Biden’s College Loan Debt Forgiveness Plan

If you haven’t heard, President Biden plans to go forward with plans to forgive up to $10,000 in college loans for individuals making under $125,000 a year. Obviously there are specific rules a debtor will need to follow in order to take advantage of the loan forgiveness. Reading through the articles, there are clear lines of political division masked behind the “concerns of the national debt/fiscally irresponsible”, “unfairness to those who have already paid”, and “increasing inflation”. Let’s breakdown some of the arguments as I see it.

1) Concerns of national debt. I find this argument inherently flawed. Both political sides have used this argument when the other side has been pushing a spending plans. Republicans criticized Build Back Better. Democrats criticized Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They clearly can’t be right and the criticisms from both sides are just smoke screens to confuse the voters.

Ultimately, voters really need to think about what kind of “national debt” is considered good debt. Using a line from advocates of higher education, taking on debt in order to obtain more schooling is good. The idea is that education will result in higher wage increases and overall higher wages making the debt more as an “investment” in the future. If voters are to also consider this “investment” hypothesis and apply to the national debt, what sort of programs are appropriate then for US to incur any sort of debt?

I personally believe investments in infrastructure, education and healthcare are critical for the future of US. These kinds of investments will undoubtedly payoff in the future (whether 5 years or 50 years) benefiting American people. Even just around infrastructure, did you know that US has an overall score of C- ( With tragic issues like what happened with the Flint water crisis, and even the current crisis in Jackson, MIssissippi, infrastructure improvements should be one of the top items on every American’s list. Improvements to fix/update highways, bridges, internet, electrical grids, water systems, sewage systems, etc… are critical since they are used everyday by millions of Americans.

With education, teaching future generations the skills needed is critical. It’s not just the advanced skills from “STEM” majors (aka science technology engineering mathmatics) but also the basic building/trade/technical skills that support every day life (carpentry, electrian, mechanic). Education helps maintain a bustling economy. Unfortunately, the emphasis on “advanced” skills seems to outweigh any thought about the basic trade/technical skills. It doesn’t matter how skilled a brain surgeon might be at the operating room table, if the hospital is not built correctly or wired correctly, or if the mechanic does not fix the surgeon’s car correctly…. that surgeon is useless to society if something happens to the building, or operating room or even his car.

And finally, healthcare is also critical to the future of US. By guaranteeing the right to a minimum standard of healthcare, the US government can ensure a standard of living for generations. If the government were to either set a minimum standard OR provide the minimum standard of healthcare, American’s would have access to yearly general check ups which would also provide a benefit of potentially spotting future health issues ahead of time instead of having to require ER visits to handle sudden (potentially preventable) medical issues. How can a “1st world nation” really say they are “1st world” when so many rely on ER visits for healthcare?

2) Unfairness to those who have paid. Why wasn’t this argument used when the US bailed out the banks and the automobile companies during the start of the great recession? If the US government can “pay” to save corporations, why can’t the same US government that “WE THE PEOPLE” created also “pay” the debts of students?

Back in the 2008, depending on the various sources (MIT, Wiki, Rolling Stone, Balance) the US government ended paying anywhere from a minimum around $500 BILLION to over $7 TRILLION. Assuming the numbers are accurate, the reader should be reminded that the $500Billion (minimum) went to corporations. At the same time, the American dream of owning homes were being shattered by foreclosures, under water home values and personal mortgage debt. American people were literally being ignored because the government made some calculation that certain financial institutions were just “too big too fail.” Hypothetically if the $500B were to have been distributed to the approximate 300M US citizens, each citizen would have received approximately $16,700.

With Biden’s loan repayment, eligible debtors would receive $10,000. Again depending on the various sources (CNBC, Daly Caller), the US government would be paying around $330 BILLION. The payment would only target a small subset of the US population based on the criteria set by the administration. At the very minimum some 20MILLION borrowers would now be debt free and be able to divert the loan money towards some other debt or future savings. That’s 20 Million borrowers who might now be able to stop living “pay check to pay check” and be able to have the ability to plan a more financially secure future.

3) Increasing Inflation. To be honest, I’m not sure how a sudden $10,000 deduction from a balance would affect inflation. Many borrowers are only putting $300-$1000 towards their debt on a monthly basis. At most the borrower will now have an extra $300-$1000 to spend on other debt or towards something important/necessary (maybe fix a car? or emergency fund?) I don’t think the extra money will lead to the increase in inflation so suddenly. I feel like pundits talk about the $10,000 as if borrowers are going to go somewhere to spend all $10,000 at once irresponsibly. Please let’s give the borrowers some credit…

Overall, I think Biden’s Loan Debt Forgiveness Plan is great. However, I think the amount of $10,000 is too much all at once. A more reasonalbe alternative would be $5,000 to knock off the borrowers balance. I also agree with the income restrictions qualification as a way to limit high earners from this program. In my study of American history, I’ve realized that America generally rewards or favors people and corporations through various financial benefits such as tax cuts, tax incentives, and even tax loopholes. Biden’s plan is one of those rare plans that try to help the common American citizen. What’s not to like about that?


Did the California DMV get hacked?

I don’t understand why the California DMV OTP challenge page to confirm my “identity” is in Chinese. Did they do some sort of upgrade and failed to keep the OTP challenge in English? Or… Did they get hacked? When a US or state goverment system goes to some foreign language page… it doesn’t really boost the confidence in that web page.

The DMV page also made it difficult. I could not contact a service representitave nor a technical representative to ask about the validity of this OTP challenge in real time. The chat bots are UTTERLY useless. I ended up having to ping them on Facebook and Twitter… but of course… tech service isn’t available their either.

NBC’s War Games!? Seriously!?

I stumbled upon this YouTube video from NBC (click here) where US experts play a mock game of China invading Taiwan.

After my initial shock of the whole concept of the mock war game wore off, I think there are two major questions that really will determine how the invasion will play out.

1) What is America’s appetite to fight a war for another country? Or what is American’s appetite to fight a war based on principles of democratic freedom?

2) What is the global response if/when nuclear weapons are used?

For #1, let’s admit it that the current war between Ukraine and Russia is a proxy war between Russia and US/NATO allies. More importantly this is a proxy war of two political ideologies: autocracy vs democracy. Despite many countries currently helping Ukraine through money, weapons and other sources of aid, Russia is dead set to reclaim Ukraine. I’m not sure that US/NATO will ever send troops to help Ukraine push Russia out. I also don’t think US/NATO will retaliate even if Russia accidentally/purposely fires upon US/NATO assets resulting in loss of life. Ultimately, US/NATOs unwillingness to commit troops for bloodshed is Russia’s current saving grace. Furthermore, as this war continues to extend, reports about future famine in African nations looms as Ukraine supplied a significant amount of the world’s wheat. Nations who are affected by the lack of food may become important players in forcing peace by supporting Russian claims. How’s that for a global political russian mafia move?

For #2, I’m not sure how the world would respond. Would the global community come together to fight against the country who first used the nuclear weapon? Or would it only condemn the first user resulting in no real consequences? Based on the fact that the global community DID NOT condemn the invasion of Ukraine, I have very little hope that the global community will protest the use of nuclear weapon. I think the “NIMBY” attitude will prevail but I fear that attitude will only lead the world towards more negative feedback such as medical issues from radiation, contaminated food and land, and human migration to get away from the radioactive zones.

This Incompetent Bank…

Ugh… what the fuck are you doing?

Recently, I received communication that my mortgage loan servicer was changing to a big branded national bank. I’m not sure why the original servicer wanted to sell my mortgage but I guess it happens frequently enough. I also currently use credit cards with this big branded national bank for a few years now and haven’t really had issues using their online portal to check on my various accounts.

About a week after, I still haven’t seen the mortgage account on my online portal. I called the provided customer service line and they apparently could not reconcile the differences between the information from the mortgage with the existing information in the credit card. Somehow they fixed it and the account showed up within an hour.

Fast forward about 5 days, I noticed that “my profile” is wrong now. The order of my name is all jumbled up where my middle name is now my “first name” and my first name becaume my “last name.” I messaged Chase to have them fix it and they said it’ll be done in 72 hours. 5 days later, it’s still not fixed and my mortgage account disappeared from the portal!?!

Seriously!? I called again and they were able to re-link the mortgage account but still haven’t fixed the name. Fortunately, I was able to get the phone number for “direct call-in.”

This is just stupid.