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Author: TheGuardian

Rhetoric that robs society: Why it would cost the Federal government nothing to cancel student debt

Conservatives love to talk about how expensive canceling student debt would be. In the words of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, federal student debt cancellation, even when means-tested, is “​​regressive, inflationary, expensive and would likely do more to increase the cost of higher education going forward than to reduce it.” Or as Forbes recently put it: “Canceling federal student loans will cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars – and it is the general public that will eventually end up footing the bill.” The author goes on to suggest that this “cost” imposed on taxpayers...

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Lessons from 1948: How the West should implement a Marshall Plan for Ukraine to aid its reconstruction

Talking up a Marshall plan for Ukraine is a popular sport nowadays. The game starts by tossing out a figure for the cost of reconstructing Ukraine from the ravages of the Russian invasion, from $250bn, to $500bn, or $1tn, depending on assumptions about how much is destroyed, the cost of caring for refugees, and so forth. The overall cost of the postwar Marshall plan is then compared with U.S. GDP in 1948, when the program started. This typically leads to the conclusion that the cost of Ukrainian reconstruction relative to the size of the donor countries will be in...

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Desperate Ukrainian families search for missing relatives among mass of unidentified bodies in Bucha

The video was a terrible way for Vadim Yevdokimenko to find out that his father had been murdered. Alexei had been missing for weeks, since he went out in early March to scavenge firewood for cooking in their shattered, Russian-occupied town of Bucha. Yevdokimenko and his mother, Lilia, clung to a fading hope that he might have been captured and taken across the border, and that he would return in a prisoner exchange – the fate of some Ukrainian men. But this week the 20-year-old student barber spotted his father’s face in footage of Ukrainians tortured and murdered during...

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The luxury of opposition: Why Republicans beat a “culture war” drum instead of offering solutions

The interruption was unplanned but Joe Biden immediately knew this was no ordinary heckler. “I agree!” he told a babbling baby as the audience laughed. “I agree completely. By the way, kids are allowed to do anything they want when I speak so don’t worry about it.” It was a welcome note of light relief during a speech that could not be described as blockbuster television. Beside a blue sign that said “Building a Better America,” perched on a white boat at the New Hampshire Port Authority in Portsmouth, the US president was last week trying to gin up...

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Lost Integrity: An inquiry into leak of draft abortion ruling will not restore Supreme Court’s credibility

John Roberts, the U.S. chief justice, has announced an investigation into a leak showing that the supreme court provisionally voted to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Publication of the draft opinion by the Politico website on May 2 night sparked demonstrations outside America’s highest court, condemnation from Joe Biden and fears that the judiciary has suffered profound damage to its reputation for independence. In a statement on May 3, Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document written in February and said: “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the court was...

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An Era of Unrest: Risk of public violence over abortion is growing regardless of what Supreme Court decides

Civil wars do not always begin with gunfire. Sometimes civil wars begin with learned arguments. In April 1861, Confederate forces shot on Fort Sumter, but at the time even Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, had doubts about whether the event mattered all that much. It was, he claimed, “either the beginning of a fearful war, or the end of a political contest.” He could not say which. During the decades that preceded the assault on Fort Sumter, complex legal and political fissures had been working their way through the United States, slowly rendering the country ungovernable and opening the...

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