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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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President Biden tries to "buy" votes from young people

Uploaded: Aug 25, 2022
President Joe Biden touted keeping a campaign promise Wednesday when he unilaterally declared that the federal government would forgive $10,000 to $20,000 of student loan debt. Just what authority he is using for the executive order is open to question and potential court challenge given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said publicly last year that he could not do it..
Incidentally, he also broke a campaign promise that programs in his administration would be paid for.
Biden’s announcement drew criticism from both sides of the aisle—progressive Democrats wanted up to $50,000, while Republicans panned it. Student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy so they can be millstones around the heads of graduates who borrowed heavily. That’s particularly true for those who borrowed for under-graduate and graduate degrees in the social sciences that do not offer clear career paths to six-figure salaries. That universities offer these loans for these programs are committing consumer fraud.
Neither Biden nor an of his senior administration officials would give any cost estimate. Penn Wharton put it at $300 billion, while others have estimated up to $600 billion.
College costs have soared, particularly since the government got into the loan business in the early 1990s. From 1977 to 2022, inflation averaged 3.54%, while college costs soared by a 6.28% rate annually. That amounted to a 1,448% increase over those 50 years. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1975 and I recall I paid $232.50 per quarter or under $700 per year=that did not include room and board. Those fees are $14,426 this fall.
The Biden move enables highly-regarded universities to keep raising fees, although second tier institutions are struggling in the post-Covid environment. It also amounts to shifting payment burden from those “successful” college grads to the rest of the taxpayers—parents and students who paid their loans in full and those who didn’t go to college.
It’s dramatically unfair—not that the fact matters to the president and the Dems.
Here’s what Jason Furman, Harvard professor and former chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, tweeted, it “benefits recent college graduates and hurts most everyone else, rich and poor. Student relief is not free. It would be paid for. Part of it would be paid for by the 87% of Americans who do not benefit but lose out from inflation. Part of it would be paid for by future spending cuts (and) tax increases—with uncertainty about who will bear those costs.”
In another tweet, he wrote it was pouring gasoline on the inflation fire.
In regard to my Tuesday comment about spins from the Biden Administration, did you see this one from Jennifer Granholm, the erstwhile secretary of energy, former governor of Michigan and in-between a professor at Cal (ugh)? Speaking on Fox News Sunday, she said lower and middle class Americans could fight the worst inflation in 50 years by spending thousands for solar panels and other green energy products. She was trying to defend the absurdly named “Inflation Reduction Act” and explain how Americans struggling with inflation, gas prices that have more than doubled as well as other soaring energy costs could make ends meet.
Right.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 9:11 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

Are car loans,credit card balances, and mortgages next?


Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

OK. So, this debt is now officially transferred to taxpayers.

What I heard on the radio driving into Pleasanton around noon time, that debt is approximately $10,000 to each taxpayer.

Are CPA's and everyone on top of this so we can write it off?


Posted by keeknlinda, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 12:55 pm

keeknlinda is a registered user.

You're seeking fair, Tim? How fair is it that a kid who's really good at playing football but can scarcely add his way out of a paper bag can sign with a major league team for a six-figure salary fresh out of high school with NO degree, social science, real science, no student loan debt, few life-skills, and ill-prepared for the real world folks like you and me live in?
Berkeley's fees didn't get where they are under the Biden Administration. Neither did the absurd cost of home ownership in California. There have been gradual increases, along with an arguable diminution of the quality of education, at least in some fields.
For my own grandchildren, who have just completed or are completing their higher educations, stepping into the working world saddled with loan debt, this may be the break they need to allow them to become truly productive members of society without forever being under the cloud of debt. They've learned to be frugal, to take life one step at a time, and are well on their individual ways. To give them a boost now, as they're starting their adventures, doesn't seem wrong to me. They've learned the lessons of struggling, life skills of "making do", and I believe have earned the right to benefit from a move to help correct some of the wrongs that were foisted on them, and others who have sought to better themselves through education.
How unfair to begrudge them that opportunity.


Posted by Dena, a resident of Walnut Hills,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 1:28 pm

Dena is a registered user.

Let me throw out another angle to this for your consideration:

I graduated from Cal State Hayward in 1999. I was a single mother of two not receiving a dime of child support. The agency responsible for collecting did absolutely nothing to secure the court ordered support my children were due; a story for another day. I graduated with a degree in Human Biology. I borrowed ~25k to attend school, and yes I also worked.

Fast forward to 2011 I took out a parent plus loan of ~18k for my son to attend college.

Total amount borrowed ~43k; since 1999 I have paid on time, never late to this day my account is in good standing. I have paid back roughly a total of ~41k and
now I owe slightly over 126,000k

And no unlike all other debts this loan cannot be discharged in bankruptcy; no matter what, illness, disability period

Lets recap:
Amount borrowed ~43k
Amount paid back ~41k
I now owe: 126k

My loans are not private loans they are held with the federal government

Are you seeing a problem yet?


Posted by V, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 2:04 pm

V is a registered user.

Ethically, politically, or governmentally how is this different than a tax cut? Tax cuts help particular interests -- usually the wealthy, investors, and business owners. In this case the student loan forgiveness helps students.

Tax cuts also shift the burden of cost from the rich to everyone else. In this case it pushes the costs from students to everyone else.

Like it or not, we need to not treat this student loan forgiveness like any government handout. Be it PPP loans, tax cuts, stimulus checks, or grants. In this case it goes for indebted students. Given all the general government largess in recent years this is probably one of the better groups to get a check.


Posted by V, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 2:04 pm

V is a registered user.

Ethically, politically, or governmentally how is this different than a tax cut? Tax cuts help particular interests -- usually the wealthy, investors, and business owners. In this case the student loan forgiveness helps students.

Tax cuts also shift the burden of cost from the rich to everyone else. In this case it pushes the costs from students to everyone else.

Like it or not, we need to not treat this student loan forgiveness like any government handout. Be it PPP loans, tax cuts, stimulus checks, or grants. In this case it goes for indebted students. Given all the general government largess in recent years this is probably one of the better groups to get a check.


Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 2:05 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"For my own grandchildren, who have just completed or are completing their higher educations, stepping into the working world saddled with loan debt, this may be the break they need to allow them to become truly productive members of society without forever being under the cloud of debt."


How about giving the rest of us who live within our means,paid our loans off, or didn't borrow money a "break" instead? Federal/state/local tax burdens just not high enough yet? Amazing how some people can rationalize the idea of entering into an agreement/financial obligation and expecting taxpayers to cover it as "correcting the wrong" - for the one who took out the loan. Nothing "productive" about this reasoning at all.

If you borrow money, have a plan to pay it back. Nothing is free.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 7:43 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Different philosophy - Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans give tax breaks to the corporations and rich people thinking it is going to trickle down to the regular people while opposing raising minimum wage and healthcare as a right. I recall Tim complaining how expensive it is for teachers to pay for their own health insurance - his bride is a retired teacher.

Democrats help the regular people directly while taxing the corporations and the rich to pay for the cost of helping the regular people.

I like the Democrat's approach. Republicans are hypocrites because they lower taxes for the rich and corporations while continuing to spend a lot of money causing huge deficit - just check out deficit from Trump's tax cuts.


Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 25, 2022 at 11:14 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

“Democrats help the regular people directly while taxing the corporations and the rich to pay for the cost of helping the regular people." - that was a Democratic Party of long, long ago. Now they are the Party of Corporations and. Marxist. They don't care about the Working man or middle America.

The Federal government has given taxpayer money to many colleges and universities over the years- how about they repay a little of that money through this give-away scam and absorb the loss. Especially for all those worthless ‘Study's Degrees" they awarded for showing up. I'd rather see the money go to help pay for those that graduated from medical school.

If you are a parent or grandparent crying about your kids that are stuck with a student loan then perhaps you should pay it off. You take care of yours and we will look after ours. I paid for my kids college education through hard work and saving.


Posted by D, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 26, 2022 at 6:36 am

D is a registered user.

Education is a great tool in helping poor families end the cycle of poverty, but this program causes more long term problems than benefits. So many of us worked extra jobs, went to state colleges instead of really expensive private schools, or did ROTC where we worked off a free college education serving our country in the military after graduation. Education is not just a piece of paper saying you earned a degree, education includes learning how to live within your means, and realize in life there are consequences for your actions. The "education" this program is teaching is being irresponsible, ignoring your debts, and hoping that the government will bail you out.

The "education" we need is bringing down the cost of college education, but the Democrats do not want to upset their liberal college administrators so instead of tackling the rising cost of education they simply make the 80% of us who do not benefit from this program pay for it.

A better approach would be to make the students pay back their college loans, but without interest. At least the students would get an "education" in responsibility, and paying off their debts.


Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 26, 2022 at 9:52 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Here's what Kevin barked:

“Democrats help the regular people directly while taxing the corporations and the rich to pay for the cost of helping the regular people."

Democrats help people, eh?

You mean people like ex-governor Cuomo, who placed healthy older folk in COVID infected assisted living facilities?

You mean like Afghanistan, where president mumbles and fumbles left Americans behind?

Ah, but now, president nobody to shake hands with, wants to give free money - lots of free money - to people so they can pay off their college debt. I worked hard to pay my off my college debt, why shouldn't they? It's nothing more than a political ploy by the current idiot in chief for another run at the top spot. But there is a darker side here folks.

The current president and his band of idiots, are currently engaged in talks with Iran. If you recall, President Trump ended these talks due to state sponsored terrorism that Iran protects around the world. And how many times has Iran threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the earth? The fact is, the current president isn't helping this country by continuing talks with our enemy. And he's a fool to believe Iran will keep its word.

The Democrats aren't helping anybody.


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