no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Hell in a Handbasket

July 1st, 2012

Sometimes I read headlines and just shake my head. Lately this has been happening more often than not. Here’s a few…

Some people are more equal than others

The “Justice” Department has declined to press criminal charges against Eric Holder for refusing to release documents related to the “Fast and Furious” sting, in which nearly 2,000 small arms were lost across the Mexican border. One of these weapons was subsequently used to kill US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Lobbyists poised to hijack Obamacare

The WSJ expects a tsunami of lobbying as hospitals, medical-device makers, pharmaceuticals, insurers and other special interest groups scramble to divvy up the Obamacar pie in their favor.  Unless you are a special interest group, this is not going to work out to your benefit.

Student loan rates steady at 3.4%

Congress renewed $6B worth of funding to subsidize student loan rates at 3.4% as part of a $120B “transportation” package. Why is this part of a highway funding bill?

Army Leverages 100-Year Old “Technology”

Knows as the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), it’s a blimp the size of a football field and is being contracted by military rent seekers extraordinaire, Northrop Grumman Corp. There is something to be said about going lo-tech; guerrilla tactics and improvised munitions tend to wreak havoc on organized forces expecting “conventional warfare.  But if your lo-tech solution costs half a billion dollars (Northrop Grumman was awarded a $517,000,000 contract to develop), you’re blowing it.

Obama’s Student Loan Debt-Relief Program

October 26th, 2011

I have seen the petitions asking to forgive student loan debt, and I’m familiar that it is on the OWS list of demands, so imagine my surprise when I read a headline last night teasing that Obama has a plan to provide relief for the masses suffering under the crushing weight of massive student loan debt, which is a consequence of the rising costs of higher education, which is a consequence of the federal government’s 40+ years of meddling in higher education.

But I digress…


Someone else's crappy clip-art composite.

Is this “Change”?

In a nutshell, the proposal will:

  • forgive any balance after 20 years of payments (currently the limit is 25 years).
You’ll still be paying that note off when your kids are going to college. But hey, at least your debt will be gone by the time they graduate.
The proposal also will:
  • let you reduce your loan payments to 10% of discretionary income (instead of the present 15%).
At 6% interest, in order to qualify for that hardship adjustment, you’d need a balance that exceeds 2.5x your annual income, and that’s a criteria for which relatively few people will be able to qualify.
Let’s Put it in Perspective…
Someone with a calculator, who is more motivated than I am, should probably do the math on this. Experience dictates that most people are blithering idiots when it comes to dealing with numbers this large, and will buy in to just about anything if it’s a number that seems large enough.
I’m inclined to call “bullshit!”. I gave up trying to figure out the math, but I’d wager this will probably only amount to a few hundred million per year, which sounds like a lot, until you realize that the interest payment on student loans is $60,000,000,000 (that’s sixty BILLION, with a “B”).
$300,000,000 < $60,000,000,000

Which sounds like a lot, until you realize that the principal outstanding is a truly extraordinary $1 TRILLION.

$60,000,000,000 < $1,000,000,000,000

Which sounds like a lot, until you realize that Washington bailed out the banks with THREE TIMES that extraordinary amount in 2009, alone.

$1,000,000,000,000 < $3,000,000,000,000

Probably it’s just another half-assed plan to appease us, so we can go back to our materialistic, consumption-driven culture of death.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics