Politics & Policy

Virginia March for Life Draws 1,000 Attendees

Scenes from the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C, January 24, 2020 (Katie Yoder)

Local media in Richmond, Va., report that about 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the state capital yesterday for the Virginia March for Life, featuring a rally in front of the capitol building calling on the legislature to stop undoing restrictions on abortion.

In the state-level elections last November, Democratic legislators took over the Virginia General Assembly, winning a slim majority in the House of Delegates and a slightly larger majority in the state senate. Both chambers previously had been held by the Republican Party, although by small margins.

Last month, Democratic lawmakers took advantage of their newfound control to pass legislation removing existing regulations on abortion. Here are some details about that legislation from my recent reporting on the subject:

[The legislation] would permit non-physicians, including physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives, to perform abortions. Another would remove the parental-consent requirement for minors seeking an abortion and the requirement that women seeking an abortion obtain an ultrasound first.

The legislation also would eliminate provisions governing informed consent, so that the person performing the abortion no longer would have to give women “a full, reasonable and comprehensible medical explanation of the nature, benefits, and risks of and alternatives” to abortion. Neither would women be told that they could withdraw their consent at any point prior to the procedure.

Under current Virginia law, women must be offered a chance to speak in advance with the physician performing the abortion, must receive a statement of the probable gestational age of the fetus, and must be offered a chance to review materials about the science of unborn human life, about agencies that offer alternatives to abortion, and about medical-assistance benefits that could help them obtain prenatal care. The bills under consideration would remove those provisions entirely.

The Virginia March for Life was sponsored by the national March for Life organization in concert with the Family Foundation, the Virginia Society for Human Life, and the Virginia Catholic Conference. Last spring, about 7,000 pro-life demonstrators marched in Richmond after Democratic legislators attempted to pass a bill loosening restrictions on abortion until birth, as well as comments from Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, suggesting that mothers and doctors could discuss denying medical care to infants born alive after attempted abortion procedures.

World

Post-Scripts to a London Letter

Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancée, Megan Markle, visit Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. (Andy Stenning/Pool via Reuters)

Today’s news includes the information that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have let go the 15-strong staff of their office in Buckingham Palace. It was, wrote the Daily Mail, the clearest sign yet that they and infant Archie would never return to live in Britain. That was not the harshest comment on the half-time-royal couple in the British media. Kathy Gyngell on the Conservative Woman website argues suspiciously that this look like the start of a long goodbye that is Meghan’s interests but not Harry’s: “There is something that looks increasingly calculating about their behaviour. It has all the signs of considerable planning and is all the more the more shocking for that. They are certainly becoming past masters of knowing how to upset the public as well as causing the Queen and Prince William, in particular, anguish and upset. Meghan may not mind — she has plenty of avenues to explore for her future — but it looks increasingly desperate and damaging for Prince Harry’s prospects.”

After all, what will Harry do in “North America”? The future that Ms. Gyngell sees for Prince Harry has him replaying the Humphrey Bogart part in the Paris railroad station scene from Casablanca. And that kind of comment — in fact far harsher ones — have been making the rounds since it was announced that Harry and Meghan would be talking to a JP Morgan conference in Palm Beach for, ahem, a princely sum — though in fact princes don’t have the kind of sums these days to compare with Hollywood billionaires. It’s suggested that Meghan is looking to exploit the “Royal Brand” in order to raise her movie profile — or in other words, she’s now being typecast in the Anne Baxter role in All About Eve.

Before things got quite this savage, we at the Danube Institute invited Anne-Elisabeth Moutet to discuss “Meghzit” in Budapest. She gave a brilliantly entertaining performance. See it here.

And pay attention to her predictions of Meghan’s post-Royal career. It will chill your blood.

Economy & Business

A Bad Rap for Judy Shelton on Deposit Insurance

The Fed nominee doesn’t seem to have won over several on-the-fence senators during yesterday’s hearing. One criticism that has been lodged against Judy Shelton, though, is off the mark. Supposedly her observation that federal deposit insurance for banks has the downside of encouraging banks to take risks makes her a dangerous radical. As George Selgin points out in this thread, that’s a mainstream view. I’d add that it’s clearly correct.

White House

Hakeem Jeffries: A Second Impeachment Effort Is Not in the Cards

Every now and then, you hear House Democrats murmuring about impeaching President Trump a second time, on a third article of impeachment (or more). In January, Nancy Pelosi’s lawyer, Douglas Letter, told the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that the addition of a third article of impeachment was “on the table, there is no doubt.”

In a new interview in GQ, House impeachment manager Representative Hakeem Jeffries throws cold water on that idea.

Does the House have any recourse? Is a second impeachment in the cards?

In my view, no. It’s in the hands of the American people at this point to decide the fate of Donald Trump.

What if he’s re-elected, would you undertake a second impeachment?

It’s my expectation that he will not be re-elected…

If Jeffries doesn’t think it’s a good idea, it is likely that the House Democratic leadership is similarly skeptical.

In theory, any time there are 218 House members who believe the president has committed a high crime or misdemeanor that warrants a trial in the Senate and removal from office, they can and probably ought to go ahead with it in the name of justice. In practice, another impeachment by the Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives would probably be a gift to President Trump. It would make House Democrats look obsessed with removing the president. It would be a rerun of the same kind of arguments and counter-arguments. The vote would remain about the same, or perhaps even exactly the same. Impeachment would continue to slide towards a routine form of a House majority’s expressing vehement disagreement with a president.

This is the drawback of coming at a president with the biggest tool in the congressional toolbox without a bipartisan consensus. Once a president has survived one attempt to remove him from office, why would he fear another?

NR Webathon

Against Leninism! For Lenism! Your Webathon Update

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Durham, N.C., February 14, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

We’d all like to kick Karl Marx in his foul choppers, but since he’s sub terra firma and inaccessible, the immediate thing for freedom-loving people to do — at least those who share NR’s abiding concerns with the rise of affinity towards socialism — is to strike out at this nasty ideology’s new, this-side-of-the-Atlantic iteration. Namely: The ascendancy of Bernie Sanders, socialist supreme and the man shaping up to be the ever-leftward-veering Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

We’ve commenced a short-term webathon urging our faithful readers to make a contribution to help NR Battle Bernie’s Socialism. Hundreds have — and we are nearing our goal of $25,000 (we hope to reach and surpass that by this Sunday, when we’ll close out the effort). Over the decades, tens of thousands have given NR material support — from the Widow’s Mite to 25 grand or more — to wage this battle, one launched in our very first issue in 1955. Of our most recent donors, a number have attached sentiments and encouraging words to their gift. As is our custom, we share some randomly selected:

  • John sends General Jackson our way and offers a short-and-sweet size-up of the target: “Socialism takes away freedoms to accomplish its goals. It will further divide the U.S. into two social classes; the givers and the takers.” True, but we’re still thankful for some givers, like you John.
  • Another John (“T”) spots us a nice C-note and a dead-on take of the days of not-so-yore: “The 20th century is evidence enough that socialism, regardless of its form, the adjectives attached to it, or the supposed integrity of is advocates, is a recipe for failure.”
  • Paul plunks fifty bucks into the account and gets aptly epidemiological with his thoughts: “The best medical analogy for Socialism is syphilis: It is contracted due to sin (greed and envy rather than lust), starts as a relatively benign chancre, goes away, comes back as a body wide infection (causing all manner of problems), and ultimately proceeds to neurosyphilis (causing delusional thinking) and death.” Beats my analogy to irritable bowel syndrome! Thanks so much Paul.
  • And one last one: Len drops one thousand smackers in the collection basket and makes a pitch-perfect case: “National Review is a unique and powerful civilizational resource. Intellectual integrity matters, and over the years this venue has stood up tall and strong against the corrosion and corruption of the false flag left. Keep up the good work”

Oh yeah Len: Gotta love what you say, gotta love the level of your generosity. And gotta admit: There is no way to keep up good work minus the kindness of our donors. We know few can give at that level, but we encourage those who can to do just that. And to those who can only see fit towards a sawbuck or $25 or $50 or $100, be assured: We have no less a deep appreciation for such selflessness. Every cent is used with consequence.

Will you help NR reach our $25,000 goal? Please do, knowing that when you donate to the Battle Bernie Webathon we’re enabled and empowered to sock socialism in the puss. So use that link or, if you prefer to donate in the old-fashioned/just-as-good mode, you can mail your deeply appreciated contribution (made payable to “National Review”) to National Review, ATTN: Defeat Socialism, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, NY 10036. God bless!

Education

Don’t Blame the Troubles in College Sports on Racism

Big-time college sports certainly are a terrible mess. Unfortunately, some people want to blame racism, which is a surefire way of getting lots of media attention.

In today’s  Martin Center article, former college professor P.A. Jensen takes a critical look at the claims that college sports somehow reveal America’s deep racism. In particular, Jensen analyzes a recent study released by the Center on Race and Equity at the University of Southern California that is getting far more attention than it deserves.

Jensen writes:

The recurring focus on race in college athletics by the media reveals an unfortunate pattern: The faulty conclusion that any racial inequity necessarily signals oppression or exploitation. In other spheres of American life, perhaps that is a reasonable starting point. However, in a popular, voluntary activity such as college sports, a deeper look at the statistics reveals that inequities may have other explanations. In general, oppression may require inequity, but inequity does not require oppression.

As we approach March Madness, we will probably hear more about the supposed racism that infects college sports. Don’t buy it.

Law & the Courts

From Supporting Abortion to Not Opposing Infanticide

The Senate is planning to vote the week after next on S.311, “The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” Here are its core terms:

Congress finds the following:
(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.
(2) Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.

This is not about, “My body, my choice.” It does not force a woman to do anything with her body. It would become effective only after gestation has concluded. In other words, it would have zero impact on the right to abortion.

The bill would require babies born from a failed abortion to be treated like every other infant in similar circumstances:

Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall —
“(A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and
“(B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

The bill has teeth, creating criminal penalties for failing to abide by the equal care provision and for intentionally killing an abortion surviving infant. It also protects the mother from prosecution and allows her to sue for violation of the law’s requirements.

Two things stand out here:

  1. In a morally decent society, this bill would not be necessary. But given Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s infamous comment approving of neglecting to death babies born after having survived abortion, and New York’s repealing its law requiring abortion-surviving infants to be cared for properly, it clearly is.
  2. That every Democratic senator is likely to oppose this bill–by voting to refuse to end debate, i.e., filibuster — tells us how radical the Democratic party has become.

Abortion activism has moved from “safe, legal, and rare” to supporting — or at least not opposing — infanticide and/or death by neglect of abortion survivors. I can’t think of a more stark demonstration of how profoundly abortion has corroded the sanctity and equality of human life ethic in our country.

Elections

Sanders and Socialism (and Krugman)

Paul Krugman writes:

Bernie Sanders isn’t actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark.

Three sentences (two joined by semicolon), three thoughts:

  1. Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist. He has for a long time. He has been affiliated with other socialists and socialist institutions over the years. At some point, we should take the man at his word. Paul Krugman says Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. Bernie Sanders says Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Maybe Bernie Sanders has a say in that.
  2. Senator Sanders does want to nationalize some major industries, health care prominent among them. He also proposes to enact political controls over other key industries, such as media and banking, that would amount to something close to nationalization. He would subject media companies’ business decisions to political control and would have the federal government own and operate banks.
  3. Senator Sanders has expressed admiration for Venezuela. It is simply untrue to write, as Professor Krugman does, that he has not. Then-Representative Sanders went as far as to sign a letter of support for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez in 2003. And the policies that Sanders proposes are not actually very much like Denmark’s, while his promise of “revolution” is familiar stuff from the experience of Venezuela and other similar cases.
Economy & Business

Democrats’ Paid-Leave Plan Is Underfunded

The FAMILY Act is a Democratic bill to provide paid leave to new parents (and others). It would guarantee twelve weeks of leave for those who have babies, and it would collect a 0.4 percent payroll tax to fund the benefit.

A new report from the CBO, however, says the payroll tax doesn’t actually cover the cost:

CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $547 billion over the 2020-2030 period — $521 billion for benefits and $27 billion for program administration (see Table 1). JCT estimates that enacting the payroll tax would increase net federal revenues by $319 billion over the 2020-2030 period. (The new payroll tax would raise a total of $361 billion over the period, but that amount would be offset by a reduction of $42 billion in income tax revenues.) In total, we estimate that the bill would increase the deficit by $228 billion over the 2020-2030 period.

In other words, the bill is only 58 percent funded. Some very rough back-of-the-envelope math suggests the annual cost amounts to about $350 per worker in the U.S., while the tax would collect more like $200 per worker per year.

The true cost matters a lot, because polling from the Cato Institute shows that Americans’ support for paid leave changes a lot depending on what they’re asked to give up and whether the benefit increases the deficit:

The survey found 54 percent of Americans would be willing to pay $200 a year in higher taxes, a low‐​end estimate for a 12‐​week federal paid leave program. However, majorities of Americans would oppose establishing a federal paid leave program if it cost them $450 a year in higher taxes (52 percent opposed) or $1,200 a year in higher taxes (56 percent opposed), the mid‐​range and high‐​range cost estimates respectively. . . . Americans also oppose (57 percent) borrowing money to pay for a federal paid leave program.

NR Webathon

Fight Bernie and His Socialist Menace

Sen. Bernie Sanders appears at a New Hampshire primary-night rally in Manchester, N.H., February 11, 2020. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

No, Socialism isn’t Communism’s harmless, goofy kid brother. It is nasty stuff. Even when sugar-coated with religious folderol (as the great Clare Booth Luce expressed in NR’s pages in 1976, on the cusp of Jimmy Carter’s presidency), it still is nothing other than a scheme to control your life, to take your property, to limit your freedoms, and to bankroll the proletariat’s covetous vanguard.

À la Mrs. Luce, I have it on good authority that tomorrow NRO will republish a 1958 piece by Frank Meyer that presents a cogent and powerful attack on this ideology, and the choice we conservatives – we believers in free men and women – must make when faced with Socialism as a ruling structure in our body politic and daily life.

But let’s talk today, and now: We have embarked on a quick webathon (the expiration date is this Sunday – you may have milk in the refrigerator that will outlast it) seeking $25,000 or more (pray the Creator stirs enough hearts) to help NR in our fight to battle this menace. You can donate here. No, it’s not something that can be defeated or eradicated: Socialism, like sin, (indeed, a sin) is an enduring blight that will be with us until the end of time. Frequently, it is in the ascendency: Right now, it thrives through the unkempt and geriatric allure of Bernie Sanders, who appeals to a generation raised on Howard Zinn. It will remain a cause and a concern for ensuing ages. But do not despair! This persistence is not a reason for concession, but a mandate to mount the barricades, bayonets fixed.

So get invigorated for the challenge. Since we commenced this effort yesterday, many scores of NR readers have pitched in, claiming membership in the we-happy-few band of brothers and sisters determined to fight back. Who are they? And what did they say when they signed up?  Here is a sampling of such:

  • Earl spots us $20 and a bumper sticker slogan: “Just say Nocialism.” I’m not groaning – thanks kindly.
  • Janik finds $50 and donates it along with a history lesson: “We won the Cold War only to see the ugly head of commies appear on our own soil. Am afraid that this is yet another unfortunate from coddling Red China for the past 30 years. Hey Bernie, I hear that Harold Wilson sends you his greetings (from wherever he may be).” Let’s pray he, and all who have gone before, have met with a forgiving God. That said, many thanks.
  • Mike also drops $50 into the collection basket and makes the medicinal case for our fight: “Socialism is like a staph infection. If left untreated (unchallenged), it will kill the body. Don’t let creeping socialism kill the dream for independent citizens of the United States.” And that’s what it would do Mike. Thanks a ton.
  • Charles tosses in a generous $100 and shares a simple motivation: “For my grandchildren.” Right as right can be, Charles!
  • Paul also sends NR a portrait of General Grant and tells the essential tale: “I am 68 and grew up reading NR and admiring Bill Buckley. The Conservative movement is these United States’ best hope.”

It is, Paul. And we’d love for folks who, whether directly or from afar, found their lives altered by what Bill Buckley did through NR, and what NR continues to do for conservatism (combatting socialism tooth and nail!), to help keep this enterprise fortified and fighting on behalf of our mutually shared beliefs. Our pal Peter, God bless him, just sent a grand (sans comment). Zowie!  There are surely few who can match Peter’s grand (but, what if you can?! Maybe you can even surpass that amazing generosity!). But that figure should cause no pause: Please consider donating (before Sunday!) what your wallet might permit. Is it $10 or $100 or $500? No matter; it will be used consequentially.

We have a long way to go to reach our $25,000 goal (given our true needs, we could have set a goal sextuple that). So here’s the plan: You donate to the Battle Bernie Webathon so we can sock socialism in the puss. No worry if you prefer to do that in old-fashioned mode: Mail your deeply appreciated contribution (made payable to “National Review”) to National Review, ATTN: Defeat Socialism, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, NY 10036. God bless!

Politics & Policy

Senate to Vote on Two Pro-Life Bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the weekly policy lunch in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has announced that the Senate will consider two pieces of pro-life legislation later this month. One is the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. The born-alive bill requires doctors to provide medical care to any infant who survives an attempted abortion procedure.

The second bill that will receive a floor vote is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation based on scientific research suggesting that fetuses are capable of feeling pain by that point in pregnancy. Last month, a new report suggested that fetal pain is in fact possible even earlier in pregnancy than 20 weeks.

After a few weeks of debate last February, the born-alive bill was blocked by 44 Democratic senators. The last time the Senate considered the 20-week ban, meanwhile, was in January 2018, when it was blocked by Democrats in a 51–46 vote.

When news broke this afternoon that the Senate would consider both bills after the upcoming recess, one Politico reporter said on Twitter that McConnell had scheduled “two abortion votes.” This mirrors the inaccurate coverage that the born-alive bill received during the Senate debate last year. While its opponents tend to refer to it as “anti-abortion” legislation, the born-alive bill doesn’t regulate or limit abortion in any way; it merely requires doctors to give “the same degree” of care to abortion survivors that “any other child born alive at the same gestational age” would receive if delivered at that stage of pregnancy.

Law & the Courts

Burying 2,411 Human Beings

(Pixabay)

Yesterday in South Bend, Ind., the state interred the remains of 2,411 fetuses whose bodies were found in the Illinois home of former abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer after he died last fall.

“Today, we finally memorialize the 2,411 unborn babies whose remains were senselessly hoarded by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer after he performed the abortions from 2000 to 2003,” said Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill at the gravesite in Southlawn Cemetery. “These babies deserved better than a cold, dark garage or the trunk of a car.”

Klopfer had performed abortions for nearly four decades in northern Indiana, primarily in South Bend, Ind., but also in nearby Fort Wayne and Gary. In 2016, his medical license was suspended after he was found to have broken laws requiring proper abortion reporting and record-keeping, as well as health-and-safety standards for abortion procedures. Though local lawmakers called him the most prolific abortionist in Indiana, people outside the region didn’t know his name until these remains were uncovered.

Despite the fact that the attorneys general in both Illinois and Indiana announced that they would conduct a joint investigation to ascertain why Klopfer had improperly saved these fetal remains — and whether he had stored any others at his former clinics — they have yet to report any clarifying information.

“In terms of the ‘why’ . . . we may never know,” Hill said at the cemetery on Wednesday. “The best evidence of the ‘why’ certainly died with Dr. Klopfer in September. . . . There’s no answer for that, and I don’t know that we ever will get an answer for that.”

Though finding out the “why” would be useful, it isn’t the most important aspect of this grisly case. Klopfer, unlike most abortionists, violated the standards we have erected around abortion. Legal, socially acceptable abortion ends not in the trunk of the abortionist’s car but with fetuses in the hazardous waste, carried away to an unknown fate.

What we should remember about Klopfer and his ghastly trophies is not that he was a hideous outlier in the abortion industry, though in the most concrete sense he was. What we should remember is that every abortion destroys not a parasite or a clump of cells but a human life. These 2,411 fetuses buried in Indiana are a stark reminder of what happens in an abortion, a reality most of us prefer to forget.

Books

The Left and the Theocrats

An Iranian flag flutters in Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

Kim Ghattas, a correspondent for the BBC, gave a remarkably frank interview to her home network about her new book, Black Wave, an account of the Saudi–Iranian rivalry that has warped life and politics in much of the Islamic world.

What struck me about the interview is that the Beirut-born Ghattas is much more plain and direct about the disastrous role played by leftist Western intellectuals — particularly French thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir—in encouraging and enabling the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini and his repressive model of Islamic government.

It is worth remembering that the Iranian theocracy was a great project of the secular Western Left.

Foucault welcomed Khomeini’s revolution as “the first of the grand insurrections against global systems.” Sartre traveled to Tehran to flack for Khomeini. The French Left celebrated Khomeini as “the Islamic Lenin.” (American conservatives might have said much the same thing, but the French Left meant that as praise.) Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations, hailed Khomeini as a “saint.” Many of those intellectuals stood by their judgment, though some of them, such as Simone de Beauvoir, recoiled from Tehran’s treatment of women and minorities.

Ghattas says that the disappointed hopes of 1968 were renewed and channeled into the Iranian Revolution. That has the ring of truth to it.

But Khomeini is hardly alone in the rogues’ gallery of heroes to the Left. American college students in the 1960s paraded around with Mao’s “Little Red Book” and cheered Ho Chi Minh; until quite recently, Bernie Sanders — who may very well be the Democratic presidential nominee — doted on Hugo Chávez, as did any number of Democratic grandees in Washington and celebrities in Hollywood, who play roughly the same role in American public life that intellectuals play in France. (It is very difficult to imagine BernardHenri Lévy’s having a similar career in the United States.) Noam Chomsky tried to dismiss the Cambodian genocide as a right-wing hoax and a CIA dirty trick. The list goes on, and the lesson to be learned from it is obvious.

I have read only a small excerpt from Kim Ghattas’s Black Wave, but it looks to be a very interesting read.

Education

We’re Forgiving Way Too Much Grad-Student Debt

Last month I highlighted a Moody’s report about student debt. It discussed the fact that many borrowers are making only minimal payments on purpose — because they are enrolled in “income-based repayment” options the Obama administration expanded, in which their debts are simply forgiven after 20 years or so. As I pointed out, this system is far more generous to people who chose to spend tons of money on grad school than it is to the folks who actually have the most trouble with student loans: those who borrowed smallish sums to attend lower-tier colleges and often didn’t even graduate.

The Congressional Budget Office has a new report about the program. There’s interesting stuff throughout, but the case against the status quo can be made by quoting three sentences:

Of the loans disbursed from 2020 to 2029 and repaid through income-driven plans, CBO estimates that undergraduate borrowers would have $40.3 billion forgiven and graduate borrowers would have $167.1 billion forgiven. . . .

The forgiven amounts are equal to 21 percent of the disbursed amount for undergraduate borrowers and 56 percent of the disbursed amount for graduate borrowers. . . .

Graduate borrowers are projected to hold 50 percent of the volume of student loans disbursed from 2020 to 2029 — including 61 percent of the volume of loans in income-driven plans — but to account for 81 percent of the amount that is forgiven.

Why are we forgiving four times as much debt for grad students as we are for undergrads, when the latter folks are both more plentiful and more sympathetic?

Elections

New Poll: Sanders Leads Biden by Ten Points

Sen. Bernie Sanders arrives to speak at his New Hampshire primary-night rally in Manchester, February 11, 2020. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

A new national poll out today from Morning Consult shows Vermont senator Bernie Sanders with a commanding lead on former vice president Joe Biden, ahead 29 percent to 19 percent among Democratic-primary voters. The survey was conducted yesterday, two days after the New Hampshire primary, which Sanders won by a narrow margin over former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Respondents were asked which candidate they would support if the primary or caucus were held in their state today. Before voting in New Hampshire, the most recent Morning Consult data showed Sanders leading Biden by just three points. Now, he’s ahead by ten points, and Biden is trailed closely by a third-place Michael Bloomberg, who receives 18-percent support.

Perhaps more interesting, the same poll found that voters’ confidence in Biden’s electability when facing President Donald Trump had plummeted since the New Hampshire primary. After his defeat in the Iowa caucuses, but before voting in New Hampshire, 29 percent of Democratic-primary voters thought Biden had the best chance of beating Trump. Since New Hampshire, that dropped twelve points to just 17 percent. Confidence in Sanders’s electability, meanwhile, had risen six points, to 29 percent.

These numbers are not an encouraging sign for Biden, who finished in a distant fourth place in Iowa last week and an abysmal fifth place in New Hampshire on Monday.

Most Popular

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

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The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More

No, Trump Has Not Ended Obama’s War on the Suburbs

The Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule was arguably its most radical attempt to “fundamentally transform” the United States. As I wrote at the time, Obama’s AFFH gives the federal government “a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a ... Read More

No, Trump Has Not Ended Obama’s War on the Suburbs

The Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule was arguably its most radical attempt to “fundamentally transform” the United States. As I wrote at the time, Obama’s AFFH gives the federal government “a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a ... Read More

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More