Coronavirus Epidemic

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Update posted 1 hour ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Betsy DeVos

Covid-19 Economic Response: Cancel Student Loans by Executive Order.

Trillions could be injected into the economy with no tax money needed, and nothing added to the national debt.   President Trump needs new ways to stimulate the economy.  After having thrown an astonishing $9 Trillion into the economy, (and adding roughly that amount to the national debt),  Wall Street is bouncing back stronger than ever, but 50 million citizens have lost their jobs, and many of those jobs will not come back.  This is hurting young people particularly hard.  The President has very few options left, and every conceivable spending/stimulus measure he might enact will undoubtedly require either more tax money, or will increase the national debt. ...EXCEPT CANCELLING STUDENT LOANS BY EXECUTIVE ORDER. The President could issue an executive order cancelling all of the student loans that the federal government holds- about 85% of all student debt. Nothing would be added to the national debt, and no tax appropriation would be needed.  This is- by far- the least expensive, and most expedient way to inject trillions into the economy. MAKE NO MISTAKE:  Before the Covid-19 crisis, this was a FAILED lending system:  55 million borrowers and cosigners are struggling under $1.8 Trillion in debt (up from only $175 billion in 2000).  Over $100 Billion in interest alone is being sucked out of the economy every year.  The default rate for 2004 borrowers is 40%, and borrowing has tripled since that time.  According to the recently resigned Chief Operating Officer of the lending program, 80% of all borrowers will never be able to repay their loans.   Unlike all other loans in this country, student loans have been stripped of fundamental consumer protections like bankruptcy rights, statutes of limitations, and others.  Without these protections, student loans have been weaponized against the very citizens they were supposed to help.   The Result: Lives and livelihoods are being wrecked en masse.  Young people aren’t getting married, starting families, businesses or buying homes.  Older people are being forced to cash in their retirements. Families are being torn apart.  People are fleeing the country.  Some are even committing suicide.  This is not right.  This was never right.   Analysts have predicted that cancelling student loans will increase GDP by about $100 billion for the next ten years, but they do not take into account the borrowing capacity (and thus spending) that such a move would free up. This would be another $1 Trillion injected into the economy in the near and medium term.  Some experts even believe that debt cancellation is the only way to avoid a depression!   THE PRESIDENT-  WHETHER THIS ONE OR THE NEXT-  MUST RESET THIS FAILED LENDING SYSTEM. President Trump has decried the fact that the government was making so much profit on the loans.  The President should create a far more efficient higher education financing system that doesn’t wreck the citizens, hyper-inflate the price of college, and enable a national threat such as what the Department of Education has become.  Rest assured, the taxpayers will be fine.  The federal government has been profiting wildly on this lending system for ten years running. Many years of White House Budget data confirm that the Department of Education is- astonishingly- even making a profit on defaulted loans!  While no one can say with accuracy how much of the $1.5 Trillion in outstanding federal loans is interest vs. principal, it is likely that the former is significantly larger than the latter.  So on balance, the taxpayer should more-than break even on such a move.  Bureaucrats, lobbyists, and other defenders of the lending system in and around the Department of Education will surely protest such a move, but 40 million citizens who are being crushed under the weight of these predatory loans will cheer, and the economy will flourish. This is an historic opportunity for the President to cure a recession, drain the swamp, create a better higher education financing system, and strongly endear himself to tens of millions of voters who would otherwise have, by and large, opposed him this coming November.    THIS IS YOUR PETITION.  HELP IT GROW!  1.   Boost it.  2.  Join us on Facebook.  3.   Post this link  in many places where it will be seen.  4.   Retweet this  to influencers who might help.     WE WILL WIN OUR FREEDOM FROM THIS DEBT WHEN YOU STEP UP AND DO YOUR PART.   Alan Collinge is founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org and author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press)       Facebook

student loan
543,311 supporters
Started 19 hours ago

Petition to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CEO Janice Jackson

CPS Should Open ONLY Remotely for 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, CPS has proposed two options for reopening schools in Fall 2020. The first is a hybrid option, where students attend in-person two days each week and learn remotely the remaining three days. The second is all-remote learning. CPS sent out a text & email to all parents on Friday, July 31, asking them to commit to one option or the other by Friday, August 7 with very little information on what each option meant. Families that choose the hybrid option can still move to all-remote learning at any time, but not the reverse. This has pushed many families to hedge and choose hybrid learning until they know more answers to their questions. And the questions are myriad. Just over one month away from school reopening, parents have very little information about how the basic logistics of in-person learning will work. What happens if a number of families who chose the hybrid plan because it offers the most options for choice in the future suddenly move to all-remote learning? Can schools opt out of the hybrid plan? Who will teach students when many teachers with existing health and/or family concerns may be unable or unwilling to return? Will teachers have access to PPE and free, rapid tests? Who will work as a substitute teacher when a teacher gets sick with non-Covid-19 illnesses? Will substitutes be allowed to go to different schools in a two-week period? How will specials teachers & classrooms (art, phys. ed., music, etc.) be kept safe when 75+ students will be in contact with those teachers each day? Who will enforce the daily cleaning that requires all surfaces to be disinfected--a far heavier cleaning burden than current support staff can likely cover? What kind of guarantees can be made that all schools will have sufficient air circulation, hand sanitizer, extra masks, working windows, etc.? Cases and the positivity rate (number of positive tests per day) have been climbing since mid-July. BIPOC communities have suffered from Covid-19 at higher rates than the city as a whole. In-person learning puts these students and families at even greater risk. The risks and incredible complexities of this situation far outweigh the benefits of in-person learning two days per week. We cannot, we will not risk putting our children, teachers, and staff into close contact with one another, which will only cause more illness and death.  We demand that Mayor Lightfoot and CPS follow the lead of numerous state and local officials across the country and move to all-remote learning, with in-person care for children of essential workers and those with special needs, and the continued distribution of meals at schools. We call on you to put our students, families, teachers, and staff's lives first.

Melanie Hoekstra
199 supporters