Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He co-authored "The Student Loan Debt Bubble" along with Kelly Norman, which appeared in CounterPunch.)
MW: Is it possible to "walk away" from a student loan and declare bankruptcy?
Alan Nasser--- No, it's not possible for student debtors to escape financial devastation by declaring bankruptcy. This most fundamental of consumer protections would have been available to student debtors were it not for legislation explicitly designed to withhold a whole range of basic protections from student borrowers. I'm not talking only about bankruptcy protection, but also truth in lending requirements, statutes of limitations, refinancing rights and even state usury laws – Congress has rendered all these protections inapplicable to federally guaranteed student loans. The same legislation also gave collection agencies hitherto unimaginable powers, for example to garnish wages, tax returns, Social Security benefits and -believe it or not- Disability income. Twisting the knife, legislators made the suspension of state-issued professional licenses, termination of public employment and denial of security clearances legitimate measures to enable collection companies to wring financial blood from bankrupt student-loan borrowers. Student loan debt is the most punishable of all forms of debt - most of those draconian measures are unavailable to credit card companies. (Maybe I'm being too harsh. Sallie Mae recently announced that it will after all forgive a debt under either of two conditions: in case the borrower dies or becomes totally disabled.)
Excellent opinion piece by Rand, and the comments seem to be pretty positive so far. Keep in mind that Rand will be introducing a separate proposal to take on Social Security and Medicare in the next few weeks.
A Modest $500 Billion Proposal
My spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security or Medicare.
by RAND PAUL
After Republicans swept into office in 1994, Bill Clinton famously said in his State of the Union address that the era of big government was over. Nearly $10 trillion of federal debt later, the era of big government is at its zenith.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third consecutive year in which the federal government is running a deficit near or greater than $1 trillion. The solution to the government's fiscal crisis must begin by cutting spending in all areas, particularly in those that can be better run at the state or local level. Last month I introduced legislation to do just that. And though it seems extreme to some—containing over $500 billion in spending cuts enacted over one year—it is a necessary first step toward ending our fiscal crisis.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For a Federal Reserve chairman who is worried about politics interfering with monetary policy, Ben Bernanke is taking on some awfully heated political topics.
Echoing comments from White House and Treasury officials, Bernanke said last week that if Congress failed to raise the government's borrowing limit, it could force the United States into a "catastrophic" default.
He urged lawmakers not to use the debt ceiling as a "bargaining chip" in debates over taxes and spending -- which some Republicans have threatened to do. The Treasury Department has said it may breach the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling as early as April 5 unless it is raised.
On Wednesday, Bernanke testifies at a congressional budget committee hearing chaired by one of the most prominent Republican proponents of spending cuts -- Representative Paul Ryan, who has said any vote to increase the debt ceiling must be paired with a commitment to lower long-term spending.
Continue at Reuters
Discussing a non-interventionist foreign policy:
How Foreign Aid Creates Instability and Isolates America
Texas Straight Talk | February 07, 2011
by Ron Paul
The events in Egypt of late have captured the attention of the world as many thousands of Egyptians take to the streets both in opposition to and favor of the current regime. We watch from a distance hoping that events do not spiral further into violence which will destroy lives and threaten the livelihoods of average Egyptians caught up in the political turmoil. I hope that Egyptians are able to work toward a more free and just society. Unfortunately, much of the blame for the unrest in Egypt and the resulting instability in the region rests with U.S. foreign policy over the past several decades. The U.S. government has sent more than $60 billion to the Egyptian regime since the Camp David accords in 1978 to purchase stability, including more security for the state of Israel.
Nobody answers DHS hotline. "See Something, Say Something" numbers not being answered. Fraudsters watching Super Bowl?
Alex then calls Dallas F.B.I. during Super Bowl to report suspicious government activity.
This is what the elite fear. Not the Muslim Brotherhood.
Us. They fear us together.
The first time around Congress had only 15 minutes to read it before the vote, and Bush used fear to cow the Congress into enacting this monstrosity that:
- Permits Federal Agents to write their own search warrants. (The Constitution says only judges can issue search warrants.)
- Prohibits recipients of a search warrant from telling anyone he has received it, meaning if you get one:
- You can't tell your spouse
- You can't tell your priest or rabbi
- You can't tell your lawyer
- You can't even tell a judge, under oath, in a public courtroom
- Allows Federal agents to break into your house, plant listening devices (sneak & peek), and seize your property -- all without informing you of any of this!
What country is this again?
The Patriot Act is obviously unConstitutional. Parts of it are coming up for renewal, and this is one instance in which there is bipartisan support -- to very quitely renew it! If it is renewed, then no one's life, liberty or property are safe. Ron Paul says repeal it.
What do you say?
Bernanke: The Fed is completely transparent. Completely. Totally. So no Fed audit is needed. Plus, it's a bad idea. (Video)Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Sun, 02/06/2011 - 09:29
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the National Press Club, Feb 3, 2011. Full speech and Q&A here. Relevant question answered on proposed legislation to audit the Fed:
Contact your representatives and urge them to support HR 459 and S 202, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011. Audit the Fed!
How extreme is freshman Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the libertarian darling of the Tea Party? On Thursday, Feb. 3, he was the only Senator to oppose a proposed amendment making it a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an airplane, taking a lonely stand with the idiots who try to distract pilots 35,000 ft. (10,000 m) up in the sky. After the 96-1 vote, Paul said the problem could be "adequately handled and prosecuted at the state level."
An early look at potential 2012 match-ups indicates that the election is likely shaping up as a referendum on President Obama. That’s typical when an incumbent runs for reelection.
The numbers show that Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee essentially run even with Obama at this point. Romney is nominally up two points, 44% to 42%, while Huckabee is tied with the president at 43% apiece.
Three other well-known potential candidates, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul trail the president. Palin is down by 11 points, 49% to 38%, Gingrich by eight, 47% to 39%, and Paul by nine, 44% to 35%.
So much for the airport protests...Obama is laughing about it during SOTU speech...and now DHS is showing they can do whatever they want.
What to expect if going to the stadium:
"DHS,passing through magnetometers, pat-downs, cameras, X-rays, RFID/GPS tracking, snipers, NORAD fighter jets, police, DART, bomb sniffing dogs,National Nuclear Security Administration teams, biological detection devices, bomb-retrieving robots, high-tech weaponry, Big Brother telescreens at the game displaying DHS propaganda,etc"
Dear Friends of Liberty!
Today you carry the torch of freedom for all humanity in this world.
Just as Founding Fathers of America did in the past.
Today we all are united cherishing the same spirit!
The Liberty bell rings out loud when you defend Tahrir Square when you stand against bullets stones and police batons.
Your songs are our songs -- your voice is our voice!
Humanity for thousands of years suffers oppression tyranny and we are together standing tall against it.
I am saying to you these words saying as John Lennon's song says:
All You Need Is Love!
Kurt Nimmo | Infowars.com
February 4, 2011
Rep. Ron Paul read the text below into the Congressional Record earlier this year. Paul’s statement provides additional evidence to the established fact the globalist, bonesman, and former CIA director George Bush Senior duped Saddam Hussein, exploited his dispute with Kuwait – accusing Kuwait of slant drilling its oil – and gave Hussein a green light to attack Kuwait.
From the Congressional Record, January 26, 2011, Page H503. It was posted on the Veterans Today website.
“The SPEAKER pro tempore.
Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, how did the 20-year war get started?
It had been long assumed that the United States Government, shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, gave Saddam Hussein a green light to attack. A State Department cable recently published by WikiLeaks confirmed that U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie did indeed have a conversation with Saddam Hussein one week prior to Iraq’s August 1, 1990, invasion of Kuwait.