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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

Editor’s Notebook: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

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As we all know, it’s not in my nature to be unnecessarily cruel or condescending. (However, being necessarily cruel or condescending is another matter …) This time, I’ll let others take the lead.

Yahoo News, not exactly a bastion of the right wing and/or Trump-a-doodle-do-ers, had an article over the weekend about a teacher in Massachusetts who had accumulated $300,000 in student-loan debt on her way to a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education. Since she’s now 53, it sounds like this is a case of interest piling up and piling up until it was all out of control.

Not surprisingly, this teacher — who, if he/she exists, opted not to have his/her full name used in the story — wants President Biden to go a lot farther than the somewhat tepid (and probably unconstitutional anyway) steps that are being floated to knock out $10,000 of student debt for all those making $150,000 a year or less (and, perhaps not coincidentally, trying to stem the exodus of yet another special-interest group, debt-laden college grads, from his party).

She our teacher wants at least $50,000 cut from her debt. But of course she does.

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Most interesting, given the Yahoo audience, was that the teacher was not exactly being covered in sympathy from the online respondents. Instead, she was treated akin to thirsty Meghan Markle and her dopey semi-royal husband over in London this past week, being greeted with boos and brickbats. (The British can be so devilishly cruel; I happened to be in London-town decades back when Monica Lewinsky popped over to shill a book; they basically hooted her back to this side of the pond.)

Our slightly dazed and confused president has been boxed into a corner. His supporters want him to go wild with the debt-relief, even though it’d be just another nail in the rapidly approaching national insolvency.

Free political advice to him (I give to all parties!): Go ahead and swing for the fences, Lunchbucket Joe. If the courts are going to rule against you down the road anyway, you might as well push a bold plan (eliminate all student-loan debt — wheee!!) and claim credit for trying if not actually for succeeding.

As for the teacher with the $300K in accrued debt, I’m sorry but, as Mary Chapin Carpenter used to sing, sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Ma’am, in this case, you’re the bug.

You’ve got free time in the summer; go pick up a few shifts at the Piggly Wiggly at Cade Cod or Saugus or Charles Town, and you can knock down that debt, one step at a time.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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