Times and Democrat. April 14, 2022.
Editorial: Targeting Student Debt Relief is Better
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Congressman for South Carolina’s 6th District, was a leading voice in favor of student loan forgiveness. He and a group of Democratic lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to extend the student debt payment pause put in place during the coronavirus beyond May 1.
The president responded by announcing an extension until August 31. In a statement, Biden acknowledged that the economy is stronger than it was a year ago, but that “we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it has caused.”
“This additional time will help borrowers achieve greater financial security and support the Department of Education’s efforts to continue improving student loan programs,” he said.
But Clyburn and others want the president to take the initiative to do more than suspend payments.
The South Carolina congressman has proposed legislation that would eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans, which Clyburn says would provide debt relief to 95% of student borrowers , including complete cancellation of student debt for 75% of borrowers.
The current student debt crisis endangers the financial stability of millions of struggling families and contributes significantly to the racial wealth gap, according to Clyburn.
Clyburn and other lawmakers urged Biden to “make clear to the American public your intention to cancel a significant amount of student debt.”
Clyburn said black students in particular are affected because they borrow more often while in school and find it harder to repay debt than their white peers. They are more than three times more likely to default within four years on their federal loans than white borrowers.
As a community with much at stake in the future of students at two historically black universities, we prioritize student aid. But as with federal spending on pandemic relief and other Biden administration priorities, there is a legitimate concern about cost and efficiency.
Adam Looney is executive director of economic studies at the Marriner S. Eccles Institute at the University of Utah. Writing for brookings.com, he says, “There are better ways to spend that money that would better achieve progressive goals. Increased spending on more targeted policies would benefit families that are poorer, more disadvantaged, and more likely to be black and Hispanic, compared to those who would benefit from large student loan forgiveness. Indeed, bolstering spending on other safety net programs would be a much more effective way to help low-income people and people of color.
The widespread cancellation of student loans would rank among the biggest transfer programs in American history. According to Department of Education data, canceling all federal loans would cost $1.6 trillion.
Canceling student debt up to $50,000 per borrower would cost about $1 trillion. Limiting loan forgiveness to $10,000, as Biden proposed, would cost about $373 billion.
Under each of these proposals, all borrowers would benefit to varying degrees.
Looney is correct that targeting relief is a better approach, saying some people don’t need loan relief at the expense of taxpayers.
“Student loan relief could be designed to help those most in need, advance economic opportunity and reduce social inequality, but only if targeted to borrowers based on family income and post-employment income. -academics. Those who borrowed to get college degrees that pay off in good jobs with high incomes don’t need and shouldn’t benefit from loan forgiveness initiatives that are sold as a way to help truly struggling borrowers. .
Post and courier. April 12, 2022.
Editorial: Prompt action by Chief Justice in conflict should be the rule, not the exception
SC Chief Justice Don Beatty again demonstrated on Monday how quickly the judiciary can respond to ethical issues, when he ordered court officials to stop relying on a Greenwood lawyer whose family purchased properties that he auctioned off as a foreclosure judge.
Judge Beatty’s order barring Curtis Clark from acting as temporary judge came just eight days after The Post and Courier’s Thad Moore reported that Mr Clark’s wife and children had purchased dozens of properties that he had ordered to sell, in one case even ceding part of the property to him.
Since Greenwood County is too small to have a permanent judge to deal with foreclosure cases, the clerk of the court appoints an “arbitrator” for each case, and that arbitrator has all the power of a master judge in equity to order the sale of the property. , then auction it off to the highest bidder, often at a steep discount. Mr. Clark’s temporary status made it easier to remove him, as we asked the Clerk to do in our Saturday editorial.
But this is not the first time the Chief Justice has acted in his capacity as the administrative head of the judicial branch of state government to deal with ethical issues that could undermine public confidence in the impartiality of the state government. our courts.
In November he chastised magistrates for taking a nonchalant approach to their work, ordering full-time judges to work full-time. And in January, he lifted an order that had granted law-attorneys special privileges in the courtroom, essentially allowing them to delay their cases indefinitely if it worked to their clients’ advantage. He rescinded his order a day later, but then partially reinstated it within days, telling judges they could start requiring lawyers-legislators to appear in court in some cases on Mondays and Fridays, when the Legislative Assembly is not sitting.
We are still troubled by how he overturned that order – and in particular how he waited over a month to change the original language on the court’s website – but the effect was to remove a small portion of the special privileges attorney lawmakers received in the courtroom long before he became chief justice.
The overall effect of the three actions underscores the important role the Chief Justice can — and should — play in protecting the integrity of our courts. Normally, the Chief Justice should be oblivious to public opinion, basing his decisions entirely on the constitution, the law, and the facts. The exception is when he acts in this capacity as the head of our judicial system: here, public opinion – in particular the public perception of the impartiality of the courts – should be his top priority.
We salute the swift action of Judge Beatty who did what the elected Greenwood County Court Clerk should have done to address an issue that was marring the public perception of the courts. The court must now consider whether disciplinary action should be taken against Mr. Clark.
On a more systemic level, the chief should expand the use of the tribunal’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct Standards — a committee that advises judges on ethical issues and a committee that Mr. Clark has never consulted, even if he admitted to having qualms about letting his parents buy a property that was only available for sale because of his decisions.
Instead of simply making the committee available to judges who choose to consult with it on questions of ethical conduct, the Supreme Court should require real-time outside judgment whenever people raise concerns about conflicts of interest. , so that these issues can be resolved before any harm is caused. made to the parties or to the career of the judge. This process would also make members of the public more likely to raise concerns than the current process of simply reporting them to the judge in question. And judges who do not report their potential conflicts to the parties and seek an advisory opinion on whether they have a conflict should be subject to sanctions.
The Index-Journal. April 13, 2022.
Editorial: Newspapers might irritate some, but they play an important role
You know what’s a real shame?
We will tell you.
It’s such a shame that we don’t have better traffic rules – ethics laws, that is – that would have negated the need for the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court to have to step in and remove a former judge from what could be a legal situation but smells putrid. Perhaps these recent events emanating from Greenwood County in relation to the way foreclosure auctions are conducted will result in a tightening of statewide ethics rules. Perhaps. We can hope so.
You know what else is a bit of a shame, but also a godsend?
We’ll tell you that too.
That it takes journalists digging into the stench to get others to notice and, therefore, take action.
Don’t make a mistake. We appreciate the watchdog investigative arm of Charleston’s Post and Courier and the opportunities we have had to work with them. And we have done our own investigative work of this nature in the past. As painful as some may recall, remember the report we did several years ago on the District Expenditure Fund that Greenwood County Council had established for itself.
Here’s a takeaway for newspaper readers. You may not always agree with the opinions of your newspaper, you may not be happy with every article it produces, but rest assured that without them readers would be very ignorant for good. number of unethical and even illegal activities taking place among the population. who serve them in elected and appointed positions.
It might sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, and to some extent, we’re patting our own and other community newspapers on the back. But really, it’s more of a reminder of the important role newspapers play in their communities, even when there are times when they make you angry or upset you.
As we like to say, we exist to reflect, as best we can, the community we serve. It means seeing the good, the bad and the ugly sometimes.