- The Washington Times
Monday, October 31, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

How to spend $400 billion

President Biden’s $400 billion student-loan bailout is a startling amount to consider. But those who could get the generous federal aid may not be interested in spending the money on higher education. There is insight on current attitudes. And there’s a poll, of course — and it’s specific.


“To find how recipients would use the extra money they would have each month, we surveyed 1,250 individuals who have applied or plan to apply for Biden’s student loan forgiveness program,” said Intelligent.com, which has released a telling report on their findings.

The report found that 73% of applicants say they likely would spend their extra money on nonessential goods, including vacations, smartphones, drugs and alcohol.

In addition, some respondents said they would spend the money on stock market investments, gifts or wedding plans.

The news is not completely negative, though. The would-be recipients also said they would use the funds for groceries, rent or mortgage, credit card debt, medical care or child care.

Men are more likely than women to spend the money on nonessentials (84% vs. 65%), while another 4 in 10 say student loans haven’t hurt their lives in the first place.

The online survey was conducted Oct. 20 by Intelligent.com, a Seattle-based organization that produces ad-free, data-based guides to colleges, internship opportunities and other topics.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Blue state panic.”

This handy little term comes from Mike Berg, deputy communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“With just days until the election, Republicans are going on offense in deep blue districts,” Mr. Berg said in a statement to Inside the Beltway.

He noted that the tactic is forcing Democrats to spend their resources in House districts where residents voted for President Biden by a wide margin — rather than in swing districts.

NBC News offered a quick takeaway on the phenomenon.

“The crush of last-minute spending in deep-blue states and Democratic strongholds, detailed through data from the ad-tracking firm AdImpact, underscores just how much the political winds have shifted in Republicans’ favor and how the GOP — buoyed by well-funded super PACs — has expanded the battlefield in the final sprint of the campaign,” the network said in an analysis released Sunday.

HUNGRY FOR ‘NORMAL’

Lockdowns, masks, financial worries, city violence, social upheavals — these worrisome events have been fixtures for quite some time. It is not surprising that many people would like a little peace and common sense now and then.

“Americans are hungry for normalcy, and they’re not going to get it from Democrats. Many voted for President Joe Biden hoping for this return to normal. But much of Biden’s presidency, and his Democratic Party’s direction, is a rejection of all rationality and embrace of fringe figures and ideas,” writes Karol Markowicz, an editorial columnist for the New York Post.

She cites persistent and disconcerting inflation and culture war issues as factor that have threatened the everyday sense of security or peace among Americans ­­­— along with reluctance among certain Democrats to even say that crime is an important issue.

“We can’t go on like this anymore. We can’t start from debating whether crime matters or whether it even exists. We need to move on and elect people dedicated to fighting it. There are two distinct roads here, and we have to choose one,” Ms. Markowicz advises.

“We’ve been in the upside-down, where lax crime policies, insane school programs and so much more have been winning the day. A red wave will mean Americans demand a different direction. It will mean we tried the leftist ideas, declared them failures and want to try something else. It will mean a return to something better, back to the normal we have longed for and deserves,” she concludes.

THE DESANTIS EFFECT

Turning Point Action — the sister organization of Turning Point USA — has already hosted effective, lively “Unite and Win” rallies brining the unmistakable cachet of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to five states. Here comes another one, this time in the Sunshine State.

Turning Point Action will host a “Unite and Win Rally” featuring Mr. DeSantis on Saturday in Clearwater to support Anna Paulina Luna, now on a quest to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

“Gov. DeSantis is America’s Governor and one of the most popular leaders in the country. He has become the model for a new conservative movement that is willing to stand on principle and fight on behalf of the values of his voters. Anna Paulina Luna is cut from the same cloth and will boldly represent Florida’s 13th with that same courage and vision. That Gov. DeSantis is willing to put his name and influence behind her candidacy sends a loud message to voters in her district that she will fight for all the same principles that have helped Florida lead the country in freedom and prosperity,” said Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point Action, in a statement.

Mr. DeSantis knows the drill, having previously boosted the public appeal of Republican gubernatorial candidates Kari Lake of Arizona, Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania, Derek Schmidt of Kansas and Tim Michels of Wisconsin. He’s also campaigned for Republican U.S. Senate candidates Blake Masters of Arizona, J.D. Vance of Ohio and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

POLL DU JOUR

• 95% of U.S. adults are “very or somewhat” concerned about the price of food and consumer goods.

• 93% are concerned about the price of gasoline and energy.

• 87% are concerned about the cost of housing.

• 79% are concerned about the limited availability for some consumer products.

• 71% are concerned about employers being able to find workers to hire.

• 70% are concerned about how the stock market is doing.

• 61% are concerned about people who want to work and are unable to find jobs.

SOURCE: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,098 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 10-16.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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