Trick or Treat? Student Debt Forgiveness Plan

by on October 25, 2022 · 4 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

By Colleen O’Connor

What a “Witches’ Brew” is coming this election, full of scary creatures, goblins, and ghosts.

Some banshees howling against once kindly poll workers;” others cheering for their “Orange Jesus.”

All angry.  All surging to vote early, often, and declare the past and present elections “rigged” and stolen.

Think about it. Lots and lots of hocus pocus, noise, and confusion, about who is ahead; who is behind; the condition of the economy; the price of gas, the always hot button issues of race, immigration, crime, dark money, and the “deep state.”

Shaky predictions are near universal.  The Republicans will reap a once in a century “red wave.”  The Democrats might hang on to the Senate but will lose the House. They trail badly due to the history of off year elections that favor the party out of power and the dismal poll numbers of President Biden.

Every day the media heralds the latest fear while pollsters ride a teeter totter of chaos, and crunchers admit the unreliability of their own data.

Less than 1% of those contacted respond to these surveys.  Reasons abound.  Cell phone numbers blocked.  Working.  Wrong time of day.  Hate pollsters. Mostly unemployed or elderly with time to chat.  Robocalls near worthless.

Such is the case this election season.  Sanity has taken a vacation. Saying anything makes it so.

There are no words harsh, ugly, untruthful, or frightening enough to utter against the opposition. The polls are more click-bait than accurate forecasts.

Cue the early polls on the Kansas and North Dakota abortion bans. The pollsters predicted a “close” result.

Yet, “the vote was so overwhelming – more than 58% of Kansas primary voters voted to protect abortion rights – that it could not have happened without help from Republicans in the red state. More Republicans voted in the primary than Democrats. See the full results.”

Generate doubt and fear seem to be less powerful.

And sometimes unforced errors (such as overturning Roe v. Wade) decide elections.

Enter the student loan forgiveness plan.

This ranks as an absolute “genius” idea (whether by mistake or design) that deserves more attention, precisely because the Republicans (with a kneejerk reaction legal challenge to the program) may have handed the Democrats a victory.

Specifically, Biden’s planned student loan forgiveness allows up to $20,000 to be erased for those students qualifying.  Applicants have already surpassed 23 million.  That is 23 million younger voters.

Voters between ages 18-34, who favor Democrats (60%-30%), are notorious no shows at election time, especially at mid-term elections.  And an NPR-PBS Newshour poll out in July showed that just 5 percent of voters under the age of 45 strongly approve of Biden’s performance.  A steep decline.

So, voila, give them 20,000 new reasons to register and vote.  Smart move.  By design or accident?

Of course, there is legitimate displeasure among many voters, specifically those who took out loans, paid them back (often at 7% plus interest rates); and became productive Americans.

Where is their debt forgiveness?  Reparations, they demand. Unfair.

All true, but the Republicans rushed to the Trumpian playbook.  Throw it to the courts. Delay, delay, delay.  It often works, only this time Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett, didn’t get the memo.

She refused the emergency appeal.  Sent it back to other district courts for decisions.  All the while, news is spreading among the young and their parents about the Republican’s hostility towards such a possible $20,000 early holiday gift.

This Halloween, however, while students and grandparents may be bobbing for apples, they are secretly praying the Democrats win and the GOP loses in court.  Never fear.

Relax, on Oct. 27, Jupiter, “the fairy godmother of the skies,” dips back into Pisces, blessing us with heightened consciousness and mystical powers.”

Meanwhile vote accordingly.  Trick or Treat?





{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas October 26, 2022 at 8:12 am

Can Michael Moore and Colleen both be wrong?


Joni Halpern October 26, 2022 at 10:23 am

I really enjoyed this little journey into our public consciousness. I do have a question no one has answered yet, not even the young voters whom I have asked. What is it about Biden that they so dislike? When I ask that question, I get nothing specific. But then, when I ask it of older adults who dislike Biden intensely, I get either specifics that are untrue or hazy statements like “He just doesn’t connect with people,” or vague statements like that. It’s not that I agree with everything Biden has done, but I see a guy who is trying to meet this particular moment and put his country before his own ambition, something that has not been able to be said for a great number of people who have sought to represent us at any level of government over the last 40-some years. Maybe in his youth, he was less able to do that.


Gravitas October 27, 2022 at 3:51 am

It is all part of a stew, born of fears, and complex problems, everyone is trying (and failing) to explain. The only counter possible is faith, but that is a frail reed. So, do what you can, where you can, when you can.

I’m a fan of the “fairy godmother of the skies,” who came last year around this time and is now but a ghost. Perhaps she will come again.


Gravitas October 27, 2022 at 3:58 am

A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll shows voter turnout among 18-to-29-year-olds is expected to match or surpass that of previous high mark among the demographic from the 2018 midterms.

“Forty percent of young Americans report that they will ‘definitely’ vote in the upcoming midterms, matching the proportion of young Americans who said the same in the IOP’s fall 2018 survey.”


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