Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Not very mixed feelings

I hinted yesterday I would like to comment on the executive order issued by President Biden that gives certain student loan borrowers up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness (for individual borrowers who make up to $125,000 and married couples who make less than $250,000 annually). 

Not surprisingly, strong opinions have been voiced. What has been surprising, at least to me, is that opposition has come not only from Biden's Republican opponents, but also from his own party. 

Of course, there are those who think this is great news. There are some who don't think the president went far enough and would have been happier if the forgiveness had been more in the 50K neighborhood. 

As for me, I think it was well-meaning but poorly executed. 

First, the fundamental unfairness of it sticks in my craw. What about those of us who did not borrow money for ourselves or our children to go to school? And what about the ones who did, but have already responsibly paid it back? 

The unfairness goes beyond that. I heard a good example yesterday of the lawn guy who does not have a college degree but makes a decent living. Through his taxes he is now responsible for repayment of the loan for the guy or gal whose lawn he cuts. Is that a form of income inequality? 

And I know, I know, life is not fair. It's something every parent has likely said at one time or another. 

But I have a fundamental problem with giving ten thousand dollars to people who signed promissory notes saying they would repay that money. 

More important than that, this plan fails to address the basic problem, which is the cost of higher education. It has gotten completely out of hand, and colleges and university officials make an assumption that students are going to get loans, so what they charge has become ridiculous. They should have to bear some responsibility for this "crisis."

I have no problem with reducing debt for those who render some type of service in return. And I have some sympathy for those who got sucked into for-profit "career college" scams and now have thousands of dollars to pay back for worthless pieces of paper (even though those folks also signed promissory notes and should have understood that money would have to be paid back). 

But again, handing out money to borrowers who knew what they were doing, and putting that responsibility on taxpayers? Sorry, but not sorry. I can't go along with that. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

August whirlwind and Breaking Bad

If you were to go back and read former posts here, you would be likely to find many in which I made some comment about the swift passage of time. 

And I continue to be amazed at that phenomenon. 

Wife and I knew August would be crazy-busy, much more so for her than me. I won't even go into all the places she has been, but suffice it to say she has visited each adult child and respective family -- and then some. I've trailed along with her some, but have mostly kept the home fires burning. 

With the end of August comes a slowdown in all of that, I suppose, at least the travel in which we get in the car and drive. She'll be home this Thursday, Sept. 1st from her latest journey, and one week later we will make our first overseas trip since going to Italy in 2019. This time it's Scotland and the Cotswolds in the U.K., then a trip across the channel to northern France. 

I learned in '19 that I can take two straight weeks of vacation and everything at work go just fine without me, so I've decided to do it again. 


I'm going to try and post a couple more entries before we leave. I want to comment on some current events, e.g. President Biden's decision to relieve some student-loan borrowers of a portion of their obligations. I won't preview my thoughts on that, so stay tuned. 

But speaking of being tuned in, I will tell you that during Wife's absences, I finished watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix. Younger Son recommended it to me, and he very transparently said he was not sure if I would like it. 

I am very careful about using the word "amazing" as it is one that is, in my opinion, overused. But I really can't think of another adjective to describe this show that is at times dark, hilarious, brilliantly-acted and, most of all, habit forming! 

Any other Breaking Bad fans out there? It is, in a word, amazing! 


I continue to have frustrations with the publication for which I allegedly write a weekly column. I say "allegedly" because it's hit-or-miss as to whether and when they post them. Sadly, I think that relationship has about run its course and I'm looking into some other options. Probably more to come on that when I return from the upcoming trip.