Category Archives: Politics
The U.S. and Russia have been taking lots of jabs at each other.
Two new polls show President Obama faces a daunting task in getting the public to support his call for military strikes against Syria
Across the country, students and parents have expressed dissatisfaction with
Zurich is running an experiment that will make prostitution less of a public nuisance and safer for women.
President Obama recently announced a plan to forgive 100 percent of all federal student loans in the country. In a speech in Scranton, PA the president told an assembled crowd that it was unfair to hold college graduates to promises they made as students and outlined his vision for ending all student loan payments by the end of the year.
“Just because someone borrowed a bunch of money doesn’t mean they have to pay it back,” he explained to a friendly crowd at Scranton University. “This isn’t 19th century England. This is America. And in America we’ve always believed in second chances. “In today’s economy a university education is more important than ever. Where would successful people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt or Mark Zuckerberg be without their college diplomas? These days skipping college just isn’t an option, but neither is continuing to pay for increasingly expensive tuition. “We need colleges to teach our young people useful skills like sociology, gender studies and postmodern Moldovan literary analysis. But the most important thing we need to teach them is responsibility. And what better way to teach responsibility than to hold these banks accountable for the terrible loans they’ve made.”
The student loan burden in America is estimated at over $1 trillion, with most of that in the federal government’s hands. There are an estimated 40 million student loan borrowers who hold an average of $24,000 of debt between them. The cost of a college education in the U.S. has risen 600% since 1980, much faster than inflation. Although since the financial crisis the level of other types of debt such as mortgages and credit cards has fallen, student loan debt has continued to rise alarmingly. Some economists have called this trend a crisis, as heavy loan burdens discourage consumer spending and housing sales among the young. Many liberal activists have called for the type of loan forgiveness Obama announced today. Conservative economists, however, have called for the government to leave the market altogether, noting that cheap government loans allow students to artificially bid up the price of higher education.
Under Obama’s plan all $900 billion in federal student loans will be wiped out on Nov. 1st and no further payments need be made after that date. The loss of revenue will add significantly to the U.S. government’s deficit, although the cost would be spread out over several years.
(article courtesy of http://dailycurrant.com)
The federal judiciary for the first time is cutting the fees of court appointed defense lawyers, including those representing death penalty defendants, to deal with the “dire consequences” of required government budget reductions known as sequestration.
The reductions, outlined in a notice to U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake, chairwoman of the Federal Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, are part of an unprecedented criminal justice cost-cutting effort that also will scale back operations of federal probation services at a time when authorities are planning to rely more heavily on programs like probation to help reduce the rising federal prison population.
The cuts in attorneys’ fees will be implemented next month with payments dropping from
- $125 per hour to $110 in non-death penalty cases
- $179 per hour to $164 in cases where capital punishment is being sought
The reductions are aimed at saving $50 million during the next 13 months to avoid further cuts into the full-time staff of the federal defenders service.
According to USA Today, the defender program consists of both full-time public defenders, who have been targeted for furloughs and layoffs, and private court-appointed lawyers who assist in the representation of the indigent.
In addition to the fee cuts, millions of dollars in fees to the outside court-appointed counsels, scheduled for payment in fiscal year 2014 (beginning in October), would be deferred into fiscal year 2015.