Biden is incredibly unpopular. Obama (and puppet Jim Clyburn) made a dreadful error when they bailed out his floundering primary campaign-- then in 4th place-- and helped manipulate a nomination for someone completely unfit for the job. The only big campaign promise Biden has kept was the one he made to fat cat Wall Street donors that nothing would fundamentally change if they helped elect him. Now, even as his approval level sinks to new depths, he just did it again-- announced a completely inadequate version of student debt forgiveness-- $10,000-- which will anger the left (for not doing anything really helpful) and the right (for doing anything at all). The loser: Joe Biden.
Early this morning, a trio of Washington Post writers, Tyler Pager, Jeff Stein and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, reported that "White House officials are currently planning to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, after months of internal deliberations over how to structure loan forgiveness for tens of millions of Americans. The White House’s latest plans called for limiting debt forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly… It was unclear whether the administration will simultaneously require interest and payments to resume at the end of August, when the current pause is scheduled to lapse."
My closest friend couldn't come over for dinner last night like we planned. He's a school teacher and his union asked the members to picket the district headquarters last night because of the pitifully low over the Board of Ed had made. He put himself through community college and then a state college to get his BA and MA and has worked in an inner city district ever since. He still owes around $40,000 in student loans, mostly because of the ripoff interest rates. When I told him Biden's decision to forgive $10,000 per student, he cursed and said it was like sending everyone a $5 Starbucks card. He would never vote for a Republican but I'm sure he won't be voting for Biden again.
What a dismal error on every level! California's successful Starbuck's union organizer and Santa Cruz state Assembly candidate, Joe Thompson, also the youngest candidate running for the state legislature, told me this morning that "Biden is a failure. Cancelling student debt means canceling all of student debt. $10,000 seems like a lot to politicians and Biden because they are so far detached from working class Americans. Cancel it all now."
Ruth Luevanos, a schoolteacher, City Councilmember and the progressive candidate running for the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley congressional seat held by Trumpist Mike Garcia, asked me, rhetorically, "When is President Biden going to start putting people over profits? Over 46 million Americans and their families are drowning in over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt they could not refinance, they could not discharge through bankruptcy and that drastically impacted their credit score and any opportunity for economic mobility. This was all due to legislation passed by Congressmembers including Biden who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the credit companies and student loan companies that profit off of this growing debt. How did student loan debt triple from 2005 to 2015? It was because student borrowers, unlike banks that finance many politicians to stay in office, were unable to refinance or discharge their loans so the interest kept piling up leaving many borrowers with 3 times their original debt. Congress can bail out banks and corporations but not the American people? Cancel all student debt. Period."
Mondaire Jones is in a tough reelection bid on a brand new district. But he led an effort to persuade Biden that $10,000 is a big mistake-- sending a letter co-signed by Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Chuy García (D-IL), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Andy Levin (D-MI), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Marie Newman (D-IL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), and AOC (D-NY) that calls on the administration to forget the measly $10K and to forget the means testing that leaves out the middle class.
"We write to reiterate the need to cancel student debt for all borrowers, without arbitrary income caps and any other attempts at 'means-testing.' As working- and middle-class families struggle to recover economically from the pandemic and adjust to prices rising at rates not seen in over a generation, across-the-board relief is needed now more than ever," wrote the lawmakers... By definition, the fact that a borrower even has debt is a form of means-testing; it demonstrates the borrower has not yet secured the money to pay it off. We also know that means-testing is administratively burdensome, imprecise, and often excludes those most in need."
Jones' office pointed out today that "Student debt payments strip hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month from borrowers and billions of dollars from the economy each year. For families in areas with high costs of living-- even if they have high income-- having to make student debt payments can mean a choice between paying for child care, rent, putting food on the table, or their student loan payments. Additionally, means-tests already put unnecessary limits on too many government benefits. Data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs show that means-testing prevents eligible recipients from receiving critical benefits by imposing additional barriers." Jones and his colleagues are calling for robust and accessible student debt cancellation as one of the most important actions that President Biden can take to help working families and individuals deal with high costs throughout the economy.
Another dismal error, earlier was for Biden to endorse-- his very first endorsement for the 2022 cycle-- Blue Dog Kurt Schrader for reelection. Whoever persuaded Biden to do it-- presumably corrupt "ex"-lobbyist Steve Richetti-- should be fired instantly. If anything, the endorsement, which makes Biden look weak, pathetic and stupid, was a kiss of death for Schrader, who lost to progressive, grassroots champion Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a supporter of all the popular fundamental reforms that Biden and his wretched team oppose.
This morning, The Oregonian reported that "Despite the ballot-counting snafu that’s delayed results in Clackamas County, home to 45% of the district’s Democrats, enough votes have been tallied to make it clear that Schrader has no path to victory. Both The Oregonian/OregonLive and the Associated Press called the race in favor of McLeod-Skinner Friday morning... She will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the winner of the 5th District Republican primary, in the general election. With the loss, Schrader becomes the first sitting member of Oregon’s Congressional delegation to lose a primary since 1980. His campaign significantly outraised and outspent McLeod-Skinner’s, and Schrader also received an endorsement from President Joe Biden, despite having voted against some parts of Biden’s legislative agenda."
A big recipient of Big PhRMA sewer money, as of the April 27 FEC report, the corrupt Schrader had spent $3,432,302 to Jamie's $577,334. Also spending on behalf of Schrader were the Blue Dog PAC, Center Forward (which he controls)-- $1,035,000-- and hatred-fueled right-wing SuperPACs Mainstream Democrats ($785,001) and New Democrat Coalition ($50,000).
Please consider helping Jamie win in November against right-wing Trumpist freak show Lori Chavez-DeRemer in a swing district (OR-05) that leans ever so slightly in a blue direction (D+3) but that could be easily vulnerable in a Republican wave election year, which is what we are facing this cycle. Please click on the Blue America Oregon thermometer on the left and contribute what you can to Jamie's general election campaign.