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About Student Loans

I admit that I was never a big fan of the idea to reduce or eliminate a good deal of the student loan debt. And that was because, like many millions of former students, I was essentially required to take out student loans to pay for school, and then had to spend quite a few years to pay them back. So I am still somewhat resentful of the fact that there was this push to let more recent students get out of paying some of their loans back.

This became a big issue for the Sanders campaign of 2016. I don’t know whether it was because Sanders was pushing it out of belief, or because he knew that it would get him a large proportion of the college-age voters, as he was essentially promising them money if he won. But this was taken up by other Democrats, notably Elizabeth Warren.

I still don’t think it is fair, but there are more important things to worry about. And it is so crucial that Democrats win the midterms and beyond, that if the new Biden edict to eliminate at least $10,000, and in many cases, $20,000, of the student loan debt of anyone making less than $125.000 per year, helps the Democrats win, I am for it. And I certainly understand how so many students are virtually compelled to take out the loans to pay for school, and do not realize the crushing burden of the debt amassed, particularly in an economy where only a few get high-paying jobs after college or even graduate school.

But I certainly do hope that the former students who will get some, or in some cases, all, as Biden noted in his speech, of their student debt eliminated, will show their appreciation by going out and voting for all the Democrats on the ballot. Stop this, “Both parties are the same, they’re all corrupt” affectation. Start helping the Democratic Party to help people in various ways, rather than sit home and sort of hope they lose, because maybe that will lead to a third party to indulge themselves with.

I know that they are not all like that, but enough of them were to get Trump ostensibly elected, and to contribute to Biden’s favorable numbers to be so low. If part of your education included history and economics, then you should understand what Republican control will do to your rights and your freedoms. And the only way to avoid it, is to vote against them.

I know it takes some time out of your day once or twice every two years, and I know that it might seem like some kind of submission on your part to our political system. But the alternative is not some kind of a fun society where there are all sorts of different parties, including one just for you; and you can debate or snark about it on the social media. It is Hungary or Russia or North Korea or Brazil. Or Trump’s or DeSantis’ America.

Now, the Republicans, while very evil, and not particularly intelligent, do have the ability to know how to spin everything in a way to galvanize their base. Their base is mostly non-college educated White people. So they immediately claimed that the student loan plan benefited elite college graduates, at the expense of blue-collar working people.

They claim that it will raise the taxes on those people, though it will not .They want it to look as if those elitist big-city Democrats are taking the money of hardworking laborers, and handing it to wealthy intellectual types. One of them just claimed that the money would go to further build the “empires” of wealthy Harvard and Yale.

All they want is for their people to strike back in anger against those “liberal elites,” and vote in larger numbers. Will this work? Let us hope not, because if it does, then this will be the very exemplification of a pyrrhic victory; or perhaps Oscar Wilde’s epigram of “No good deed ever goes unpunished.’

It is all about the votes. Winning the intellectual arguments can be satisfying in some periods, but right now, it is winning the elections. Republicans are searching for any way to gain the momentum going into November. They think that the student loan debt reduction will do that. The polls had shown that more voters approved of the idea, but that was in the abstract, and before Republicans tried to use their media power to frame it in their terms, as they always do.

It is grimly amusing that Republicans, whose major goal, besides accumulating power to control everyone’s lives, is to amass all the wealth, by taking it from the middle class, keep managing to pretend that they are trying to keep the middle class taxes low. Even when their tax bill of 2017 gave a tremendous tax break to millionaires and corporations, while effectively raising the tax rates of everyone else.

Now their plan is to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, and they say it out loud. And they are so convinced that their voters are ignorant and unable to think logically (a college education helps in that regard, though it is not sufficient in itself), that they believe they can trick them into voting more Republicans in to steal more of their money and in many cases take away their entire support system.

That is the gamble (it’s not hard to gamble when you have almost all of the money) that Republicans take. So they are trying to use this student loan issue to pretend that they are helping the uneducated people stop the snooty liberal elites from getting something that they do not have.

I would not have done the student loan elimination right now, but maybe Biden and his advisors thought that it would help in the elections, or maybe they just think it is the moral thing to do. It may well be, depending on one’s perspective. But the “long game” can never be ignored.

In Republicans’ world, they figure that if they can just take power one more time, they can take so many voting rights and free speech rights away from people, that there will never be a payback against them. So one more time, they go to the pretense that they are for the average Joe and Jane, when the obvious truth is that they have spent two hundred years here in trying to get every last cent of their money into their own pockets. That is their sole raison d’etre.

So we can only see how this plays out. I would like to have $10,000 of the money I paid back to student loan companies returned, and I am sure that many others would, too. It was depressing and stressful to deal with this every month. I admittedly did have a lot of graduate school, but I learned a lot of things, it was not just an indulgence. Education cannot be just about trading it in for salary later on.

It took me eight years or so to pay off all the student loans. But I can think about the situations of other people, too; and if this improves the lot of many who simply could not get out of the immense student loan debt, then I can support that–as long as it helps keep Democrats in some kind of power. Because if it does not, then it was perhaps a mistake, since so much is at risk for everyone.