russia might launch attacks on civilian areas and government facilities in the coming days, reports the Wall Street Journal. The warning comes ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday, one that marks 31 years since Ukraine left the teetering Soviet Union. The day also marks the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion. As such, there will be no celebrations or parades this year; instead, Ukrainian officials are instituting curfews and warning citizens to stay home.

Andrii Yusov, spokesman for Ukraine’s ministry of defense, said “missile attacks and other provocations” are likely on or around Wednesday, per CNN. “[The Russians] are crazy about dates and symbols,” Yusov said, “so it would be quite logical to … be prepared for the fact that Independence Day will also be attacked.” President Volodymyr Zelensky also warned in a weekend video message that “we must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious” in the coming days.

The warnings follow the murder of Darya Dugina—daughter of ultranationalist Alexander Dugin—in a car bomb attack on Saturday, as well as a series of attacks far behind Russian lines, including a military airfield in Crimea and strikes on several ammunition depots and command posts in occupied areas. Meanwhile, as the New York Timesreports, a skeleton crew of “stressed, tired, and scared workers” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are “all that stands between the world and nuclear disaster.” And in a possible signal that Ukraine is preparing for new counteroffensives, the Pentagon on Friday announced an $800 million assistance package that reportedly includes short-range TOW missiles, armored mine-clearing vehicles, and other weaponry suitable for “closer combat,” according to the Washington Post.

If things are going well then why does the State Department thinks it needs to issue this warning?

So again….are things really going all that good in Ukraine?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Reservations On Student Debt

I wrote yesterday on Biden’s new student debt forgiveness thing…..I also added that I have some reservations about his plan.

Today I would like to post on the reservations others have with the Biden plan….

I will begin with a blogging friend over at “Constitutional Insurgent”…..and his objections….

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/36481829/posts/4215739250

We both have some reservations but we come at them from different directions…..and we are not alone…..

President Biden rolled out his long-awaited plan for federal student loan debt forgiveness on Wednesday—but while it will erase student debt for an estimated 20 million Americans and reduce it for many millions more, the list of people criticizing the plan is a long one, including those who say there should be no loan forgiveness, those who say the plan doesn’t go far enough, and those who complain it does nothing to fix the problem or soaring education costs. Biden’s plan, which fulfils a campaign promise, forgives up to $10,000 in student debt for those making under $125,000 a year. Eligible Pell Grant recipients can have an additional $10,000 in debt erased. Some reactions:

“A regrissive, expensive, mistake.” The Washington Post editorial board calls the debt forgiveness—and the extension of a pause in payments—”ill-conceived and misdirected.” “Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive,” the board says. “It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college, to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees.” With the cost of canceling debt estimated at $230 billion, the plan is “also expensive—and likely inflationary,” the board writes.

  • “Economically responsible.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the measures are “not only economically responsible, they will provide real benefits to families.” Jason Furman, former President Obama’s onetime top economic adviser, strongly disagreed, saying “pouring roughly half trillion dollars of gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning is reckless,” Fox reports.
  • “Like pouring a bucket of ice water on a forest fire.” Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, says ” Black Americans have been disproportionately devastated by student loan debt,” leaving them unable to buy homes and build intergenerational wealth. Canceling a minimum of $50,000 per borrower would “drastically reduce the racial wealth gap,” but “canceling just $10,000 in debt would be bad public policy and a devastating political mistake,” he writes at CNN.
  • A “slap in the face to people like me.” Bethany Mandel at Fox says she dropped out of Northeastern before taking a single class when she realized what her debt repayments would be. She says she went to public schools instead, kept her debt to a minimum, and lived frugally after graduation to repay her debt as quickly as possible. Biden’s plan is “a slap in the face to people like me, people who sacrificed dream schools and picturesque college experiences in order to responsibly take out as little debt as possible and pay it down according to the terms we agreed upon,” she writes.
  • Older borrowers “neglected.” Alexis Leonidis at Bloomberg argues that the plan doesn’t do enough for “older Americans whose financial lives are overwhelmed by student debt with little chance of ever being able to repay.” Many of the 2.5 million borrowers over 62 have debts well over $10,000 and default rates are “dismal,” she notes. She says the administration should “cancel all student debt for those who been in income-based repayment for more than 20 years, and end the practice of dipping into Social Security benefits for those who default.”
  • A different way. Oren Cass at Politico argues that Biden’s plan does nothing to fix America’s “dysfunctional system for financing higher education.” He says the problem stems from cultural beliefs that have made it an “implicit parental obligation” and “an explicit public obligation, to facilitate any student attending any school, regardless of cost,” despite the questionable value of many degrees. Cass argues that student debt should be treated like other kinds of debt, allowing borrowers to declare bankruptcy. He says public university systems should be well-funded—and for those who seek loans for more expensive private options, the lenders should be the colleges themselves.

There you have the objections….

If you have any thoughts please join the conversation.

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“lego ergo scribo”