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The $1.5 Trillion Student Loan Debacle That U.S. Taxpayers Are on The Hook For

$1.5 Trillion. That’s how much money U.S. students owe in higher education debt in this country.

It’s a number that has crept steadily higher, ballooning in recent years as more and more Americans chose to attend college. Both President Trump and former Vice President Biden have proposed solutions to forgive some of these debts in various ways–and this leaves those that worked so hard to pay them off, questioning the fairness of such proposals.

Mr. Trump is proposing $25 billion to help forgive student debt levels and wants to modify the income link program currently on the books. He would have borrowers pay 12.5% of their discretionary income—defined as adjusted gross income minus 150 percent of the federal poverty level—for 15 years and then have any debt forgiven. (Currently, borrowers who opt for income-driven repayment plan pay 10% of their income for up to 20 years—for undergraduate debt—and 25 years for graduate-school debt.) In addition, he has invoked an executive order to currently enable borrowers to halt payments, without accruing interest, until December 31st of this year.

Mr. Biden, meanwhile, is offering to flat-out cancel $10,000 of every federal loan borrowers’ balance as a kind of coronavirus aide relief effort.

In addition, for households earning less than $125,000, Biden wants to wipe away undergraduate debt for tuition at public colleges and private colleges that predominantly serve minority students. Those families would still have to pay money borrowed to pay for living expenses, however.

The real answer is to reform higher education so that it is not so costly in the first place.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the cost of higher education in the United States is that the U.S. has attempted to marry two economic systems; there’s a capitalist side to the education equation yet, it’s hindered by a socialist approach. Indeed, an already expensive product is made uber-expensive through the supplement of government funds which enable students and families to borrow huge sums, thereby allowing schools to increase costs with little restraint.

In the past ten years, the cost of a college education has grown at four times the rate of inflation. This is, in part, because the government bankrolls these schools through Federal funds, enabling students to qualify for loans and grants. Simultaneously, the demand for education has skyrocketed as society increasingly expects students to attend a four-year college. As such, this demand, coupled with plentiful loans and grants, provides these incentives for massive inflation.

The New Subprime?

The market for loans is massive – and, in many ways, eerily similar to the subprime lending crisis that led to the financial meltdown in 2008. Loans are being made irrespective of income, intelligence, college major, etc. ie they’re similar to the no-income, no-asset “NINA” loans that proved so disastrous 12 years ago. And while it’s wonderful that Americans can access these opportunities, questions remain as to whether or not these “opportunities” really are everything they’re cracked up to be.

If you graduate from school, with a degree in philosophy, are you equipped to earn a living? OR, have you merely ensured that you’ll be stuck paying back loads of debt for having read a bunch of books you could have read on your own? And, if so, what is the real goal of education?

It hardly seems fair that we’re saddling so many young people with debt. And, it’s hardly fair that parents are taking out loans to finance their kids’ educations at a time when they s

Few 18-year-old kids have any appreciation for what $400k in loans even is… and that’s not entirely their fault. Our education system has refused to teach home economics, which is a tragedy. While the left worries about whether to refer to Indigenous People’s Day or Columbus Day, our students don’t understand what an “APR” is on a credit card, don’t know the difference between the equity and bond markets, and don’t have a clue how to set up a business or access a mortgage.

Understandably, no 18-year old is out there asking the college “what’s my expected return on investment?” Meanwhile, parents too often tend to feel an emotional obligation to put their children on the best “path.” Financially, however, it may not even be the best path for the family.

Education is not one size fits all…and, it could be argued that that same $400k that is being put into college, would be financially (I emphasize financially because there’s no real way to determine the emotional value of college, which for some, is not insignificant) better off in the markets or being deployed as capital to start a new business.

Nonetheless, the real question is; how can we invoke more market discipline in the field of education? We could start by not bankrolling the schools.

#BackTheBlue: Black and Latino Americans descend in Washington D.C

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Candace Owens, the founder of BLEXIT organized a law and order event on the White House South Lawn Saturday.

“Black and Latinos Americans do not support the Marxist, anti-police rhetoric that has become fashionable in the media,” Owens tweeted Saturday. “Today, thousands of us have descended upon Washington D.C. Minorities do not belong to the Left.”

“There are people all around the country that support this president because he supports law and order. It’s that simple,” said Owens. “Law and order should be what you want no matter what color you are. If you are an American, you should want law and you should want order. That is the way forward.”

President Trump saluted the crowd, in what was his first public appearance since his release from the hospital, after testing positive to Covid-19 last week.

“Every day, more Black and Latino Americans are leaving behind left-wing politicians and their failed ideology,” said the President. “What they are, they failed for many years and many, many decades. Democrats have run nearly every inner city in America.”

Are You Ready For Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings?

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Just when we thought the tenor of the nation’s political diagolgue couldn’t grow any more heated, enter the confimation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett set to begin this week.

With the Republicans on the cusp of gaining another conservative voice on the court, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Judge Barrett’s confirmation will begin despite two Republican Senators being sick with Covid-19, and despite the protests of Democrats who have cited the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the proximity to the election as reasons to hold off on any hearings.

Nontheless, as the President has pointed out — he was elected by the people for a four year term and intends to fulfill his constitutional duties, which includes nominataing a Supreme Court justice for the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

As such, Amy Coney Barrett runs the risk of becoming a political football in this environment. Sources say she’s prepared for that and understands the venom that may come her way…including scrutiny over her Catholic religion.

Her confimration process could be politically risky for both sides as it emboldens the base of both parties, including galvazinzing the left and the right over issues of abortion, the second amendment, and an overall conservative interpretation of the constitution.

Senate Republicans intend to portray Judge Barrett in the mold of Justice Scalia, a leading conservative for whom clerked. Judge Barrett is known as a “textualist” who reads statutes based on their language alone without trying to discern the intent behind them. Like Scalia, Barret is said to be someone who sees the Constitution as fixed in its meaning, instead of a document that is designed to change and evolve as our society progresses.

Democrats are expected to ask her about this “originalist” philosophy as they fear she may use it to determine future decisions that could possibly reverse Roe v. Wade; the Affordable Care Act; and gun restrictions.

Do You Know What Your Share of our National Debt Is?

$216,000 per taxpayer.

$81,948 per person.

Welcome to your personal share of our national debt.

And, it’s a debt load that’s growing by the minute.

As lawmakers contemplate more stimulus and the left aims for a greater takeover of the government, Americans will likely see their share of the debt-bill escalate in the coming years.

Talk of reparations, free health care, free college and free monthly basic incomes could send our debt to GDP ratio higher than 100% — on par with the likes of Greece during the midst of the European debt crisis.

Given that the White House and Congress is still in a holding pattern over stimulus, some might ask: do we really need it and, most importantly, can we really afford it?

The short answer is no…and no.

While the case can be made for targeted help to those individuals in need of aid, the overall economy–provided it is allowed to reopen–is already showing signs of recovery. The Atlanta Fed is predicting 33% growth for the third quarter, the highest in history, as the unemployment rate descends to 7.9%, roughly half what many economists assumed it would be at this point in time. Consumer sentiment hit a sixth-month high in September, with the University of Michigan reporting a preliminary reading of 80.4, up from August’s 74.1 reading.

Neither Party Has A Plan

While it can be argued that the left is more willing to spend than the right, it’s clear, neither party has a plan to reduce our debt load. According to a new report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget, we’re heading down a treacherous fiscal path no matter who wins the White House this November. Under the current system, our federal debt is projected to hit a 109 percent debt-to-economy ratio by 2030. Under Trump’s proposed changes, it would hit 125 percent over that same time frame; and, under Biden, it would hit 129 percent. (I suspect with the addition of programs like reparations among other initiatives like a green energy plan, this number could grow even higher.)

But — regardless of who will be worst — the problem, essentially, is there is little impetus for either  party to stop spending. We’ve allowed our government to spend so egregiously, and that freedom to spend is derived, in part, from our status as the world’s reserve currency.

But, this modus operandi cannot continue indefinitely. We are saddling the next generation with burdens that are unfair, unnecessary, and unescapable.

Holding Lawmakers Accountable

At some point, both parties need to take responsibility for this mess. It’s up to Americans to hold lawmakers accountable. So, before we keep throwing trillions of dollars that we don’t have at problems of our own making, let’s aim to shore up our balance sheets.

Pelosi Wants a 25th Amendment “Commission”

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Three weeks ahead of a Presidential election, the Speaker of the House for the United States of America, wants to discuss the use of our 25th Amendment – which allows the Vice President and Congress in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation – to possibly remove the President from office.

Pelosi has proposed a new “Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office” in an effort to “ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office.”

She’d need the Senate, and the Vice President’s approval and that’s not going to happen.

So, if you’re Pelosi why do it? (I mean this is a rather big deal, right? The Speaker of the House if leveling a pretty hefty charge…suggesting he’s not mentally capable of, or healthy enough to be, President?)

Perhaps she wants to distract from the President’s efforts to declassify all documents surrounding Hillary Clinton, her server, and the role our intelligence community and the Obama Administration may have played in the scandal?

Or, perhaps she is just trying to appeal to her party’s base?

Or, maybe this is to be on record should Biden win and they need to move his Vice President into the slot?

Whatever the reason, suggesting the 25th amendment weeks ahead of an election feels like an extraordinarily political move and could backfire on the Democrat party.

What do you think? Scroll down to comment.

Pelosi: ‘Tomorrow we will be talking about the 25th Amendment’

“Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment. But not to take attention away from the subject we have now,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a press briefing.

Developing… will update

Trump: ‘I’m not going to do a virtual debate’

“The commission changed the debate style and that’s not acceptable to us,” President Donald J. Trump said on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business. “I beat him in the first debate, I beat [Joe Biden] easily.”

“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” continued Trump. “I’m not going to waste my time at a virtual debate.”

Are You And Joe Biden Going To Pack SCOTUS? Kamala Harris Fails To Respond

“Are you and Joe Biden going to pack the court if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed? Are you going to pack the court?” Vice President Mike Pence asked during the first and only Vice Presidential debate on Wednesday. “Your party is actually openly advocating adding seats to the Supreme Court, which has had 9 seats for 150 years if you don’t get your way.”

Sen. Kamala Harris did not respond to Pence question, instead, she said that “American people deserve to make the decision of who will serve for a lifetime.”

“Joe and I are very clear the American people are voting right now, and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime,” Harris said.

Trish: Two Vastly Different Policy Approaches–Only One Will Grow The Economy

http://https://youtu.be/WcjiZf7gve0

It was a historic debate. With their potential bosses both in their 70s, either of the candidates on stage Wednesday evening in Salt Lake City could be called upon to serve as President of the United States. With that in mind, the “B” team…took on a whole new significance as Americans contemplated not just the possibility of a Vice President Pence but, a President  Pence… and, not just a Vice President Harris…but, a President  Harris.

Both candidates stepped up to the plate, performed well, and, in some ways seemed a little more out of “central casting” than their bosses. And, while both stressed their plans to see a prosperous America …only one candidate offered us a plan to get us there.

Senator Harris pushed for higher taxes designed to soak the rich and corporate America, while Vice President Pence called for a continuation of the supply-side, free-market approach that empowers businesses and individuals to have a greater role in wealth creation.

You know which side I’m on.

So, it should be no surprise to you that I view Mike Pence, as a result of his sound policy ideas on the economy, as the victor. Kamala Harris did a fine job. She is a highly competent and skilled debater (though, if I were her debate coach, I’d encourage her to hold back on the facial expressions.) Nonetheless, her ideas themselves are inherently flawed and would take the American economy in a challenging direction, launching us on a precarious path.

America is still a capitalist nation that celebrates freedom — and, I hope, will remain a free and prosperous nation.

Election Stakes High: American Economy in Focus

As the two candidates sat behind plexi-glas, it’s important to note how surreal this moment in time really is; the President is in the White House recovering from a Covid-19 infection. Members of his staff have been infected, and this has become one of the most dramatic elections in history.

The stakes could not be higher.

Our economy is in a fragile state. Though 7.9% unemployment is impressive (under the circumstances) it is clear that America needs to go back to work. After all, we need a strong economy to fight this thing!

It’s Not Rocket Science

As for taxes? Harris backs a plan to hike the corporate tax rate up to 28% from the current 21%.

Here’s the problem: How did the Trump administration generate so much growth between 2016 and 2019? It’s not rocket science. It’s lower taxes. For both individuals AND for businesses.

Small businesses and consumers — they are the engines of our great economy. And, Pre-Covid, the federal government saw record tax receipts! In other words, we cut taxes and receipts went up!

Clearly, there’s something to the whole Laffer curve that my friend, the legendary economist Art Laffer, is so well known for. When you empower people to earn, they’ll earn!

A Measured Moderator

On a personal note, as someone who has moderated two Republican Presidential debates myself, I am well aware of the difficulty of keeping the candidates on topic and on time. Susan Page of USA Today did an outstanding job. She executed the event smoothly and without obvious, disdainful bias. It was a refreshing example of what can be done on a debate stage.

That said, I am growing rather tired of the hop, skip, and a jump to the next topic. Just when things start getting good (I personally thought it was outstanding of Pence to push her on the packing of the courts, an issue both she and Biden refuse to go on record about) and, the debate commission needs to allow these events more time to breathe.

The Need for A Fresh, Modern Debate Format

By that, I mean, give each topic more time. Allow for some back and forth. Instead of 6 topics, choose 3. Or, better yet? One hour per topic. Americans are hungry for information and answers. The days of the 2 minutes soundbite are long gone. People are used to consuming more information online and they’re hungry for it.

It’s time the debate commission to join us in 2020 instead of trying to run a 1970s style antiquated event.

Biden’s excuse for no more debates: “If Trump still have Covid, we shouldn’t debate’

“I think if he still has COVID, then we shouldn’t have a debate,” Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee said on Tuesday. Biden made his comments while boarding a plane to Delaware.

“I’m not sure what President Trump is all about now. I don’t know what his status is,” continued Biden. “I’m looking forward to being able to debate him, but I just hope all the protocols are followed.”

Meanwhile, President Trump, tweeted that he was looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. “It will be great!” tweeted Trump.

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