If it were up to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, they would see that all student loan debt is completely wiped away. Other prominent senators that are pushing for Joe Biden to forgive student loan debts are Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren.
This is not a good idea for many reasons.
Basically, the student-debt “crisis” is nowhere near as bad as some like to pretend: Most borrowers pay a small share of their income toward their loans, and borrowers who get into trouble can already have their loans delayed or forgiven through various programs.
The folks this system neglects are not people with huge debt burdens — who tend to make high incomes and are exceedingly well-covered by existing forgiveness programs anyway — but those with smaller debts, particularly those who didn’t finish college.
Forgiving debt for everyone is a poorly targeted policy no matter how you look at it. It helps the wealthy more than the poor, it’s not fair to people who paid off their debts early, and it’s not a good way to stimulate the economy during COVID. (As the center-left economist Jason Furman points out, the forgiven debt would be taxed, which would cut into any immediate economic effect.)
There’s also the legal question of whether the executive branch can get away with this. The law does give the executive an astonishingly broad power to “compromise, waive, or release” student loans, and both a letter from the Harvard Legal Services Center and an article in the Buffalo Law Review defend such a move as legal.
However, it would be a blatant abuse of the power the executive has been granted, and, as the law-review article explains, there are legitimate reasons why the courts might not be amused.
For instance, federal law also commands agencies to “try to collect” the debts they’re owed, and courts generally assume that policymakers don’t “hide elephants in mouseholes” — i.e., they don’t write tiny, low-profiles provisions into statutes that override vast swathes of policy.
Lastly, a word on the politics. The economy is in poor shape right now, with lesser-educated Americans having a particularly rough time. Shoveling tons of taxpayer money toward the college-educated would produce a major backlash, possibly — hopefully! — rivaling the Tea Party fervor a few years back.
The old adage many elders used to say is that “money doesn’t grow on trees”. This message was clearly not taught to many democrats as many of them believe everything should be free and the government can print as much as you need.
Can You Hack an Election in 7 Minutes?
Can an election be hacked in seven minutes?
Andrew Appel, a professor at Princeton University set out to do just that, hack into a voting machine. In order to do this he could have tried traditional ways of hacking or writing malware to sneak on to a machine at a polling place that are left unguarded for days, but he decided it was much easier to just buy one online.
For the cost of a whole $82, Appel became the proud owner of a behemoth machine called Sequoia AVC Advantage. This machine is one of the oldest and most vulnerable in the US and is unfortunately used in places like Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
No sooner did a team of bewildered deliverymen roll the 250-pound device into a conference room near Appel’s cramped, third-floor office than the professor set to work. He summoned a graduate student named Alex Halderman, who could pick the machine’s lock in seven seconds.
Clutching a screwdriver, he deftly wedged out the four ROM chips—they weren’t soldered into the circuit board, as sense might dictate—making it simple to replace them with one of his own: A version of modified firmware that could throw off the machine’s results, subtly altering the tally of votes, never to betray a hint to the voter. The attack was concluded in minutes.
To mark the achievement, his student snapped a photo of Appel—oblong features, messy black locks and a salt-and-pepper beard—grinning for the camera, fists still on the circuit board, as if to look directly into the eyes of the American taxpayer: Don’t look at me—you’re the one who paid for this thing.
Appel’s mischief might be called an occupational asset: He is part of a diligent corps of so-called cyber-academics—professors who have spent the past decade serving their country by relentlessly hacking it.
Electronic voting machines—particularly a design called Direct Recording Electronic, or DRE’s—took off in 2002, in the wake of Bush v. Gore. For the ensuing 15 years, Appel and his colleagues have deployed every manner of stunt to convince the public that the system is pervasively unsecure and vulnerable.
Beginning in the late ’90s, Appel and his colleague, Ed Felten, a pioneer in computer engineering now serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, marsha led their Princeton students together at the Center for Information Technology Policy (where Felten is still director).
There, they relentlessly hacked one voting machine after another, transforming the center into a kind of Hall of Fame for tech mediocrity: reprogramming one popular machine to play Pac-Man; infecting popular models with self-duplicating malware; discovering keys to voting machine locks that could be ordered on eBay.
Eventually, the work of the professors and Ph.D. students grew into a singular conviction: It was only a matter of time, they feared, before a national election—an irresistible target—would invite an attempt at a coordinated cyberattack.
There is no singular national body that regulates the security or even execution of what happens on Election Day, and there never has been. It’s a process regulated state by state.
The Princeton group has a simple message: That the machines that Americans use at the polls are less secure than the iPhones they use to navigate their way there. They’ve seen the skeletons of code inside electronic voting’s digital closet, and they’ve mastered the equipment’s vulnerabilities perhaps better than anyone (a contention the voting machine companies contest, of course).
They insist the elections could be vulnerable at myriad strike points, among them the software that aggregates the precinct vote totals, and the voter registration rolls that are increasingly digitized. But the threat, the cyber experts say, starts with the machines that tally the votes and crucially keep a record of them—or, in some cases, don’t.
Cleary hacking into voting machines is an easy task, which is a major concern for our democracy. If powerful people with money and resources want to stay in control, we now know they can make that happen very easily.
Democrats Are Trying To Steal The Election In Michigan, Wisconsin, And Pennsylvania
If you are someone that is following the election process closely, you are probably being inundated with accounts of voter fraud all over the country. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are 3 very important states that could decide the next president and Democrats are working overtime to steal the election there.
As reporters and commentators went to bed early Tuesday morning, all three states were too close to call, but President Trump led former Vice President Joe Biden by comfortable margins—far beyond what had been predicted in the polls. None of the networks called these states because enough mail-in ballots remained uncounted that it could swing either way, but Trump’s position looked good.
Then, something strange happened in the dead of the night. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, vote dumps early Wednesday morning showed 100 percent of the votes going for Biden and zero percent—that’s zero, so not even one vote—for Trump.
In Michigan, Biden somehow got 138,339 votes and Trump got none, zero, in an overnight vote-dump.
Twitter was quick to censor anyone reporting on the Biden vote dump. It should concerning to all citizens that Twitter would censor actual vote counts, they must also feel that the statistical possibility of 138,339 votes for one candidate is nearly impossible and must be hidden from the populace.
Buzzfeed reported that the votes for Biden were the result of a “data error”. When the state corrected the error, 138,339 votes went to Biden with zero for Trump.
UPDATE: The influx of 138,339 Biden votes cited in the tweets about Michigan were the result of a data error, according to a spokesperson for Decision Desk HQ. The error was later rectified.
— Jane Lytvynenko (@JaneLytv) November 4, 2020
The Federalist says, “It turns out, the vote dump was the result of an alleged typo, an extra zero that had been tacked onto Biden’s vote total in Shiawassee County, Michigan. It seems the error was discovered only because Davis and other Twitter users noted how insane and suspicious the vote totals looked, and demanded an investigation that uncovered what was either a typo or an incredibly clumsy attempt to boost Biden’s vote count.”
Antrim County, Michigan is a county where Trump beat Hillary by 30 points in 2016. This same county showed totals putting Biden ahead of Trump by 29 points, many journalist pointed out that it can’t possibly be accurate. According to the Federalist, “After the strange results caught national attention, election officials in Antrim County said they were investigating what they called “skewed” results, working with the company that provides their election software to see what went wrong. The county clerk said they plan to have an answer by Wednesday afternoon.”
Antrim County knew it got it way wrong and retracted their count. pic.twitter.com/rBjO8IDRxG
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 5, 2020
Then another mysterious all-Biden vote dump happened in Wisconsin. Biden miraculously overcame a 4.1-point Trump lead in the middle of the night thanks to vote dumps in which he got—you guessed it—100 percent of the votes and Trump got zero.
Note the vertical lines below.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign demanded a full recount in Wisconsin, citing “reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”
In Pennsylvania, the Democratic scheme to steal the election is a bit different. Rather than vote dumps that impossibly go 100 percent to Biden, Pennsylvania is relying on the Democratic Secretary of State’s plan to count indisputably late mail-in ballots as though they were received on Election Day—even if they have no postmark.
This plan was of course rubber-stamped by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which cited the need for “equitable relief” to address mail delays amid the pandemic.
Note that this isn’t just about ballots that come in after Election Day, but about ballots that come in after Election Day that don’t even have a postmark—that is, there is no way to tell when the ballots were mailed, or from where.
Regardless of political affiliation, if you are ok with what is happening in these states, you are part of the problem. The legitimacy of this election is beyond flawed, one in which neither side will trust the results.
Full story at the Federalist.