Thursday, March 7, 2019

I know more about farting cows than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What does AOC know about the student-loan crisis?

Let me begin by saying I recognized global warning a long time ago--before Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born. I lived in Alaska in the early 1980s, and we all saw the glaciers retreating.

The planet is heating up, we observed--not a political statement, just an acknowledgement of fact. Some of us naively believed global warming might even be a good thing. Alaska is such a great place to live, we told ourselves, but it would be so much nicer if the winters were just a wee bit warmer.

I also know a whole lot more about farting cows than AOC. My father was a cattle raiser, and I saw a lot of flatulent bovines in the stock pens. In fact, I admit that my father's Angus herd is at least partly responsible for a rise in global temperatures. Mea friggin' culpa.

But will AOC reverse global warming with her Green New Deal? No she won't.  Everybody knows that--even the wax-museum Democrats in Congress.

Better questions to ask are these: What does AOC know about the student-loan crisis, and what will she do about it?

I think the answer to both questions is "Not much." Our national politicians--with AOC in the forefront--bray on and on about problems they know they will not fix. Meanwhile millions of Americans--more than 20 million--have had their lives ruined by student loans that enriched the venal and corrupt higher education industry.

The student-loan crisis is complicated; I acknowledge that. But there are some small things Congress can do that would alleviate the suffering. For example:

Congress could pass Representative Katko's bill to allow distressed debtors to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy. Or if that lift is too heavy, Congress could at least allow parents who cosigned their children's student loans  to shed those debts in bankruptcy if they are insolvent.

Congress could also pass legislation barring the Department of Education from garnishing elderly student-loan defaulters' Social Security checks, which Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed in a bill that got nowhere in the U.S. Senate. AOC could endorse that bill, and it would probably be passed in the House of Representatives.

And here is another thing Congress could do. It could pass legislation requiring Betsy DeVos' Department of Education to streamline the process for forgiving student loans owed by people in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

I suspect AOC has never thought about the student-loan crisis, even though a lot of the sufferers reside in her congressional district. And I will close by saying again that politicians who won't do something tangible toward solving the student-loan crisis don't deserve our votes.

It's farting cows, stupid!





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