Biden’s speech walks a fine line in its attack on MAGA Republicans

Biden’s speech walks a fine line in its attack on MAGA Republicans

This post was originally published on this site In his Thursday evening address to the nation, President Biden chooses a risky strategy of criticizing elected GOP officials while trying not to alienate Republican voters. (Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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‘Extremist threat to our democracy’: What Biden hopes to accomplish in prime-time speech Thursday

‘Extremist threat to our democracy’: What Biden hopes to accomplish in prime-time speech Thursday

This post was originally published on this sitePresident Joe Biden believes what he calls “MAGA Republicans” represent an “extremist threat to our democracy,” the White House said.     

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House conservatives prep plans to impeach Biden

House conservatives prep plans to impeach Biden

This post was originally published on this siteRepublicans hoping to seize control of the House in November are already setting their sights on what is, for many of them, a top priority next year: impeaching President Biden. A number of rank-and-file conservatives have already introduced impeachment articles in the current...

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President Biden to deliver national primetime address from Philadelphia on the ‘Battle for the Soul of the Nation’

President Biden to deliver national primetime address from Philadelphia on the ‘Battle for the Soul of the Nation’

This post was originally published on this site Riding high on a string of massive successes President Joe Biden will address the nation Thursday evening from Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to discuss “the continued battle for the Soul of the Nation,” the White House announced late Monday...

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Biden’s goal to end hunger by 2030 and his new food conference, explained

Biden’s goal to end hunger by 2030 and his new food conference, explained

This post was originally published on this site The first White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health since 1969 is happening in late September. Some are worried the administration won’t be able to meet the high bar that conference set. (Image credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

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Was canceling student debt a good move by Biden?

Was canceling student debt a good move by Biden?

President Biden on Wednesday announced the details of a highly-anticipated plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000 a year. For Pell Grant recipients under that same earnings threshold, the benefit is even greater — $20,000 in debt, wiped away. While some progressive Democrats are cheering the long-requested forgiveness, other party members, as well as Republicans, are criticizing the policy as reckless, expensive, and a transparent last-ditch attempt at buying votes before the midterms. Here’s a look at how the latest columns and editorials are parsing the news:
It’s good! 
For many opinion columnists, the administration’s decision is one deserving of celebration and praise, even if the relief is not as robust as originally desired. 
“Given how likely it seemed that we’d see no action at all before the midterms, or during the Biden administration at all, I’m pleased with this course of action,” wrote MSNBC’s Hayes Brown. “It lays the groundwork for even more substantial relief in the future” and will unburden — even if slightly — “some of the people who’ve been ground down the furthest under their student loans. … I’m going to mark this down as a solid B+ on the White House’s report card.”
Plus, added Gregory Sarafan for The Philadelphia Inquirer, this decision is more so “about the small borrowers,” whose “lives are about to be immeasurably changed, for the better.” It might not seem fair, or enough, but  “forgiveness is what we have for now, and we should be thankful for it, while also recognizing that it is just a starting place for future reforms.” That there was suffering in the past is no reason the present must meet the same fate.
The Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman agreed: “What the administration is doing now is at least a start” in solving the college affordability crisis. Even if it’s not the $50,000 or more per borrower that other Democrats had asked for, the new plan “will definitely improve the lives of millions.”
And that’s all also without mentioning that the relief is targeted to those “who really need it,” without serving a “big giveaway to those who ran up big debts on expensive and valuable degrees,” economist Dean Baker argued for Newsweek. Again, “the Biden administration’s debt forgiveness plan is not perfect, but it is a big step that will help tens of millions of people. That’s pretty good for government work.”
It’s very bad
Well, the Bloomberg Opinion Editorial Board, for one, was not impressed: “The best that can be said for President Biden’s debt-relief plan is that it could have been worse.” In one fell swoop, “Biden has undermined any commitment to fiscal discipline, reinforced his party’s reputation for catering to elites, created a significant moral hazard, and likely made higher education less affordable for a generation,” the board mused. And it seems obvious, given likely legal challenges to the policy, that the administration’s goals here are “more political than practical.”
The Washington Post Editorial Board saw things similarly: “Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive,” the board said. It’s “expensive,” and “likely inflationary,” and “takes money from the broader tax base … to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees.”
Worse yet, added the board at The National Review, Biden has, in authorizing the forgiveness, “allowed himself to be bullied into violating the Constitution” on debt relief proponents’ behalf. He has “taken what was supposed to be a loan and turned it into a gift,” while “yet again” abusing “emergency powers to pursue a reckless and senseless policy.” “The U.S. president is not an omnipotent genie placed behind the Resolute desk to grant partisan wishes by the stroke of his pen,” the board concluded.
It’s suspiciously convenient …
For some, like Brad Polumbo for Newsweek, the timing of Biden’s new forgiveness policy smells an awful lot like a “political bribe for young voters” ahead of the November election. “With the midterms months away and Democrats cratering in the polls, Biden seems to be making the cynical political calculation that his band-aid ‘solution’ can buy his party a few votes,” Polumbo argued. “That’s shrewd politicking. But it’s no way to run a country.”
It’s not enough
“With the simple stroke of a pen, President Biden has the unique opportunity to unlock financial freedom for countless Black Americans and low-income communities,” the NAACP’s Derrick Johnson and Wisdom Cole mused for CNN, just hours before the president’s proclamation. But forgiving just $10,000 per borrower will “do little to help.”
Student loans disproportionately affect Black Americans, who lack the same intergenerational wealth as white Americans thanks to “discriminatory practices in education, homeownership and employment,” Johnson and Cole argued. And forgiveness at a minimum of $50,000 per borrower “is what is necessary to make a meaningful difference.” 
Further, even if you are in support of the newly-announced $10,000 in forgiveness, the Biden plan “does nothing to address the root causes” of the debt crisis, mused Washington Examiner contributor Kimberly Ross. It’s a “short-sighted” bailout that will bring “long-term individual and collective pain” without so much as addressing “predatory university administrations or the exorbitant amounts they charge.”
“The focus is entirely off of the parties that should be most on the hook for it,” Ross continued. “So, thanks to Biden and his team, the cycle will only continue. No reforms made, no lessons learned, just righteous outrage at the weight that’s been repositioned.”

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Biden to sign health and climate bill on Tuesday

Biden to sign health and climate bill on Tuesday

This post was originally published on this sitePresident Biden will sign into law the sweeping climate, health care and tax legislation that has been Democrats’ priority for more than a year during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. The signing will represent a major milestone for Biden and...

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‘A self-inflicted wound’: US withdrawal from Afghanistan still haunts Biden’s presidency one year later

‘A self-inflicted wound’: US withdrawal from Afghanistan still haunts Biden’s presidency one year later

This post was originally published on this siteThe chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan undercut Biden’s pledge to restore competence to the White House. It continues to haunt his presidency.     

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Post Politics Now: House poised to send Inflation Reduction Act to Biden for his signature

Post Politics Now: House poised to send Inflation Reduction Act to Biden for his signature

This post was originally published on this siteThe House is taking up a sweeping Senate-passed package that aims to lower health-care costs, combat climate change, raise taxes on some large companies and reduce the deficit.

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Clock is ticking for Biden to make key decisions on student loans

Clock is ticking for Biden to make key decisions on student loans

This post was originally published on this siteWith less than three weeks to go until the federal student loan repayment pause expires, millions of borrowers are still in the dark about whether President Joe Biden will extend the current payment moratorium or possibly forgive any of their debts.

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