The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power of the purse. A president unilaterally cancelling up to $1.6 trillion would be a rank violation of that power. Of course, the federal student loan programs are themselves unconstitutional. The federal government only has the specific, enumerated powers given to it by the Constitution, and the authority to fund education, either directly or through loans, is nowhere among them!

——

AUGUST 23, 2022 4:35PM

Top Five Reasons Federal Student Debt Cancellation Is a Bad Idea


The Biden administration is nearing its deadline to announce what it will do about federal student debt. In part this is because the latest freeze on student debt repayment ends on August 31. Also, at least in part, this is because progressives are demanding cancellation. But pushy progressives and a freeze that should have ended long‐​agodo not make a policy wise. Indeed, there are at least five major reasons mass cancellation is a terrible idea.

1. Helping the Winners

People who have attended, and especially graduated from, college are typically set for a huge increase in their lifetime earnings. As seen below, the average person with a bachelor’s degree will earn an estimated $1.2 million more over their lifetime than someone topping out at a high school diploma. For someone with a graduate degree – and student debt is disproportionately taken on for graduate study – that earnings premium rises to between $1.6 and $3.1 million.

Lifetime earnings premiums for education behyond high school

In addition to huge earnings increases, people who attended college have much greater job security than those who did not, and this benefit was especially stark during COVID-19 lockdowns. In April 2020, the unemployment rate only hit 8.4 percent for college graduates, versus 17.6 percent for Americans topping out at a high school diploma and 21.1 percent for workers with less than that.

Unemployment rates by education level

There is no reason that people in such a good financial position should not repay taxpayers, roughly two‐​thirds of whom do not have bachelor’s degrees.

2. Regressive

We have seen various cancellation proposals floated by different people, but one of the most recent was reported from the Biden White House: $10,000 cancellation with an income cap of $150,000 individually and $300,000 for joint filers. The table below is an estimate for the cancellation amounts and distribution of that plan by income quintile (and decile for top earners).

Debt cancellation distribution estimate

As highlighted in the graph below, much more of that aid would go to the highest quintile of earners than the lowest — $54.3 billion versus $33.8 billion. That’s because higher‐​income people are more likely to borrow, and borrow more, for college than lower‐​income.

Cancellation difference top and bottom household income quintiles

3. Huge Cost to Taxpayers

The $10,000 plan discussed in reason number two would cost taxpayers – the people who funded all these student loans whether they liked it or not – an estimated $260 billion. $50,000 per borrower with no cap would cost taxpayers around $1 trillion. And forgiving the whole amount would cost taxpayers more than $1.6 trillion.

4. Even Worse Price Inflation

The biggest problem in higher education is its incredibly expanding price. As seen below, inflation‐​adjusted tuition, fees, room and board at four‐​year, nonprofit private colleges ballooned from $27,720 in the 1990–91 school year to $$51,690 in the 2021–22 school year, an 86 percent increase. At public four‐​year institutions it rose from $10,430 to $22,690, a 118 percent ballooning. It was accompanied by a huge increase in aid per student.

College aid and price increases, 30 years

Much research has shown that aid fuels college price inflation, including a Federal Reserve Bank of New York finding that for every 1 dollar increase in “subsidized” student loans, colleges raise their prices 60 cents. Mass cancellation would incentivize much greater inflation as neither colleges nor prospective students would believe future loans would have to be repaid, blowing the lid off of prices.

5. Unconstitutional

The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power of the purse. A president unilaterally cancelling up to $1.6 trillion would be a rank violation of that power. Of course, the federal student loan programs are themselves unconstitutional. The federal government only has the specific, enumerated powers given to it by the Constitution, and the authority to fund education, either directly or through loans, is nowhere among them. Cancellation would thus be a double violation of the Constitution.

Some cancellation advocates argue that Congress gave the president the power to cancel all loans in the Higher Education Act. But not only is the constitutional ability for Congress to give away its power highly dubious, the Higher Education Act does not authorize blanket cancellation, only forgiveness under specific loan repayment programs.

Conclusion

Mass cancellation would be a blatantly unconstitutional giveaway of taxpayer money to the people who arguably need it the least, and it would exacerbate the biggest problem in higher education.

There’s nothing to like about that.

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https://video.foxnews.com/v/6310973230112

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https://video.foxnews.com/v/6310973230112

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6310973230112

Tucker Carlson: There’s a reason the public’s confidence in the FBI has plummeted

Tucker Carlson breaks down the Whitmer kidnapping plot and its alleged ties to the FBI

By all accounts, Attorney General Merrick Garland was shocked to hear criticism of the raid on Mar-a-Lago last week. It turns out that Garland lives in such a tiny, airless world of left-wing activists and sycophants that it had never occurred to him that anyone might object to siccing the FBI on Joe Biden’s political opponents.

When woke Twitter and The New York Times are your only sources of news, police state politics seems perfectly normal. Trump is bad. Find a reason to arrest him. That’s how they think. So, if you watched Garland carefully at his press conference other day, you may have noticed that he appeared highly annoyed by the idea of having to stoop to explain himself to mere citizens. But he found a solution. Being a liberal, Merrick Garland’s first instinct was to seize the role of victim because when you’re a victim, you’ve already won the argument. You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t have to change your behavior. You are, by definition, the good guy. The victim always is. Being oppressed means never having to say you’re sorry.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6310973230112

So, as Garland explained at the press conference, the FBI was in fact the real victim here. Mean old Fox News was asking unfair questions and that’s just wrong. So, the real problem isn’t that America’s most powerful law enforcement agency is dangerously politicized and corrupt. No, the real problem here is the people have dared to complain about it, and they must stop immediately or else they are domestic terrorists.

As Garland put it, with what seemed like genuine outrage, I will not stand silently by as the integrity of the FBI is unfairly attacked. Well, of course, media organizations loved it. There’s nothing they revere more than a victim. Victims are holy. So, they immediately took Garland side. “They’re being mean to the FBI. Stop it, guys. That’s not allowed.” But if you take three steps back and think about it for a second, Garland’s position, which effectively is “You’re not allowed to criticize me. I’m the attorney general of the United States” is pretty weird.

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks to announce a team to conduct a critical incident review of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, during a media availability at the Department of Justice , Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Washington. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks to announce a team to conduct a critical incident review of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, during a media availability at the Department of Justice , Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In fact, it is an inversion of the traditional relationship between the U.S. government and the population that supposedly serves. According to Merrick Garland, the onus is on American citizens to respect the FBI. “Obey, it’s your duty.” But of course, that’s not true. In a democracy, the onus is on the FBI to earn the respect of Americans. They work for you, remember? And lately they have not been doing a very good job and people know that they haven’t been.

The public’s confidence in the FBI has plummeted by double digits in just the last few years and unfortunately, there’s a reason for that and it’s a huge problem. We need the FBI. You can’t just defund federal law enforcement. There are a lot of federal laws, most of them are silly, some of them are not silly at all. They’re very serious and they must be enforced. So, we have to have an FBI and it has to be an FBI we can trust and we can’t trust it until its behavior merits trust, until it’s honest, and to the extent it can be transparent, consistent in the way it enforces the law.

We have to have a federal law enforcement agency like that. We can’t just make it go away and hope for the best, but we’re nowhere near that point because the people who are supposed to be overseeing the FBI have ignored egregious examples of corruption over many years, but they’re getting very hard to ignore because they’re just so obvious now and it’s not just the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Consider the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case. You may remember that story. It’s from the fall of 2020. You may even have followed it a little bit and heard how it ended. So, what seemed like a terrorism plot was, in fact, a setup by the government to make a group of ordinary people in Michigan look like terrifying right-wing extremists, those violent White nationalists Joe Biden is always mumbling about.

Well, turns out there aren’t enough of those people in real life. They’re pretty rare, actually. It’s not a very racist country, despite what they tell you. So, the Justice Department had to go create some and they did and that’s not just our opinion. That was the finding of a federal jury in Michigan. So, it’s a shocking story, really, but the details of that story are even worse than that. They are beyond belief and we’ll tell you what they are in just a minute, but first to set the scene, here is Gretchen Whitmer, herself, governor of Michigan, announcing that she was the intended target of a terrorism plot. This is from October 8, 2020.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER: Earlier today, Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined by officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI to announce state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me. If you break the law or conspire to commit heinous acts of violence against anyone, we will find you. We will hold you accountable and we will bring you to justice.  

“We’ll bring you to justice. I’m so important that militia groups have organized to take me out.” What a self-aggrandizing description, but the last thing she said, “we’ll bring you to justice,” well, they actually tried to do that. They had a trial and then a retrial and thanks to that, we have testimony and cross-examination that reveals what actually happened, how the FBI engineered this plot.

Now, most of the media were paying zero attention to this. Julie Kelly of American Greatness has actually covered it. We’re grateful to her for what she’s found. Here’s the outline. In early 2020, a 35-year-old Army veteran called Dan Chappel (nicknamed Big Dan) was working as a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service. He drove delivery trucks. He was Scrolling Facebook one night and Chappel says he found a pro-Second Amendment group called “Wolverine Watchmen.” He says he just happened upon it. So, Chappel testified that he was concerned by the group’s criticism of law enforcement. So, he went to a police officer, a friend of his, and asked for advice. None of the messages within the group violated any law, but somehow, within a week, Chappel wound up connected to the FBI, to several FBI agents, including a special agent called Jayson Chambers.

TOP TRUMP TARGETS CHENEY, MURKOWSKI, FACE VOTERS IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARIES IN WYOMING, ALASKA

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the press before signing the final piece of a $76 billion state budget into law, Wednesday, July 20, 2022 in Detroit.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the press before signing the final piece of a $76 billion state budget into law, Wednesday, July 20, 2022 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Now, we learned through testimony in the trial this week why Chambers was interested in the case. It turns out that Chambers, in violation of FBI policy, was running a side hustle. He just incorporated a security firm called Exe-Intel, and he saw his work on the Whitmer case as a way to promote his own business. We know that because throughout 2020, someone affiliated with his business, their Twitter account, repeatedly tweeted nonpublic information about the kidnapping case that Dan Chappel was building for the FBI.

So, it’s not surprising, given the built-in incentives here, which were against policy once again, that Chambers appeared to do everything he could to make sure the investigation went according to plan. Now, no investigation can go according to plan because there shouldn’t be a plan. An investigation is the process of finding out what happened. An investigation is not the process of orchestrating things to happen, but that’s exactly what this became.

In all, the FBI with chambers is the handler paid Chappel (Big Dan) more than $60,000 in the course of just a few months. Today,Chappel testified that he made more money working for the FBI in seven months that he did working for the United States Postal Service over the course of an entire year.

So, there’s a lot of money moving from the FBI, the Federal Treasury, to this informant. So, the FBI told Chappel that in exchange for all of that money, he needed to start assembling a group of right-wing extremists for the FBI to prosecute. They made the whole thing up, and he did that with the FBI’s help. Within a few weeks, the FBI created a new Facebook group called “Patriot Three Percenters.” This is why you should be careful of Facebook, by the way.” Oh, it’s just a screw-up. It looks interesting.”

TRUMP RAID SHOWS THAT FBI, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WANT TO DECIDE WHO CAN BE OUR PRESIDENT

Okay. So, Chappel and several members of that group then attended a protest at the Michigan State Capitol. “Look at you, bringing people together,” the FBI handler texted Chappel. Now throughout that protest, which didn’t look a whole lot different from the January 6 protest, Chappel kept in touch, close touch, with federal agents. He informed the feds that a 37-year-old man called Adam Fox was at the state capitol during the protest. Adam Fox has got to be one of the least powerful people in our society. He lived alone with his two dogs in the basement of a vacuum repair shop. Why? Because he had no money whatsoever.

In fact, he had so little money that in order to get running water, to brush his teeth or use the bathroom, he had to go to a nearby Mexican restaurant and use their men’s room. So, Chappel began texting this diabolical mastermind, Fox, hundreds of times. But Fox seemed inherently moderate, actually. He wrote things like this, “Our goal is to restore the constitutional republic.”

Fox also said, “In our hearts and minds, we are not domestic terrorists.” Oh, sounds very dangerous. So, based on those text messages, the FBI gave Chappel more instructions. They provided Chappel with several $5,000 limit credit cards, and they told him to give those credit cards to Fox and tell them to spend it on guns and ammunition. So, Fox, despite the fact he had no money at all, had used the men’s room in a Mexican restaurant to brush his teeth, refused. On five separate occasions, he refused to take the credit cards to buy guns and ammunition. Then (what a terrorist) then in July of 2020, Chappel suggested that Fox and others fire rounds into the governor’s mansion, as well as at her cottage, but the alleged plotters, including Adam Fox, again refused. They didn’t want to hurt the governor.

Ultimately, in August of 2020, the group started to splinter. Chappel and other informants were instructed to keep the group together. “No, keep it together. Keep the threat real.” So, they introduced another undercover agent, [who] pretended to be an explosives expert. He showed the group a video of a bomb that blew up a vehicle to prove he knew what he was doing. Where did that video come from?

Well, it was made by the FBI. Is this shaking your confidence a little bit? These details are real, by the way. They came out at trial. Then the bureau recruited a convicted felon and a long time FBI informant called Stephen Robeson to introduce a new idea to Fox as well as to Barry Croft. This time the idea was to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer. Robeson, with the FBI’s money, organized several events including a national militia conference in Ohio, training in Wisconsin and a meeting in Delaware, FBI orchestrating all of this.

On July 18, 2020, at one such militia meeting, again organized by the FBI when they took a right-wing extremists. In this case, they created them. So, at this militia meeting, an alleged plotter, are called Ty Garbin rejected out of hand the idea of kidnapping Gretchen Whitmer. Didn’t want to do it. “No, I don’t think so. Kidnap the governor? No, we’re not crazy. We just want a constitutional republic.” Okay. Then the topic came up again in August and then another defendant called Daniel Harris was equally adamant. “No snatch and grab,” he said, “I swear to f-ing God.”

So, clearly they said it emphatically out loud explicitly these were people were not interested in kidnapping Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, but the FBI kept pushing.

The FBI informants drove the defendants to Gretchen Whitmer’s home. Then they suggested killing the governor of Virginia, also a Democrat. On September 5, 2020, FBI Special Agent Jayson Chambers texted Chappel, “Mission is to kill the governor specifically.” What country is this? To pressure one of the defendants, a man called Barry Croft , into doing that, one FBI agent admitted this week that a female informant slept in the same hotel room as Croft. It was a honey trap. FBI agents also testified this week that they regularly got high with Adam Fox. They smoked weed with Adam Fox. They said he was so high, in fact, he was high in all of his meetings with them. Again, that’s against FBI policy. You can’t just give drugs to people and hope they do something bad.

Well, after all of this failed to produce a kidnapping plot, it fell on yet another FBI agent called Richard Trask to build the criminal case against the defendants. Now, that same year, Trask, who is now been convicted of beating his wife, called Donald Trump a piece of excrement on social media. Really? Yeah. Just nonpartisan federal bureaucrats, public servants doing their job. Now, incredibly, after all of this, the person in charge of the field office overseeing the Whitmer investigation in 2020, a man called Steven D’antuono , was promoted, not fired, promoted to lead the DC field office in late 2020. Are you connecting the dots here?

In other words, the guy who made sure that FBI informants were active during a rally in the Michigan State House in 2020 as part of this concocted plot. That same guy went on to become the guy who oversaw the investigation into—wait for it—January 6, the election justice protest they’re calling an insurrection. But just remember, don’t ask whether the FBI used informants to entrap anyone on January 6. No, you can’t do that or else you’re an insurrectionist yourself. Nor are you allowed to ask why Steven’s agents were involved in the raid on Mar-a-Lago, even though that’s in Florida, and he’s in Washington. As it turns out, questions like this are hate speech. Watch.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: All the buzz on the Internet and all over the airwaves. It does, it does have an impact.  

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mean, you saw buzz. Well, there’s an awful lot of hate speech coming from pro-Trump media outlets just attacking the nation’s premier law enforcement agency simply because Donald Trump is being investigated.

Oh, it’s hate speech. Now, if there’s one thing we know about hate speech is that it’s not protected by the First Amendment. You’ve read that part of the Constitution which says you can say whatever you want as long as MSNBC doesn’t designate your words hate speech. So, when they call any criticism of the FBI, that would be Joe Biden’s personal Defense Force, they call that hate speech, what they’re really saying is you’re committing a crime and see where this is going, but the truth is, there are still questions about the FBI’s behavior on and around January 6 and given what happened in Michigan, where we know beyond question that the FBI tried to create an act of terror. It’s fair to ask, “What exactly did happen on January 6?”

And why is the FBI still hiding footage critically of the person who planted a pipe bomb outside the DNC on January 6 while Kamala Harris was apparently inside, something that she lied about for months? What exactly is going on here? We’re, of course, not alleging anything. We don’t know the answer, but we know for a fact, given the FBI’s behavior and we report this with great sadness over the last several years, it is worth getting to the bottom of this. In fact, we have to if we’re going to restore confidence in federal law enforcement. No one is asking these questions really apart from Revolver News and here’s what they’ve come up with. Watch this.

NARRATOR: Camera one shows the pipe bomber walking up to the DNC grounds at roughly 7:42 p.m.. He sits on bench one, then he gets up and walks off screen. According to the FBI, he walks the length of the DNC building and 10 minutes later he comes back to the same bench area and sits on bench two. There at 7:52 p.m., camera two captures the pipe bomber sitting on bench two and we are told, planting the pipe bomb by the side of the bench next to the bush. We are told the pipe bomber plants the pipe bomb there, but we can’t see it. Camera two is occluded by a giant bush that blocks the scene. The pipe bomber even looks at camera two head on for some reason. It’s very frustrating because we can’t see the moment the pipe bomber plants the pipe bomb, but the FBI can. That’s because the whole scene should be captured on camera one as well, and much more clearly than camera two. Camera one has a clear shot of both benches. If the FBI released the full tape from camera one, we could see the pipe bomber planting the bomb. 

Okay. So, what exactly happened outside the DNC on January 6, and why is no one asking that question, and why has the Department of Justice not told us? We’ve heard everything they want us to know about January 6. Why not more about this?

Open letter to President Obama (Part 644)

(Emailed to White House on 6-10-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. The recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

______________________

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6310973230112

We can fix the IRS problem by going to the flat tax and lowering the size of government.

Did President Obama and his team of Chicago cronies deliberately target the Tea Party in hopes of thwarting free speech and political participation?

Was this part of a campaign to win the 2012 election by suppressing Republican votes?

Perhaps, but I’ve warned that it’s never a good idea to assume top-down conspiracies when corruption, incompetence, politics, ideology, greed, and self-interest are better explanations for what happens in Washington.

Writing for the Washington Examiner, Tim Carney has a much more sober and realistic explanation of what happened at the IRS.

If you take a group of Democrats who are also unionized government employees, and put them in charge of policing political speech, it doesn’t matter how professional and well-intentioned they are. The result will be much like the debacle in the Cincinnati office of the IRS. …there’s no reason to even posit evil intent by the IRS officials who formulated, approved or executed the inappropriate guidelines for picking groups to scrutinize most closely. …The public servants figuring out which groups qualified for 501(c)4 “social welfare” non-profit status were mostly Democrats surrounded by mostly Democrats. …In the 2012 election, every donation traceable to this office went to President Obama or liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown. This is an environment where even those trying to be fair could develop a disproportionate distrust of the Tea Party. One IRS worker — a member of NTEU and contributor to its PAC, which gives 96 percent of its money to Democratic candidates — explained it this way: “The reason NTEU mostly supports Democratic candidates for office is because Democratic candidates are mostly more supportive of civil servants/government employees.”

Tim concludes with a wise observation.

As long as we have a civil service workforce that leans Left, and as long as we have an income tax system that requires the IRS to police political speech, conservative groups can always expect special IRS scrutiny.

And my colleague Doug Bandow, in an article for the American Spectator, adds his sage analysis.

The real issue is the expansive, expensive bureaucratic state and its inherent threat to any system of limited government, rule of law, and individual liberty. …the broader the government’s authority, the greater its need for revenue, the wider its enforcement power, the more expansive the bureaucracy’s discretion, the increasingly important the battle for political control, and the more bitter the partisan fight, the more likely government officials will abuse their positions, violate rules, laws, and Constitution, and sacrifice people’s liberties. The blame falls squarely on Congress, not the IRS.

I actually think he is letting the IRS off the hook too easily.

But Doug’s overall point obviously is true.

…the denizens of Capitol Hill also have created a tax code marked by outrageous complexity, special interest electioneering, and systematic social engineering. Legislators have intentionally created avenues for tax avoidance to win votes, and then complained about widespread tax avoidance to win votes.

So what’s the answer?

The most obvious response to the scandal — beyond punishing anyone who violated the law — is tax reform. Implement a flat tax and you’d still have an IRS, but the income tax would be less complex, there would be fewer “preferences” for the agency to police, and rates would be lower, leaving taxpayers with less incentive for aggressive tax avoidance. …Failing to address the broader underlying factors also would merely set the stage for a repeat performance in some form a few years hence. …More fundamentally, government, and especially the national government, should do less. Efficient social engineering may be slightly better than inefficient social engineering, but no social engineering would be far better.

Amen. Let’s rip out the internal revenue code and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax.

But here’s the challenge. We know the solution, but it will be almost impossible to implement good policy unless we figure out some way to restrain the spending side of the fiscal ledger.

___________________________

At the risk of over-simplifying, we will never get tax reform unless we figure out how to implement entitlement reform.

Here’s another Foden cartoon, which I like because it has the same theme asthis Jerry Holbert cartoon, showing big government as a destructive and malicious force.

IRS Cartoon 5

_____________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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