Dean Clough

August 26, 2022

Portico Darwin: Loan Sharks

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS

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Like clockwork, out came the Republicans bitching about Papa Joe forgiving $10,000 ($20,000 for Pell Grant recipients) in student loan debt, for middle and lower income people.  Shocker, I know. 

But also a shocker, they are completely wrong.  And for a change, I have standing to say so.  Here's the story.

You see, by the time these Diamond Certified photos were taken in the mid 1980s, I had run up more than $10,000 in student loan debt myself, at The University of Colorado at Boulder.
For the record, that is my enigmatic and MIA former roommate Foster Fieldhouse and me in Boulder, and then me with Arthur and the steel town pretty boy, Biff Foundry, in Steamboat Springs.

Anyhow, for the first couple of years after graduation, my parents paid the loans.  And then I did.  And when Julie and I married, she and I paid off the remainder of about $5,000 over time.  $5,000 in 2022 dollars is over $13,000 - so not a trivial amount.

My point is this:  I am literally one of the people that should be pissed about what Biden did.  I did all of the right things.  I took out loans that I (and my wife) later paid off in full, with interest.  That happened by working hard and playing by the rules.  My parents were not wealthy and I thus had to pull myself up by the bootstraps.  And - now that I've done my job -why should I have to pay for some psych major's bills from an elite country club college somewhere?  I should be really pissed off!

But I am not pissed off.  In fact I am thrilled.  Because it's called "giving back".

I honestly don't care who benefits from this.  Will there be some rich-ish person somewhere who gets a free ten grand?  Maybe, but I just don't care.  Are there better things we could do to help people?  Yes, but this was easy for Biden to do.

Further, I (and about a jillion like me) am the beneficiary of a society and economy where I could and do thrive.  There's a cost for that, and they're called "taxes".  And this is as good of a use of our tax dollars as I've seen in a while.  That's because we live in a society, not just an economy, and this fits my definition of an investment in our society.

And as a practical matter, the $300 billion price tag for this is a pittance compared to the gluttonous and continuous handouts to the actual rich that's been going on, oh, I don't know, FOR FUCKING EVER.  It's comical that those whining the loudest are also the biggest advocates for the fantasy of "trickle-down economics".  In their world, only the wealthy should get handouts so they can build society; a well-educated person from modest means can't do a thing.

And then there's the aid to farmers.  On average, they get $16 billion - every year, and that's been going on, as above, also FOR FUCKING EVER.  But of course, in America, we never (ever) question the sanctity of the family farm - no matter how big the corporate conglomerate that owns it.

So yes:  I paid off my own student loans.  And I couldn't be happier others won't have to.

I'll close with a question: 

If you're angry about someone else getting a break, what does that say about you?

Something to consider over the weekend - which I hope is a great one.

FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES

Hunter Deuce sent this to us, as his snarky way of bemoaning the woeful state of discourse today, whilst at the time displaying his pop culture cred by pulling from the last-of-the-great comedies, "30 Rock".
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He and I went on further to exchange a shared fear:  what if there is hard evidence presented by the DoJ that Trump not only illegally had documents, but that he tried to sell classified info to others . . . and the Republicans still stand by him?  Maybe we'll learn about that soon.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

KLUF

President Biden, regarding a lot of student loan debt:  "Sweep it into space". 

So here, from Dinosaur Jr. and proving I'm no dinosaur myself, is their 2021 album of the same name.  It's Textbook slacker rock, if nothing else.
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