Screencaps readers address student loan forgiveness before we get down to football business and leave real-world problems behind for six months
Let’s do this.
I’ll say this before we get started — thank you for the calm, well-thought-out emails on this subject that was pure screaming on social media. By the way, take a good look at where these emails are coming in from.
• Jake in Charlottesville, VA leads us off:
So I’ll pile on to what I’m guessing are going to be hundreds of emails that you’re going to receive on this topic:
1.) PPP loans: when that program was constructed, it was spelled out upfront that those were not ‘loans’ in the sense that they were to be paid back. They were grants given to businesses by the government to keep people on their payrolls, since the government was shutting down commerce in the early days of the pandemic when no one knew what was happening/going to happen. In other words, it was a compensation program, not a loan program. And by the way, like pretty much all government programs, it was abused horrendously.
2.) The basic tone of Mike C.’s note was “you’re up in arms about A, why aren’t you also up in arms about B, C, and D?!”. Pretty much everyone who is pissed about this executive order are also pissed about those things. You can be mad about getting punched in the face while being mad about being kicked in the groin.
3.) Mike C. goes on to complain later in his note about insurance premiums going up 15-20%, as if that’s not related. You’d be hard pressed to find an economist, even the left-leaning ones, who will say that the amount of money that was given out by the government isn’t one of the primary drivers of the inflation we’re now experiencing. All of that free money pumped into the system drove up the price of everything and caused asset bubbles all over the place. There’s not a single industry that isn’t immune. Now, we’re going to pump, depending on some estimates, $1T MORE. We’re going to subsidize people’s bad decisions, and we’re going to get more of them.
And the worst part of this whole thing? The people who were responsible for causing the crisis in the first place, the colleges and university administrators, don’t have to deal with the consequences at all. Even as information gets cheaper and cheaper, college gets more expensive. And if the colleges know that they will have a plethora of kids who will have their bad decisions paid for them, what incentive does anyone in that equation have to make smarter decisions? If this were anything but a cynical ploy to curtail the uprising of aides within the White House and on Twitter, they would’ve crafted a proper program, which would include the colleges and universities cosigning on any loan where they accept payment from the government. If you put a provision like that together, these colleges and universities would become a lot less woke in a big damn hurry.
• Thomas W. writes:
First time, long time. Love Screencaps. It’s my pre-morning-meeting column of choice. I wanted to weigh in on the student debt situation. I have a PhD in computing, and I got it because the university paid me throughout, and I rolled that savings into a house whose yard I religiously mow on Thursdays (weather permitting).
I would argue that the negative reaction is tied to the fact that taking on student debt is a personal choice. Nobody forces an 18-year-old to sign on that loan dotted line. They do, they accept the consequences of their actions. You can go on tangents about not adults, etc, but I damn sure had to register for the draft at 18.
The other part of this is where is the recompense? In what universe can anyone – whether they be PhD me or Super Whizbang Amazing Plumber To The Stars – have any sort of recompense for these kinds of decisions? Sure, it’s easy to argue “Well you voted for this” but if you told the majority of adults over 30 that “If you vote for Joe, you get to pay for a degree in Partying At Harvard” … do you honestly believe they would have done that?
Anyway, appreciate the column, and will continue to Do Hard Things every day. No beers, though. I’ll substitute bourbon.
• I’m sure Peter M. in Columbia, MD hits the nail on the head for most of us reading this:
Since 2000 the banks, the auto industry, homeowners with ridiculous mortgages, and now college tuitions, have all received bail outs. So many never paid back and execs collected obscene bonuses. It’s offensive to hard-working fiscally responsible taxpayers who believe they are playing the game the right way.
• Mark R. is cool and calculated with his response, just how I like these emails to go:
Hope you’re well, enjoy the column. Some thoughts:
I harbor no ill will toward those receiving some student loan forgiveness (after all, this includes my wife). My concern is people’s votes being bought by bad policy.
- This is very clearly a carrot being dangled at election time to say “vote for us, and we’ll pay the rest.” The application for forgiveness will be made available “in early October” and the freeze on payments got extended just until the end of the year? Timing is everything.
- The PPP comparison is a valid question but not an apples to apples comparison. Many businesses did not choose to take those loans, they had to take them because the government forced them to shut down their businesses. Or at best, those able to stay open had to incur extra costs to completely alter the way they operated.
- This does, of course, add to our budget deficit. The government spends $1trillion more each year than it takes in. Our government pays interest on this debt. So pick your favorite cause: veterans affairs, healthcare, police, parks, libraries, social work, etc. Then imagine what the benefits could be if all that money was being spent responsibly instead of wasted on interest.
- Lastly and most importantly: This forgiveness provides no benefit to those who took loans to learn a trade, and does nothing to solve the biggest issue, which is the exorbitant costs of college for our current and future students and the predatory interest rates they’re stuck with. In fact it could very well exacerbate the problem, since colleges and universities continue to have no incentive to keep costs low, especially if they think the government will now bankroll whatever the students have to pay.
• Erik W. in Maryland freaked me out when I opened his email. He has “Your Personal Attorney” in big bold lettering and the first thing I think of is all those years ago when the Big Ten lawyers came after me for the B1G-themed URL that I owned and was using. I was having flashbacks.
Anyway, here’s Erik’s message:
Long time reader and second-time e-mailer. I e-mailed you last year regarding D3 tailgates (specifically Hampden-Sydney College) and appreciated your published response. I understand Outkick is an SEC-oriented site and can appreciate it. However, I will soon experience D1 football culture through my daughter who enrolled at the University of Michigan and made the color guard (Flag line). For her first-ever game at the big house, she will be on the field performing in the pre-game and halftime shows. As her proud dad, I am obligated to be there for this first event. This entails many miles on the overpriced PA and Ohio turnpikes, the overpriced gas, and the overpriced hotel rooms. But it is worth it. Already, the differences between big-time D1 Football culture and the tailgate football culture I experienced in school are shocking. I am looking forward to my first personal experience in D1 football culture. As you say, “Don’t Blink.”
As for the Feds canceling student loans, I am against it. I paid for some of my undergraduate and all of my law school through loans. After some time, I was able to pay them off. It is frustrating to play by the rules, sacrifice and then have the rules change. I find the same thing happening to my 401(k) too. It is wrong to waive the debts of those who made a decision to incur them. As to those who say what about the PPP loans that were forgiven, that comparison is an apples to oranges comparison. The PPP loans came about as a result of the government shutting down businesses and forcing owners into poverty due to a pandemic response. There was never a coercive government policy to force student into getting student loans. People signed up for student loans knowing the inherent risks associated with them. I hope that our votes can bring some sort of fairness back into the government.
Thanks for your energetic, upbeat space on this here internet.
Ed. Note: I’m not sure Erik and I will be getting along very well now that he roots for Michigan.
• Kevin in Gibsonia, PA writes:
My problem with “student loan forgiveness” is it doesn’t solve the problem. Tuition is still ridiculously high, kids major in fields that won’t make them any money, and colleges are still handing out money to anyone with a pulse because the government guarantees the loan. This didn’t address the problem at all. It just sets a precedent for future students to put their hand out.
• John C. in Overland Park, KS shares his two cents:
Joe, a big fan and this is my first rant to jump in the pool with the other S-Cappers. The issue with the student loan forgiveness is so much more complex than a simple $10k wipe-off. Here’s some perspective:
I’m about 11-15 years removed from dealing with this as a college parent, so my numbers are going to be off. When my twins went to school, they had some scholarships (academics and athletics), but there was also debt. At that time under the Dept of Education loan program, a student could only borrow so much ($3500k for ea year for freshman-sophomore, $4500K for junior-senior). That also doesn’t cover the total cost for most schools, so there were also PLUS loans. Guess what the ‘P’ stands for? That’s right, PARENT. We had our loans too. These other huge loan amounts of $100k or more must be secured through private loans (let the buyer beware).
Even with the Dept of Ed program, the main issues are this:
- loans were drawn at interest rates of around 6.2-8% (depending on the semester) when the prime rate was in the 3-4% range.
- after doing my taxes after their senior year when the loans were being rolled together, I discovered that of the $6K interest paid that year, I could only deduct $2500. I immediately called my mortgage guy and re-financed, (at a great rate), and pulled out every penny I could, resulting in a full interest deduction.
- lastly, schools need to be held accountable with their rising costs, far outpacing inflation and cost of living. The arms race of ‘cool dorms’ has to be reeled in as these costs land on the backs of kids and parents.
As mentioned by several fellow S-Cappers, there certainly needs to be responsibility of borrowing and the ability to pay the loan back. Sending your kids to school is a complicated process that needs to be studied and strategized to avoid years of climbing out of a huge debt hole.
• Jason R. in Tennessee writes:
So I am very conflicted on student loans. I went to a community college then transferred to a state school. With scholarships and the low cost, my parents were able to pay for my school. I did want to go to a bigger school but my parents were adamant that I not rack up debt. I am now very thankful for their wise advice.
My wife on the other hand, went to a private school and racked up lots of debt. She is a teacher, which is not a high-paying profession, obviously. If she teaches in a low income school for 10 years and makes payments, the debt will be forgiven, I hope. I had read it was a low acceptance rate for it. I do believe Biden is working to fix that, surprising good news from him for once.
While selfishly I would love all debt to be forgiven so we could be debt free, I do not believe it’s right. I also do not believe it is fair that 18 year olds have the right to ruin their future for a piece of a paper before they can buy a beer. This school told her that she would get jobs over people from state schools, that did not matter at all. If you read up on small private schools, they are a racket. That’s another topic for discussion later.
If the government would get out of the student loan business and loans were based off of degree type and grades, we would not have this crisis. Schools can raise tuition every year because they know the government will aid in handing out these guaranteed loans. This bailout for votes will do nothing to improve the crisis and we will be talking about this for the next 20 years. 300 billion wasted, and it doesn’t even hardly make a dent in most loans.
• Our resident school bus driver Dana B. in Indiana writes:
I’d say this sums it up, even for my 3 college-graduated kids. (Except for Gucci and Cocaine).
Substitute: Amazon.com, Streaming Services galore, and monthly subs to make-up, clothes, food, IPA’S, and gaming.
• Mig in Ohio is fired up:
I am not going to get into the pros and cons of the loan payoff. I had 4 kids in college at the same time and it will definitely benefit some of them. Nothing is being said about the Universities that got all the money people borrowed. One item I remember is one of the kids called me and asked why they didn’t get “refund: checks like all their friends? It was because I filled out all the financial paperwork and you could qualify for $10,000.00 in student loans even if you only needed $5000.00 for tuition. You had to tell them you did not want the extra money and to only apply the amount to cost of tuition. Alot of parties were thrown with these “refund” checks.
The link above is a list of colleges and universities with over 1 Billion dollars in endowment fund. I don’t claim to know exactly what can be done with endowment funds but the first line of web page is this…. Many institutions of higher education in the United States maintain financial endowments, sums of money that are invested in stocks, yielding returns that fund a portion of an institution’s operational expenses and help ensure that it survives in perpetuity.
Endowment funds at these schools went from $219 Billion in 2005 to $394 Billion in 2015. This really grinds my gears as Homer Simpson stated.
How many years till we are in this spot again? No one is demanding lower tuitions or transparency with what these school do with all this money besides pay their players, I mean give out scholarships.
I am untethered and my rage knows no bounds!
That is all.
• Jeff M. writes:
I am totally against taxpayer handouts (they’re not govt handouts, the govt has no money to hand out, taxpayers do) to anybody. That being said, the most egregious part of this is that govt backed loans are the reason tuition is so crazy these days. So in true govt fashion, they create a problem by their actions, then their solution to the problem is to do the same thing that created the problem in the first place. It’s like the Jet’s management is running the country…
• Dale A. writes:
You made great points today but your point # 9 was the best one…where do the bailouts end? I have used the exact same analogy for college athletes being paid/NIL. It started with cost of living stipends a couple of years ago. When that happened, I said, it will never be enough…fast track a few years and we have NIL which is completely out of control, non-stop player transfers and are on a path for unions/revenue sharing (essentially what should be an employee/employer model otherwise known as professional sports…I played basketball at a D3 school so I have a different perspective than most who say oh just pay the kids and completely don’t put any value in the free education/lodging/food/facilities, etc. that D1 athletes have received forever and now is just ignored).
This loan deal starts it down the exact same path and the small group of liberals who are running this country (because me and you both know Sleepy Joe isn’t in charge of anything) will not stop with the handouts until they achieve their goal of full socialism.
Another overlooked part of the whole deal is repaying student loans is one of the best ways for college graduates to learn how to manage money. Generally, student loans have very low-interest rates especially compared to credit cards. I split my loans with my parents when I graduated college in 2004 and it helped me learn how to budget. Every student who is now just given a handout won’t learn that as quickly.
• Steve E. in Gresham, OR writes:
In today’s Screencaps, you asked this question;
- Bailouts are getting old. What’s next: credit cards, gas bills, electric bills?
Here’s your answer; rent.
The grazing board craze
It takes approximately five minutes after publishing Screencaps to know if I have a winning subject that resonated with the community.
Wednesday’s topic of grazing boards is a clear winner. It isn’t quite up there with the Traeger vs. Blackstone debate that led to hundreds of emails, but this is a subject you guys keyed in on right away.
• Mark W. in Franklin, TN loves calling them grazing boards:
I love that name because…
• Adam in Maryland writes:
Love your column, Joe.
On the topic of charcuterie boards, my nephew (@thefallentreewoodco on IG) utilizes fallen trees and reclaimed wood to create all types of unique furniture. He works daily in his dad’s shop and is following in the footsteps of a master carpenter – dad. Charcuterie boards are amazingly popular (who knew??). Below are some of his newer, still-unfinished designs, including what I believe to be the perfect example of what should be included on a board – meats, cheeses, and a little spicy sauce to slather on! The grapes in this example were a nice addition to cleanse the pallet.
Keep up the good work, and keep crushing those patio brews!
• Andy A. in Carmel, IN says forget the Busch Light can decorations on a grazing board:
Yes, but forget the beer; it’ll be there. Put nachos in the middle. Super Bowl 2022:
• Of course Mike T. in Idaho has grazing board experience. He says this is his favorite from Florence, Italy:
As for Mike T. & Cindy T. in Idaho’s favorite Italian restaurant in their favorite Italian city. Here you go:
• Thomas M.’s grazing board advice:
So the standard bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are fantastic, but I also do a mozzarella ball/cherry tomatoes/cucumber/mozzarella ball on a toothpick that you can dip into bagna cauda
Along with some Italian bread. It’s delicious, salty but delicious. Very easy to make, plus something unique. Go Irish
• Brendan in Frisco, TX writes:
Great column on the grazing boards. Being that it’s 9/1, and the opening of dove season in many parts of the country if not all (I just know Oklahoma & Texas), gives this:
Jalapeno Dove Poppers: Bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-cream cheese-dove.
Here’s the link: https://www.texasmonthly.com/food/bacon-wrapped-dove/
My friend made these a few years ago and they were the best way to eat dove I’ve ever experienced. Would do it 100% of the time.
Make it a GREAT CFB Opening Weekend! #GoPokes #OkState
• Helen S. in Birmingham, AL, who is Jess in Birmingham’s mother, writes:
I’ve not written before but want you to know I’ve loved Screencaps and the TNML articles tons!!! Thanks for your outstanding and entertaining articles.
I put who I am in the subject line hoping you will read this quickly because you know my precious daughter, and can make these poppers for opening college football weekend 2022. You are welcome to shoot off an email to Jessica for verification, lol. I have the BEST recipe for your grazing boards. I make these all year long, preferably when I’m growing my own jalapeños, but what the hey, just buy them at the grocery store. 3 ingredients, easy peasy, and don’t throw away leftovers (if there are any) because you can chop them up and add to scrambled eggs for your hangover breakfast (preferably accompanied by a Bloody Mary)!
•12 peppers (makes 24 poppers)
•1 block softened cream cheese
•Your favorite bacon (I don’t use thick cut, takes too long to cook)
Wash & dry peppers, cut off tops, cut in half length wise. I remove half the seeds & white ribs because too many people don’t want to burn their mouths; you be the judge with your guests.
Make sure the cream cheese is soft and use a knife to fill in each pepper half.
Cut your bacon pieces in half for normal-sized peppers, stretch it out a bit and wrap around the cheese-filled peppers, finish by tucking end of bacon on bottom.
Put them on a foil lined sheet pan and bake at 375 to 400 until the bacon is done & crisp. Let them cool 5-10 mins before serving.
I’ve been making these for about 20 years and get amazing reviews e v e r y time. All the best!
• Jon DeV. writes:
Thing is, with these nutso charcuterie board… just don’t be afraid to dig the hell in. Wreck that overthought, meticulously organized assemblage. Finger and thumb, go get it. Don’t be afraid!
• And finally, I’ll allow Vols fan Galen in Johnson City, TN to have the final word as Vols fans head to the holy land for another year of football. Is this the year? After tonight, Vols fans will say yes.
When I read the description today of a Charcuterie platter “garnish(ed) with herbs and floral embellishments and serve(d) them on a reusable platter” I knew 3 things…
1) Whoever wrote this is not from the south nor a flyover state and this probably would not be at an SEC/B1G game.
2) If you take your time to roll salami to look like a flower then you are missing the point.
3) I understand crackers, but cookies? Have a separate snack and then dessert setup. Don’t combine on a grazing board!
Don’t “woke” our tailgates people!!
• Rob R. writes:
I was stocking up for an upcoming trip to the mountains, when I encountered Kinsey-brand bourbon. Had no choice but to take a flier on it, and I will let you know how it is! I sense a Screencaps endorsement deal coming soon.
Hope you and your family are well, and that the Screencaps/TNML community enjoys their Labor Day weekend!
I hear that stuff will put hair on your chest. Good luck, Rob.
Listen, what a morning for Screencaps. This is how things should go on the real first day of the college football season. We get some emotions out on the table. We see craftsmanship from the grazing board world. We get food recipes from Jess’ mom. Liquor. Mike T. travel reports.
Go out there and mow that lawn, fire up those patio TVs, sit back with the remote and go to work. What a summer it’s been, but now it’s time to flip the switch to the next stage of 2022.
And if you’re off the rest of the week, have a great Labor Day weekend. Remember, this weekend we flip the switch on Screencaps to a 7-day-a-week operation. It’s go time.