Is Student Loan Forgiveness Really the ‘Rich Kid Bailout’ a GOP Ad Claims?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Punchbowl News, when I came across this item.

The American Action Network, the non-profit aligned with House Republican leadership, is running a new spot calling President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loans a “rich kid bailout.” The spot is running in Denver, New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit, D.C., Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Charlotte.

Is that true, Doc – half a trillion taxpayer dollars to make Richie Rich . . . richer? What the hell?

– Loan Wolf

Dear Wolfie,

That’s a legit question, given Lorie Konish’s CNBC report that “the average burden per U.S. taxpayer for the new federal student debt cancellation will be $2,503.22, according to new estimates from the National Taxpayers Union, a fiscally conservative advocacy group.”

Then again, that figure is wildly deceptive, as the CNBC piece itself clearly indicates. First of all, “[the] estimated cost per taxpayer is based on the assumption that policymakers would need to make up for the total tally of the forgiveness through tax increases, spending cuts, borrowing or a combination of those strategies.” Fiscal projections don’t get much vaguer than that.

Beyond that, consider the actual breakdown of who would pay what.

Low-income taxpayers, earning less than $50,000, would have an average additional cost per taxpayer of $190. That would increase to about $1,040 for those with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $75,000; $1,774 for those between $75,000 and $100,000; and $3,791 for incomes of $100,000 to $200,000.

Taxpayers who make between $200,000 and $500,000 would have an average additional cost of $11,940.

Not to mention, the estimated costs would be spread out over ten years.

With those numbers in mind, let’s look at the American Action Network TV spot.

So we have an auto mechanic, a landscaper, and a waitress – all good Americans, the Doc gladly stipulates, and all worthy of our respect.

But . . .

Let’s be generous and assume they all make $100,000 a year. That means they’d pony up $1,774 over ten years, or $177.40 per annum, or 48¢ a day.

So that whole “my family will figure out how to get by with less” kind of boils down to “I can park on Newbury Street for eight fewer minutes every day.”

The White House says that among borrowers who are no longer in school, nearly 90% of the relief will go to those earning less than $75,000 a year. Others dispute that. You can sort it out for yourself here.

But one thing’s for sure: Richie Rich ain’t getting rich off this particular bailout.

Can ‘Handrew’ Cuomo’s Second TV Spot Convince Us He’s Not a Creep?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and thumbing through the New York Post when I came across this piece by Bernadette Hogan.

Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to address group of Hispanic ministers

Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a second campaign style TV ad Monday as he’s set to speak to a group of Hispanic clergy this week in the Bronx in what some see as the latest steps toward launching a political comeback after resigning in August under threat of impeachment.

In the 30-second ad, titled “The Record,” the scandal-scarred former governor touts his accomplishments — including strengthening the state’s gun control laws and raising the minimum wage.

But he also claims credit for what many see as one of his greatest failings, saying he “led” the entire country during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it subsequently emerged he spent a good portion of that time promoting himself and his then-CNN host brother, Chris; writing a memoir about it mid-pandemic that may have used government resources and hiding the true death toll of senior citizens in nursing homes from the virus.

Not only that, Cuomo also says in the ad, “I haven’t been perfect. I’ve made mistakes, but I also made a difference.”

Whaddaya think, Doc – persuasive or pathetic, given Cuomo’s overall, er, hands-on tenure as governor?

– Cuomo No-No

Dear No-No,

First of all, Andrew Cuomo just might be the most delusional politician this side of Ted Cruz (R-Cancun).

A couple of weeks ago, the Doc documented Cuomo’s first TV spot attempting to rehabilitate his image. Now comes the former Empire State governor’s latest shot in the dark.

This is all performative penance by Cuomo, as the Post piece suggests: “Cuomo — who last week emerged to gripe about “cancel culture” during an address to a congregation in Brooklyn — will address a group run by controversial ex-Councilman Rubén Diaz Sr. on St. Patrick’s Day, the Pentecostal minister and former state senator announced.”

As for Cuomo’s claim that he “made a difference” – yeah, he made multiple women less emotionally secure, less personally confident, and less professionally successful.

That’s “The Record” Andrew Cuomo leaves in his wake.

Regardless, CNBC’s Brian Schwartz is reporting that all this media activity could be a prelude to a Cuomo comeback attempt.

Ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo considers running against Kathy Hochul despite opposition from his own party

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a run against his replacement and fellow Democrat, Gov. Kathy Hochul, as part of an attempt at a comeback after resigning in disgrace amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment by former aides, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cuomo, who reluctantly left office last year after denying the harassment allegations, has been fielding calls from supporters about a possible run against his former lieutenant governor. His aides have been conducting their own internal voter polling on a potential matchup, these people explained. Those who declined to be named did so in order to speak freely about private matters.

After a recent public poll from Emerson College and The Hill showed Cuomo was a few points behind Hochul, the former governor received calls from allies encouraging him to run against Hochul, a person close to Cuomo said. That survey, which was published last week, showed Cuomo just four points behind Hochul with likely New York Democratic primary voters. It’s been one of the rare polls showing Cuomo that close to Hochul with primary voters.

That’s decidedly an understatement, as this New York Times piece by Nicholas Fandos and Katie Glueck indicates.

A Siena College poll released [in late February] showed that 80 percent of registered voters think Mr. Cuomo was right to resign, and 58 percent believe the allegations that he sexually harassed multiple aides. Only 25 percent of voters said that he had been vindicated by the disclosures that Mr. Cuomo’s lawyers have used to try to undermine several of his accusers.

The Doc’s prescription: When eight in ten voters say “good riddance,” it’s time to find another line of work.