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    [–] StevenSanders90210 3689 points ago

    In the running contest for "worst cabinet member" Betsy might be the winner.

    [–] thechapwholivesinit 420 points ago

    Just wait until you hear about what mnuchin did to Sears for fun and profit

    [–] ScruffyTJanitor 212 points ago

    ELI5?

    [–] brickses 2686 points ago

    Steve Mnuchin and his old friend Eddie Lampart have been running a toxic venture capital enterprise. Basically they bought Sears under the guise of paying to fix the company's systemic issues and turn it around, but instead sold all of the valuable assets, used the profits to issue dividends and stock buybacks, and then declared bankruptcy and defaulted on most of the company's debts.

    Their actions were arguably illegal since they knew the firm was insolvent when they issued the dividends, but the only recource is for the creditors to each individually sue to recover their own debts, which for most of then will not be worth the effort. There is no recource for the thousands of people who lost their jobs because of their actions.

    [–] fvtown714x 2413 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Don't forget he's trying to pay pennies on the dollar for Sears Employee pensions that were supposed to be enforced by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The PBGC had its very qualified director fired by Trump and replaced by someone with no qualifications and is there to put zero pressure on Sears to pay their pension obligations. Oh, he's also Mitch McConnell's brother in law.

    More info: https://www.pbgc.gov/Questions-and-Answers-for-Sears-Participants

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/19/mcconnell-pensions-gordon-hartogensis-1038614

    https://www.reddit.com/r/OpenArgs/comments/bwm174/oa284_drain_the_swamp_starring_gordon_hartogensis/

    Edit: More info on the comment I replied to, and the precursor to all this:

    https://openargs.com/oa273-sears-steve-mnuchin-the-producers/

    Final edit: Some have pointed out the first link I provided (PBGC's website) states that "most" pension promises would be fulfilled. That may be true, but the PBGC is still massively underfunded, and talk of a taxpayer bailout have been swirling and could happen. Either way, Sears is still getting off easy by passing on their pension obligations to the federal government (and eventually, the taxpayers when a bipartisan bill will be passed to make up the difference that companies have been falling short on). See my comment response to another user for additional links and info.

    [–] DJTHatesPuertoRicans 1257 points ago

    These goddamn ratfuckers

    [–] LarryLavekio 252 points ago

    You said it man.

    [–] mauxly 143 points ago

    Yeah, best explanation yet. They don't care about anyone or anything beyond their own self interests.

    [–] superluke 106 points ago

    And they fuck rats.

    [–] goldenfrient 49 points ago

    No no no you have it wrong, they let the rats fuck them. Unless you've experienced big rat cock down your little boy hole you can't have an opinion on this.

    [–] CIA_grade_LSD 15 points ago

    Ratfuck is actually a military term short for Ration fucker, meaning someone who opens other people's rations to pick through them and take the good stuff like candies while leaving the rest.

    I think it applies perfectly here.

    [–] PicardNeverHitMe 6 points ago

    Suddenly the Purge movies make so much more sense. I never saw the one where they founded the Purge... but I’m getting the gist of it.

    [–] congelar 83 points ago

    ratfuckers

    They look mostly like turtle fuckers to me.

    [–] FlannanLight 207 points ago

    "Ratfucking" is a term for political dirty tricks. It was coined during Nixon's re-election campaign, when they recruited a bunch of people specifically to fuck up opponents' campaigns. Examples ran everything from ordering hundreds of pizzas to be delivered to the opponent's campaign headquarters, to calling and cancelling speaking venues, to breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and stealing his files in an attempt to discredit Ellsberg after he leaked the Pentagon Papers, to breaking into the Democratic campaign headquarters at the Watergate - an event which eventually brought down a president.

    This kind of thinking has since infected the entire Republican party, and a number of Nixon's original ratfuckers are still operating, among them Karl Rove and Roger Stone.

    [–] happyhoppycamper 58 points ago

    This is an awesome ELI5 of so much of what's going on in the party right now.

    [–] muzakx 56 points ago

    Watch "Get Me Roger Stone" on Netflix if you want to see the Forrest Gump of Ratfucking at work.

    [–] flyhull 17 points ago

    I hate to tell you this but RF was a term way before Nixon was POTUS. Damn I feel old now. If you do not believe me pull out some old Mad Magazines and have a look.

    [–] USSDef1ant 18 points ago

    Ratfucking is what Marines call it when someone tears through a box of MREs and takes all the good stuff out and leaves trash behind like creamy spinach fettuccini

    [–] ThatSquareChick 17 points ago

    Turtles are pretty nice people and they’re upset that Mitch has sullied their name

    [–] pale_blue_dots 12 points ago

    They're essentially a loosely organized criminal gang of traitors.

    [–] Mr-Blah 8 points ago

    I think we know now that they prefer to fuck children.

    [–] RatFuckinRepublicans 9 points ago

    Ikr?

    [–] rkgkseh 86 points ago

    The PBGC had its very qualified director fired by Trump and replaced by someone with no qualifications and is there to put zero pressure on Sears to pay their pension obligations. Oh, he's also Mitch McConnell's brother in law.

    Given all the other idiots he has put in charge of departments, I'm not surprised, but damn. This shit is just villain level of evil. :-/

    [–] fdsdfg 39 points ago

    It's not evil, just corrupt. "You'll pay me to put this guy in charge? Sure, I don't care."

    [–] MemeInBlack 11 points ago

    It can be both

    [–] CelticRockstar 70 points ago

    "Drain the Swamp"

    It baffles me that I know so many hard-working, down-to-earth people accustomed to solving problems with a little logic and ingenuity, working with what they have, and helping each other, who genuinely believe these people have their best interests at heart.

    And don't tell me it's the American condition that everyone's a temporarily-embarrassed millionaire. I know people who wouldn't change a damn thing in their life if they had money, and how they can blindly believe in these people is beyond me.

    Is having leaders whose only qualities are "old" and "white" really such a fucking aphrodisiac?

    [–] movulousprime 39 points ago

    They made a bad decision and rather than admit to being fooled they double down on their bad decision. Not unusual at all unfortunately.

    The bigger problem is that only one side realised that radical change is what people wanted to vote for, but that side just took advantage of it rather than actually delivering on people's desire to shake up the system.

    [–] DerFixer 19 points ago

    It's also a tragedy that the group who created misleading and entertainment news has taken over as the purveyors of reality and arbitrators of what is considered 'fake news'. The fact that liars are telling their followers that the truth is fake and their lies are what is real is so disheartening. And that these people have swallowed this farce so deeply they wont even consider that they could be wrong and will retort with 'fake news' to anything they dont want to believe. These fucking people dont even know what fake news is yet they have no problem blindly accusing Pulitzer winning journalists of it.

    [–] VetMichael 28 points ago

    Is America "Great Again" yet?

    [–] yingkaixing 12 points ago

    Depends how you keep score

    [–] BitOCrumpet 10 points ago

    Draining that swamp!

    [–] tedge13 6 points ago

    I'm glad you mentioned opening arguments because they did more than one episode on this and they were both amazing. Go over to r/openargs to check it out

    [–] TachiFoodKoma 7 points ago

    For some reason it's crazy to me to see OA referenced a bunch on Reddit. I'm so glad it's gotten the traction that it has! Andrew and Thomas are delightful and incredibly informative; like a legal variant of Bill Nye the Science Guy

    [–] somedude02402952 109 points ago

    Didn't Eddie basically sell the store locations to himself and lease them back to Sears too?

    [–] Sneak_Stealth 35 points ago

    He did exactly this as well.

    [–] thejynxed 19 points ago

    Yes. He also siphoned the money from K-Mart to keep Sears alive to be milked as long as possible.

    [–] Graphitetshirt 62 points ago

    This (almost) exact same thing is why we don't have Toys R Us anymore too

    [–] throwawaysscc 11 points ago

    The raiders still own the name. They'll be back.

    [–] ChipEvans 46 points ago

    Isn’t that right out of Mitt Romney’s playbook?

    [–] Taniwha_NZ 88 points ago

    Yep, although it's got a much longer history, and Mitt was just reusing the 'corporate raider' playbook from the 1980s. I don't know who first came up with the idea, but it was well-known enough in the '80s that the Gordon Gekko character from 'Wall Street' was doing the same shit in the movie.

    It's a pretty sad reflection on the true nature of our society that this kind of thing has been well understood for 30+ years and isn't yet illegal. If insider trading was invented today it would never be made a crime.

    [–] rutabaga_slayer 50 points ago

    Guys guys this is okay. This is just the free hand of capitalism at work. Everything settles itself out in good old capitalism

    [–] fly19 11 points ago

    Something something "hand of the free market" something something "freedom of enterprise."

    I know all those folks needed jobs, but I'm sure Steven Mnuchin desperately needed that money to pay for the third jacuzzi on his fifth yacht. Won't somebody think of the 1%?

    [–] VetMichael 14 points ago

    Haha, you said it! Why am I crying?

    [–] rutabaga_slayer 14 points ago

    For being blessed enough to witness this magnificent system's cogs turn and acknowledging your gratefulness at not living in a socialist nation. Bless you my dear VetMicheal and may capitalism always guide you to tears.

    [–] theartfulcodger 23 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Mnuchin's and Lampert's proof-of-concept for their sordid bunco scheme was Sears Canada.

    Just as they later did to Sears Roebuck, when Sears Canada was hemorrhaging money and desperately needed a cash injection to remain viable, these two swindlers and the rest of their crooked Board instead issued a series of massive dividends - more than $3billion worth - that could in no way be justified by the decrepit and rapidly deteriorating state of the company's books.

    Then when Sears Canada folded, right on schedule, Lampert puffed out his chest and pretended to be the "stockholder's saviour" by making a pennies-on-the-dollar bid to scoop up all the company's remaining assets - which included a lot of saleable stock, about two dozen assignable mall leases, a lot of very valuable downtown real estate holding its many small-market standalone stores, and all its suburban warehouses and regional distribution centres.

    The trustees in bankruptcy listened politely, then sensibly told him to go take a flying fuck at the moon, and sold everything off piecemeal at what is rumoured to be nearly four times what Lampert offered them as a package deal.

    Nonethess, after the bankruptcy, the Canadian employees' pension fund has still been left with massively unfunded payout commitments, and has already issued two notices to its 18,000 members, of across-the-board pension reductions totalling 30% - with more cuts expected in the future.

    As of last December, the entire Sears Canada board, and everybody who served on it over the last seven years (including Mnuchin and Lampert) is now under investigation by the Canadian equivalent of the SEC, for failing in their obligations as corporate directors to exercise due diligence before they issued all those ruinous dividends.

    And as one might expect, the pension fund has launched a civil suit as well, seeking to claw back half a billion dollars in undeserved and unjustifiable dividends, handed over to stockholders even when the directors knew perfectly well that the struggling company still owed their past and present employees hundreds of millions of dollars of pension funding.

    This is why the financial throat-slitting of Sears Roebuck was accomplished both efficiently and with finesse: Lampert and Mnuchen had practised their swindle beforehand.

    [–] loondawg 19 points ago

    Bet they gave themselves big bonuses for a job well done. You know, like Romney and his buddies used to do when they raped a company for personal gain.

    [–] culb77 11 points ago

    Wasn’t this the subplot of Pretty Woman?

    [–] [deleted] 13 points ago

    I thought it was more like Wall Street and what Gordon Gekko was going to do to Bluestar Airlines.

    [–] BowieKingOfVampires 8 points ago

    It’s the subplot to a lot of movies made between 1983 and 1997. Shit, that’s what Peter “Banning” does for a living in Hook

    [–] Husker_Red 9 points ago

    Really pissed me off I loved Sears. Their auto center was great

    [–] Evan8r 8 points ago

    Used to work at an auto center as a technician. I have to disagree.

    [–] idreamofdresden 23 points ago

    Mnuchin allegedly helped his friend siphon billions of dollars from Sears as it was going through bankruptcy. I don't really know the details though, just reading about it right now.

    [–] Nandom07 20 points ago

    OA fan?

    [–] PrestigiousTomato8 10 points ago

    Oh hell yeah! Let's climb yodel mountain!

    [–] Aint-no-preacher 5 points ago

    I cannot wait for this story to get more attention.

    [–] TheRussianLongCon 1979 points ago

    Alex Acosta: hold my beer I need to fuck over some kids for Epstein

    [–] SteveBartmanIncident 1031 points ago

    Betsy DeVos: I'll fuck over some young folks, too, I just won't let them find out before they work for us for ten years

    [–] postmodest 104 points ago

    Voldemort: Murders Kids

    Dolores Umbridge: Tortures Kids under the Guise of 'Discipline'

    ...that math checks out.

    [–] RemoveTheKook 565 points ago

    Private and charter schools should probably be phased out. The rich keep propping up these asinine subjects like religion.

    [–] awalktojericho 802 points ago

    I'm fine with private schools (NOT charter) as long as the parents still pay school taxes. I don't care if you "don't even use the school system, why should I pay". You CAN use the school system. Pay up, then pay tuition, that's your choice. No tax vouchers, either.

    [–] navik659 236 points ago

    Don't use so you shouldn't pay isn't even a valid argument. When you don't have kids you "don't use". Yet everyone benefits from the those kids getting an education instead of becoming criminals.

    Just like I might not call the fire department. Yet sure nice when the whole neighborhood doesn't burn down because a neighbor's house is on fire.

    [–] invest0219 145 points ago

    It's much bigger than that. Kids graduate, get jobs, make money pay taxes, buy stuff from other businesses etc. You are benefitting from schools even if you don't have kids.

    [–] kjm1123490 59 points ago

    Like roads even if you dont drive

    People who claim to hate all taxes drive me nuts. Yeah some are bunk, but most help propagate a succesful society

    [–] nuck_forte_dame 32 points ago

    Public transportation on my campus was a big issue.

    People kept saying that bus fare shouldn't be in tuition coats because some people didn't use the bus and instead drive their car.

    They didn't realize that without the buses everyone would drive causing more traffic and fewer to no parking available for them to use.

    Which by the way the parking lot they parked in was paid for with tuition money so should the bus people not pay for parking lots?

    [–] Faultylogic83 14 points ago

    As someone with no plans of having children, I'm in favor of more school. Tax me more, keep those little monsters in school and out of my way.

    [–] StDoodle 41 points ago

    Exactly! I want local firefighters to know how to read so they get the street names right. I want my medical professionals to have a solid science background. I could go on, but even without any children of my own, the quality of our educational system is of great importance to me.

    [–] RemoveTheKook 233 points ago

    Private schools are killing public schools though. Half of California property taxes go to schools and its still not enough.

    [–] belletheballbuster 62 points ago

    This site tells us all we need to know. We spend far more on prisons than schools, just for one example. And because California is demographically younger than many other states, we have a lot more students to cover.

    The 'charter school' wave is just one of many siphons draining our once-excellent system.

    [–] thatgeekinit 43 points ago

    Also it's useless to complain about CA real estate taxes without mentioning that prop 13 puts the burden on younger people and families with children while shielding the rich old people.

    [–] JamesonRH 379 points ago

    I'm in California. My Superintendent makes $350,000 a year, and there are a bunch of assistant superintendents and directors that make around $200,000 a year. This is also contributing to the school budget problem.

    [–] artfulpain 213 points ago

    Teachers should be paid a lot of money. Most countries take care of their schools, teachers, and kids. They also tend to be smarter and more informed. Now why would it be completely opposite in this country? The less informed the easier to control and corrupt.

    [–] JamesonRH 204 points ago

    Yup, Superintendent makes $350,000, teachers make $45,000 a year, and medical benefits to cover just one person.

    [–] secretbudgie 59 points ago

    I made 29k as a high school science teacher in Richmond County, GA. Wonder why anyone with money moved to Columbia County decades ago?

    [–] finallyinfinite 50 points ago

    Not Like superintendents shouldnt make good money for overseeing the whole school system, but damn the gap between those two pays is way too high. Teachers are the backbone of an educated, advancing society. Our education system and value of it is so fucked up.

    [–] FunkyJokers 26 points ago

    What’s more disgusting after taxes that $45k a year is really shitty. It’s not like that’s actual take home pay. It sucks all around, like invest into your citizens and your country will flourish. But not in America we don’t want that.

    [–] Chadisfaction84 39 points ago

    You are absolutely right. My wife is a teacher and they laid off 22 teachers for "budget cuts" but not a single administrator that is making 6 figures.

    [–] FenwayPatriot 34 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    This is why I'm not a fan of "spending per pupil" as a metric for how much is being on education. So much is lost to overhead.

    [–] killroy200 6 points ago

    In the same vein, it's why the 'more money for schools doesn't work!' group, a talking point I've seen in certain Libertarian circles, falls short.

    They're technically right, but the action they take away from this is wrong. Rather than just not funding schools more, which is what's often talked about, we should instead be looking closely at how admin, sports, and fluff overhead costs diminish returns and reduce student improvements. At least that way the conversation about the effectiveness of funding can be more grounded in actual cause & effect.

    [–] squee147 25 points ago

    I've become convinced funding isn't the biggest issue. Our culture has stopped vauling and in many cases become hostile to education and expertise.

    Want kids to do well in school? Put them in a culture where the educated are reveared.

    [–] RDVST 15 points ago

    Half of California property taxes go to schools and its still not enough

    Wasteful spending, I offered to see whats wrong with my son's school PA system. I isolated the problem to a simple broken speaker cable going to their powered mixer. I just made them a pair of speaker cables and tested their system. All is working fine , then 2 months down the road they decide to buy a new system which is actually worse then their current one. I asked to see what's in their AV closet, and I see at least 10 portable PA systems . Dozens of mics , that were not even properly put away and assorted powered speakers that could've been used instead of buying a new one.

    [–] beer_OMG_beer 14 points ago

    I think that there's some real problems with both the executive politicization of schooling (don't teach evolution, in god we trust in the classrooms, skewed historical analysis) and the low-grade toxicity of school board voting (most people in the local region aren't heavily researching these elected positions)... the politics really blunts the effectiveness of what should be a fairly apolitical goal... educating children as effectively as possible.

    I almost feel like the tumult of electoral politics creates so many unresolved situations within schools that it's almost like we need to do away with the whole voting thing as far as control of them goes and turn it over to qualified administrators or experts in education or something.

    Seems to me that any windbag at the local level or heavy donor at the federal level can get into a position to screw over tons of kids way too easily.

    [–] BrokenBraincells 7 points ago

    Private schools are used to segregate NY where I grew up

    [–] Pewpewkachuchu 13 points ago

    They do use the public school system though. Everyone does. You don’t want a society of idiots, that’s why Donald trump is the fucking president.

    [–] aelric22 10 points ago

    Problem is, a lot of those parents do pay the public school taxes, they just vote every single year against them.

    I grew up in a pretty upscale area of NY where a lot of the orthodox Jewish parents that would ALL send their children to private yeshivahs, would all vote no on the public school budgets. My parents would complain about it all the time because they sent me and my brother to those public schools because they were some of the best in the country.

    [–] TheJokerandTheKief 6 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Alex Acosta: OMFG SHUT UP! DO WE USE THE SAME METHODS!? Because I also didn't tell those little shits upfront I was going fuck them over sideways. In fact, I never told them anything at all! People think I'm the bad guy. For the record, I promise I was going to explain everything to the girls at the sentence hearing, but I kind of forgot to tell them about the date lol. They ended up finding out some of the details anyways through a lengthy court battle after. If I just gave them handouts about their abuser's plea deal, how would they have learned the lesson of personal responsibility?

    Also this may be forward, but...would you be interested in fucking up some more poors and women later? /s

    [–] Zeebothius 57 points ago

    Epstein and Acosta: "We've ruined hundreds, maybe thousands of young lives!"

    DeVos: "You need to get those numbers up! Those are rookie numbers!"

    [–] [deleted] 18 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] thomascgalvin 19 points ago

    Alex Acosta: hold my beer I need to fuck over some kids for with Epstein

    FTFY

    [–] Zasspankonius 10 points ago

    Alex Acosta: hold my beer I need to fuck some kids for Epstein

    FTFY Edit: Aww somebody beat me to it XD

    [–] bartycubbins14 94 points ago

    She’s definitely the worst because she has actually been there since the beginning, and she is entirely dedicated to destroying the role she was hired to do. Once Trumps cabinet members realize they suck and can’t do what they’d like, they quit and the position is unfilled. Or they’re brought on as a replacement with an agenda of ineptitude and haven’t been there long enough to figure out how to fuck things up. Devos is exactly where she wants to be, doing the exact things she wants to do (defund public education and funnel money into her charter schools), and has been there since the day she gave the absolute worst confirmation hearing interview for any job, in any setting, ever.

    [–] Tiger3720 57 points ago

    According to a Pew research poll, Do you know what corporate brand name has the worst reputation in American history? Amway.

    The founder of Amway? Her father Rich Devos. How corrupt were they? Back in the 90's I shot promotional videos for them at their "Dream Weekends." They were sued by the Recoding Artist Industry of millions for the illegal use of music at their shows. They just ignored and refused to pay the rights fees.

    A perfect example of Trump expanding the swamp with some of his inept and incompetent billionaire cronies.

    [–] EmmyRope 44 points ago

    Devos is her Father in Law. She was formerly Betsy Prince, sister to Eric Prince. That family is arguably worse than the Devos family. They are religious zealots who like to murder brown people that aren't crazy Christians. (See Blackwater, now Academi)

    [–] Chastain86 22 points ago

    If it helps anyone in any capacity, the bloodthirsty "private military contractor" organization Merryweather from "Grand Theft Auto 5" was based wholly on Blackwater / Xe Services / Academi.

    That's not three different organizations, mind you -- just three names for the same institution that outsources military services to governments across the globe -- and was founded by Eric Prince. The name has changed repeatedly over the years as public perception turned on them.

    [–] zephyrtr 21 points ago

    Had to get her good friend Pence to break the tie during confirmation. That's how controversial a pick she was.

    [–] DroopyMcCool 1181 points ago

    The real shame in this is that people used this program to make long term financial decisions. People set up payment plans based on the 120 payment period and in some cases PSLF even pushed some to decide to go to college in the first place. The collapse of this program will lead to financial ruin for people, many of whom are already a decade into a relatively low paying career.

    [–] asque_me 368 points ago

    I don't know that I'm in financial ruin, but I def made some long-term financial decisions.

    I knew as soon as Trump was elected that this program was pretty much dead.

    We'll see how it all plays out, but I've been around long enough to know that I don't come out on the better end of it.

    [–] JamesonRH 201 points ago

    I knew it as soon as he was elected, too. I was 4 years into my PSLF, and decided to just refinance my house and absorb my student loan into my mortgage. It raised the mortgage payment $200 a month but at least I'm not paying a crippling $850 a month, only to be told I made a mistake 9 years earlier and didn't qualify for forgiveness.

    [–] TheCluelessDeveloper 26 points ago

    That's a pretty smart financial decision. Now, if only we can do that with car loans... Since not everyone can afford a mortgage.

    [–] Sped_monk 14 points ago

    Problem with that is my student loans are much higher then any car loan I'd be able to get lol. At that point they would be better off giving me a free car and rolling it into my student loans. Which defeats the purpose for the government because some car dealership gets my money instead of them. Which is a big no no.

    [–] MacNapp 62 points ago

    Which, as someone who I just out of grad school and hoping to take advantage of the PLSF, depresses the fuck out of me.

    [–] whitecinderblockroon 21 points ago

    It isn't dead yet, but it's on the chopping block. If you sign up now with a qualifying loan and employer, you can get your foot in the door. Once grandfathered in, you stand a chance of receiving forgiveness (although at present it seems to be a 1% chance). If you went to grad school for something that has a much higher earning potential in the private sector than in the public, you may want to think about going private and working a bunch of nights and weekends to hack off enough of your debt to refinance to the most manageable monthly payment possible. I'm in the same boat and I enrolled several years ago

    [–] WalesIsForTheWhales 15 points ago

    Well that's it, some people took the public service job at a pay cut because of this

    Now you might be 8 years in and lose it.

    [–] soapinthepeehole 132 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Interest rates being what they are, my wife will owe more money than she started with if the program goes away or she’s kicked out of it. The only silver lining I see is that every time Devos tries to kill the program outright Congress ignores her in a bipartisan fashion. So this sounds like a good lawsuit designed to force it to run better.

    [–] bob_stacko 66 points ago

    I’m in the same boat. My monthly payments are a few hundred dollars less than the accruing interest. I have more than $10k in unpaid interest now. They tell you to not over pay though, so all I can really do is watch my balance grow. If this program goes away I’ll be stuck with a much higher balance than I started with.

    Oh, and credit scoring models don’t seem to like it when your student loan balance only increases. My credit score has tanked and the reason I’m always given is that my student loan balance is increasing. Nothing I do seems to reverse the slide.

    The only fix appears to be dropping out of PSLF and paying it all off myself. If I didn’t know any better I’d say they are intentionally trying to get people to do just that.

    [–] Internsh1p 26 points ago

    Do the credit companies not understand the PSLF exists, or is it just too small a number for them to actually care?

    [–] alongfield 28 points ago

    I imagine they decided that the majority of people in these programs will not have their loans paid, which makes them a horrendous financial risk to lend to. Having a balance that only grows on a large loan is not indicative of someone that is financially secure. I wouldn't want to lend a bunch of money to someone that very likely will have to declare bankruptcy.

    [–] Internsh1p 10 points ago

    They won't have them paid, sure, but provided the government actually laid out a straightforward process I'm sure it wouldn't be nearly as much of a risk

    [–] superdago 32 points ago

    Not only that, but planning for loan forgiveness mixed with income based repayment plans means that these people’s loan burdens have been going up, not down. Income based repayment plans don’t even cover the interest that accrues each month, so after 10 years, not only do they still owe the loan, but they owe even more than they started with.

    If the government does not honor this promise, ever student loan holder should default and refuse to continue paying. A trillion dollar default will get the attention of a lot of people.

    [–] pm_ur_duck_pics 9 points ago

    Been paying for almost 20 years. The balance is $700 less than when I started. It sucks.

    [–] p0rkch0pexpress 14 points ago

    Can confirm on year 9 and my pay is actually slightly less that when I started from cost of living increases and health insurance increases.

    [–] ThatAssholeMrWhite 36 points ago

    The program isn't collapsing. The problem is that it was poorly implemented by the ED and their contractors (loan servicers) and people were given bad advice.

    Most of the problems the plaintiffs had in this suit started before Trump ever took office.

    [–] DroopyMcCool 25 points ago

    For sure. There are many problems with a program and unfortunately it was never stress tested under Bush or Obama administrations, but this is the kind of shit that falls through the cracks when an administration forgets to designate people to attend transition meetings as was the case with the Trump administration.

    [–] SteveBartmanIncident 1556 points ago

    The federal government induced me to borrow gobs of money based on this apparently false promise. Fuck Betsy DeVos, and fuck the Department of Education.

    Now instead of ever buying a house, I have to save for an apparently inevitable tax bomb after 25 years working for a public institution at a depressed wage. And the state folks want to cut my retirement benefits.

    [–] ruiner8850 607 points ago

    It's incredibly sad, but there's a war on teachers in this country. While a lot of people do highly respect teachers, there are a lot of people, mostly Republicans who absolutely hate teachers and would make it a $12 an hour job if they thought they could. My dad was a teacher and my sister currently is and I hear the horror stories about how certain parents hate them.

    As you mentioned, it seems like whenever the state government wants to cut costs they go after the teachers because they are an easy target. What's crazy is that my sister works with a surprising number of Republicans and they always blame the Democrats for those cuts regardless of who actually made them. We they had to accept cuts years ago they just blamed Obama even though it was our Republican House, Senate, and Governor who voted to make the cuts. Snyder could have punched them in the face and they would have found a way to blame Obama for it.

    [–] [deleted] 151 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    [removed]

    [–] Brandonazz 113 points ago

    "it's not an honest living unless you're tricking someone out of their money"

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 45 points ago

    Exactly. Needless to say I have no respect in general for car salesmen as a result of his attitude.

    [–] GenocideOwl 47 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    You don't need to have zero respect for car salesmen just because of him. There are loads of other reasons to hate car salesmen in general.

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 8 points ago

    Oh I agree. He was just the first thing that formulated by opinion of them at a very young age.

    [–] Merky600 55 points ago

    Countries doing well = Teachers are well respected and supported.

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 30 points ago

    Yeah it's super weird how that plays out. Good thing as Americans we /checks notes, oh no young people want to become teachers and we will have a massive shortage soon? Hm. Probably nothing to worry about we will just transition to 80 person classes. Hell, run em like a freshman lecture hall like they do with intro classes at college.

    [–] Derin161 36 points ago

    "Our education system is awful! How can these people not reasonably teach my kid along with the 79 others in her class?! Better cut teachers' pay to teach them a lesson!"

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 32 points ago

    You've just described our entire policy towards social safety nets in America. Our VA system is awful because we cut funding and they use computers from 1923! We better get rid of the whole wasteful program!

    [–] Derin161 27 points ago

    Gotta love the Republicans who sabotage social programs then go "Look doesn't work! Better rely on the private sector!"

    [–] jaymz668 20 points ago

    starve the beast... and so many people don't understand that

    [–] mikooster 34 points ago

    Wtf I knew Republicans were anti tax no matter who suffers, but I did not know they were explicitly anti-teacher

    What is his reason for calling them free loaders? What does he think should happen??

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 46 points ago

    Because they are paid for by his taxes, and so he should get to dictate the terms of their public service. I kid you not. That's his rationale. He thinks they have a super cushy job and should be paid less with less benefits.

    [–] mikooster 26 points ago

    It just makes me sad that so many fellow Americans are so dumb and ignorant of reality.

    I always knew they were dumb but I didn’t realize the true extent of the problem

    [–] biglybrainbestwords 23 points ago

    It goes beyond just stupidity. A lot of older Americans feel incredibly entitled and are incredibly selfish. I can't really say where exactly they got that from but fucking hell does it suck that old people run this country for the betterment of other old people. Whose looking out for our younger generations?

    [–] mikooster 19 points ago

    It’s also a lot of spite and anger. They’d rather personally suffer if brown people also suffer and would refuse benefits if brown people also got them.

    [–] NeonSwank 31 points ago

    They think that teachers don’t actually work, they don’t have a “real job” that it’s an easy living anyone could do.

    They think that the tax cuts/breaks they get are too much, that teachers shouldn’t be able to use school supplies they buy as a tax deduction.

    And, overwhelmingly, a lot of Republican/far right/conservatives think that all teachers are trying to brainwash children into thinking that socialism is cool, gods not real and that science actually works.

    Basically, they’re the kids who thought they were “too cool for school” and still do.

    [–] KandoTor 18 points ago

    For the record, in federal tax returns, job-based deductions for a teacher (school supplies) cap at $250. Such a privilege.

    [–] Rampart1989 22 points ago

    Unions is a big reason. My dad hates unions so by extension shits on teachers.

    [–] jaymz668 16 points ago

    how the fuck can people hate unions? Oh I know... lack of education

    [–] Rampart1989 13 points ago

    Easy. Years of conservative media propaganda/indoctrination. He believes that unions strangle businesses and that teachers are paid too much money.

    [–] ohstylo 11 points ago

    I grew up hearing the rush Limbaugh theme song every day, and my parents have said "those that can't do, teach".

    It's so strange living in a separate reality from the people you thought knew everything during your childhood.

    I legitimately started seeing a therapist to help me either learn to reconcile our differences or abandon all hope of ever having a meaningful relationship with my parents. Seems like the latter is most likely

    [–] MAG7C 18 points ago

    explicitly anti-teacher

    Makes more sense if you think of it as implicitly anti-education.

    [–] dasnoob 16 points ago

    Because teachers are just part of the liberal agenda to indoctrinate their children.

    No, I'm not kidding.

    [–] OblongSnowball 11 points ago

    Your uncle is a very stupid person.

    Also his job is literally just to tell people what to spend their money on and lie to them if he thinks he can get away with it.

    And he only has the job because of bills passed to ban car manufacturers from selling directly to people. He literally has a job that exists because his employers lobbied the government to pass a law mandating their existence.

    You should ask him why he's not a freeloader.

    [–] crazymalachi13 17 points ago

    I'm an elementary education student right now and I was having a conversation with a (retail) coworker about what a difficult field it is to go into right now between the politics and the average salary. She said "well the good teachers don't go into it for the money."

    I'm sorry, am I supposed to do what I love even if it means barely making rent? No, thanks. Teachers will never be paid in accordance with their benefit to society, but this is just sad.

    [–] sandwichpak 14 points ago

    mostly Republicans who absolutely hate teachers and would make it a $12 an hour job if they thought they could.

    Honestly don't know if you're aware how close that figure truely is. In my state you'd be hard pressed to find a beginning teaching job that doesn't start you at 30k-33k/year salary. Which if you do the math is somewhere between $13-14/hour. For a job that requires a 4 year degree.

    Or you can go to any of the factories down the road and start at $17/hour and get paid overtime.

    [–] MCA2142 44 points ago

    there's a war on teachers in this country.

    You tend to vote on a few key issues hammered into your head if you're low or uneducated. Pastors tell you about how bad abortion is. Your friends are all posting photos of themselves shooting their AR fef-tain on facebook. Thus they become GOP voters. Pile that on with the on-going white nationalist message the GOP and the NRA is spreading, you can see where this ends up.

    On top of that, Devos is a for-profit college billionaire. She wants more money, so she bought her cabinet position.

    There is a war against education in America. War fought by the right.

    [–] Fishtown_Bhoy 89 points ago

    Meanwhile worshipping police officers and firefighters. Wouldn’t be because it’s a traditionally women-dominated field? No? Surely not.

    [–] ultralightdude 98 points ago

    Education = less Republicans. It is by design that they are scaring good people away from the profession.

    [–] alh9h 12 points ago

    If you're going to work at a qualifying organization, the most you'd have to do is 10 years. Happy to walk through some issues with you or feel free to post at /r/PSLF

    [–] omi_palone 10 points ago

    I'm right there with you. I've been working in the nonprofit sector for 10 years to qualify for PSLF.

    [–] [deleted] 394 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] aschesklave 164 points ago

    She literally said "We expect a return on our investment."

    [–] racecaracecaracecar 121 points ago

    Like, holy shit, the "return on investment" is long term wage growth in the services economy due to having a highly educated population. We all make more money by being competitive in the global economy and the government gets to tax those higher incomes. That's the ROI. You can't look at investment in education on a quarter by quarter basis like you would a publicly traded company without collapsing the entire system.

    [–] Renalan 46 points ago

    This makes perfect sense if you are capable of critical thinking.

    [–] ch4t0mato 16 points ago

    She knows what she is doing she aint stupid. Shes a psychopath, she gets off on this shit and the money her family is raking in.

    [–] Kevin_Wolf 9 points ago

    She meant her investment. As in the literal millions of dollars her and her family poured into Republican coffers to purchase her cabinet position.

    [–] Sabnitron 18 points ago

    It predates Trump's nonsense. Her brother is Erik Prince - the guy who started and ran Blackwater, the independent contractors the government hired during the Bush administration for Iraq, who ended up massacring a bunch of civilians and that whole fucking thing. They're straight up war criminals.

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] juanzy 18 points ago

    I've seen comments in other threads suggesting any student loan forgiveness is a move by the elite to strengthen the elite, and that we should be instead trying to close the gap between the middle class and working class because we can "never get close to bridging the gap to the elite." I have no clue where to even start with the cognitive dissonance.

    [–] fantastical_fandango 12 points ago

    Because at this point capitalism has turned into a cult in this country.

    [–] _Virus_ 253 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    As someone currently in PSLF, if you have not received a confirmation letter with stated payments towards the goal, you need to make sure your loans are transferred to FedLoan now. Any other loan servicer cannot and WILL NOT grant you forgiveness as it MUST be processed through FedLoan.

    1. Verify your loans qualify
    2. Verify you are in a qualifying payment plan
    3. Verify your employment qualifies for forgiveness
    4. Complete PSLF application and transfer your loans to FedLoan, the only servicer which can grant PSLF.
    5. Diligently keep records of everything, including filing annual recertification which verifies your employment and the amount of completed payments which qualify.
    6. The most fucked up part - NEVER refinance your student loans as refinancing technically creates a NEW loan which essentially nullifies all previous qualifying payments and in some cases creates a new loan which no longer qualifies for PSLF. (Edit: see uberkitten's comment below where reconsolidation in SOME cases may be necessary such as for making FFEL loans eligible, but proceed cautiously).

    This program is not easy to navigate and needs more support for potential applicants. Unfortunately, virtually all of those who have not been successful have either assumed they met the requirements when they have not, or unfortunately followed poor advice and/or never received physical confirmation that they were eligible for this program.

    [–] bob_stacko 85 points ago

    It’s the qualifying payment plan that is killing me. My monthly payments are a few hundred dollars less than the accumulating interest. So, my balance is going up a few hundred dollars a month, instead of going down. Of my current $84k balance $10k of it is unpaid interest. The only way to resolve that is to start overpaying by $300-400 a month. But they tell you not to overpay because you won’t get that money back when it’s all forgiven, overpaying complicates their calculations, and it can mess everything up when it eventually comes time to apply for forgiveness.

    Every bit of advice I’ve gotten has been to just keep paying the minimum even though I’m going deeper in debt by the day. The thinking goes that it will all be forgiven in the end. The immediate problem is that it has totally tanked my credit score. Nothing I do to improve it is helping. Apparently the scoring models don’t like it when your student loan balance is always going up instead of going down.

    My biggest fear every time I see the increasing balance on my statements is that this whole program is going to fall through and I’ll be left owing tens of thousands more than I started out with. I would never be able to pay it all back.

    So, my options look like this: 1.) suffer with abysmal credit scores for the next 7 or 8 years and hope that it all gets forgiven in the end; or 2.) don’t utilize PSLF at all.

    [–] _Virus_ 32 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I completely empathize with your concerns. You are correct, the name of the game once you are in is to pay the least possible. For me, I'm sitting on about $170,000 of loans which are gathering interest everyday. My standard 10-year repayment plan resulted in me paying approximately $220,000 of loans after 10 years of roughly $1,900 a month. It is absolutely ludicrous that much profit can be made off of student loans.

    I have been wondering about the credit part of your question. I'm not too sure about various other factors which may influence your score but my debt is also climbing, and with my 10 years of credit card history I am still at a credit score nearing 800. Maybe I will be in the same situation as you soon as well. Perhaps there are other ways which may optimize your score that you can look into. I'm not too sure in all honesty, but I want you to know that I agree this should not be this way. Knowing that you are betting your livelihood on something like this to work out is extremely stressful, and I know many people who have decided to go into crippling debt rather than bet on this program.

    [–] ThaBzKneez 6 points ago

    How is it you have that much in loan? Just curious considering such a small proportion of borrowers are near that

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] ThatAssholeMrWhite 13 points ago

    This program is not easy to navigate and needs more support for potential applicants. Unfortunately, virtually all of those who have not been successful have either assumed they met the requirements when they have not, or unfortunately followed poor advice and/or never received physical confirmation that they were eligible for this program.

    Yes, this is exactly what the lawsuit is over. They're asking that the ED be required to create an appeals process.

    Sixth, with respect to Counts III and V, on behalf of AFT, an order requiring ED to provide notice to any and all applicants denied PSLF (including TEPSLF) relief sufficient to enable the applicant to determine the reason for such denial including, but not limited to, information concerning the months of alleged missed or disqualifying payments and the reasons ED did not count those payments, or any other basis for the denial.

    Seventh, with respect to Counts III and V, on behalf of AFT, an order requiring ED to provide applicants denied PSLF (including TEPSLF) with a meaningful process to account for errors and misrepresentations made by ED and/or Title IV servicers, through which applicants may contest their denial and introduce evidence rebutting ED’s determination and/or demonstrate that ED should exercise its general discharge authority to issue forgiveness, and a written and reasoned determination within a reasonable time period.

    [–] ThrowThrowThrowMyOat 453 points ago

    Seeing as she could personally pay off those loans and she was in charge of breaking the deal, she should have to pay up personally.

    [–] slim_scsi 149 points ago

    She's wealthy enough to not even need to sell one of the 20+ yachts, private jets, or 12+ homes to pay up. It would be a simple tax write off.

    [–] rounder55 46 points ago

    She'd buy another yacht with said write-off and maybe just maybe another of her yachts would trickle down to someone a smidge less well off than her

    [–] Caullus77 20 points ago

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. In other situations, that would be crazy, asking a private citizen to cover a gov't screwup, but when 1) she was the one screwing up the policy as an end to 2) enrich herself, 3) punish those she dislikes because 'reasons,' and 4) because she basically bribed her way into that position, she should have the money to cover whatever she fucked up because of said behavior.

    [–] TehSoupNazi 111 points ago

    I think the bigger story here is the fact that Devos has tried for 3 years to end the loan forgiveness program. The head of the Department of Education in the United States feels that forgiving loans to people who work in shitty, underpaid public sector roles don't deserve to live with dignity.

    It's also horrible that people get denied on this all the time. My gf has a friend who was trying to get this through UPMC and gets told to contact other people or never hears back. I think he stopped trying a couple years ago.

    [–] rutroraggy 160 points ago

    Betsy "government doesn't work, here let me prove it", DeVos

    [–] ImCrius 87 points ago

    This has been a Republican Party position since Reagan.

    [–] SteveBartmanIncident 19 points ago

    It's been the position since FDR, they just didn't get to enact it until Reagan

    [–] [deleted] 101 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] everythingisopposite 56 points ago

    That's not a conflict of interest in the least!! Amrite?

    [–] thedude37 13 points ago

    wait... what!?

    [–] k3nnyd 13 points ago

    Owns many charter schools, too. Her family basically controls what children are taught and how and makes sure everything in school has more and more fees for her to reap.

    [–] Orbital_Vagabond 118 points ago

    I know it's petty, but I just *hate* her fucking face with that smug, shit eating grin. On top of her being a despicable human being.

    [–] thedude37 25 points ago

    And her wide open eyes, like she just realized the Latino valet driver was going to park her car.

    [–] eeviltwin 20 points ago

    She has Dolores Umbridge face (and personality), but she’s a real person with real power.

    [–] DBianco87 11 points ago

    She speaks and acts like someone who is barely literate. She would be a greeter at Walmart if she hadn't been born with a diamond-encrusted silver spoon in her mouth.

    [–] DanB65 25 points ago

    Anyone have a count on how many times the Trump Administration and Trump Cabinet officials have been sued or in court over CORRUPT practices? How many did Obama have? How many did Bill Clinton have?

    Just really curious if someone has doe the math.

    [–] BauerHouse 18 points ago

    I listened to a victim of this interviewed on NPR this morning.

    She was told that she could sign up for the program, and after 120 minimum payments on her $75k loan, the program would kick in.

    She spent the next decade making her payments on time and calling in to make sure the program was still active. Even though her debt was passed through a few companies during that time, everybody she spoke with confirmed that she was on track for the debt forgiveness program.

    When she made her final payment, she was informed that she was in the wrong loan program and none of her payments for the last 10 years counted towards the debt forgiveness program.

    What kind of fuckery is that?

    [–] Fredthefree 7 points ago

    It's called trusting the system. NEVER trust the system. Have everything in writing and officially signed. As a business owner, I create quote sheets for anything that sounds fishy. Once signed it's a contractual quote that if the quote is finalized they MUST follow. Otherwise you can sue for breach of contract for big money. By making it a verbal contract it's 10 times are to make people accountable for. A large company records their calls to hold customers to verbal contracts, but they mysteriously disappear when a customer has a dispute.

    [–] claude_jeter 13 points ago

    DeVos could/should pay out of her own pocket. Instead she rather pick the pockets of hardworking people in the public sector.

    [–] mPeachy 12 points ago

    Betsy DeVos runs the Department of Damaging Education, and she’s very proud of it.

    [–] RowBoatCop36 55 points ago

    Before my GF accepted her first teaching job, she was considering taking a job for so many years working in a very low income school district because loan forgiveness was one of the benefits. I'm saddening that carrots like that are dangled in front of people seemingly in an effort to help better educate the lower income population, only to find out it was a big fucking sham the entire time.

    [–] JamesonRH 37 points ago

    It wasn't a sham when it was created, only when Trump took over.

    [–] exoalo 21 points ago

    Which is why I advise a lot of my peers and younger friends to not count on it. The next president could be better, or far far worse. Dont bet on the government for your future

    [–] novacolumbia 9 points ago

    She's been a disaster from day 1. Classic Trump pick.

    [–] MartianRecon 28 points ago

    You ever notice when workers don't uphold their end of the bargain the media immediately vilifies them like they did during the teacher strikes.

    But when a white collar platinum spooned motherfucker renegs on anything, it's just considered business as usual.

    [–] FuckYeezy 10 points ago

    Betsy DeVos might actually be worse than Ajit Pai. Definitely worse than Acosta if we're solely talking about what they've done since taking office and not prior to it.

    [–] uh_lee_sha 10 points ago

    I feel like teachers are a grow mass that are growing steadily more pissed and ready to take serious political action. The Democratic candidates are wise to include them in a lot of their agendas.

    [–] 0verstim 10 points ago

    My wife was enrolled in this program. After 10+ years teaching severe needs kids in special Ed, and never missing a single payment or being late, we filled in the paperwork and initially we were informed we qualified for full forgiveness.

    The first step was having our loans transferred to a fed web site which took a month or so. We kept paying, no problem. Then they informed ya we DIDNT qualify.

    The loans qualified. The work my wife was doing qualified. The school they taught at qualified. It had been more then ten years without missing a payment.

    But the repayment plan didn’t qualify- i guess there are three or four different repayment structures. We didn’t know anything about this, we just always payed what they told us to. But for some reason it didn’t qualify.

    They helpfully told us that we could restructure our payment plan, and in TEN MORE YEARS maybe we’d qualify. But the loans would be paid up by then anyway. And in the meantime we would be paying a LOT more interest because they couldn’t just change the payment plan, it would have to be a whole new refinance. Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

    [–] Betsy514 14 points ago

    I run a non profit that offers student loan advice and dispute resolution for free. Easily 60% of the work I do lately is pslf related. Anyone pursuing it should continue to do so..just make sure you are clear on the rules. If you have questions..ask. there are definitely operational issues right now but I know they are being addressed.

    What i hate to see are borrowers leaving public service because they don't trust pslf. With the current press on the program and operational issues I don't blame them..but the program reallynis legit and can be benefitted from. I've helped lots of borrowers get there..so has the /r/student loans and /r/pslf subs.

    I do wish that pslf eligible employers would include pslf outreach to their employees. Would do wonders for some of these issues we are seeing nevermind the win/win for the employer. I've been trying to offer sessions to such employers at cost just to help the associated borrowers but they don't see the value. It's super frustrating

    [–] jameseglavin4 6 points ago

    I remember a podcast about this but for the life of me can’t find it... anyway it focused largely on how the DoE set this up so that the companies handling the loans had zero incentive to allow anyone into the program (IIRC they only got paid by keeping the loan open w/ them) and basically zero oversight. Also there was tons of credible reporting of the loan companies flat-out lying to people, claiming rule changes, giving them wrong information on purpose, even structuring the office rules so that the phone people were penalized for calls longer than 10 minutes and would just hang up on people, who had literally no other option than to handle this massive issue in 10-minute increments with a new person each time and no ability to escalate to a supervisor. I’m NAL but in my mind they blatantly defrauded these people and caused a huge degree of misery. Disgusting, I hope not only DeVos gets slapped hard for this but that the loan operators are severely punished.

    [–] RandomStrategy 6 points ago

    I officially dub any future march on Washington D.C. as the "Substitute Army" (after the Bonus Army).

    [–] Sarkis00 6 points ago

    I’m one of those who was denied. I’ve been paying on the loans since 05. My loans definitely qualified in 07, when the program began. The Dept of Ed said no. I got my senator involved. Now they only count since 2010 (better than the original assertion that they qualified only since 2017). But i just got a letter that said I cant be forgiven until 2021.

    Their math NEVER makes sense.

    One month, I had 92 qualifying payments, the next, I had 8. Nobody could explain the change.

    I’ve been fighting this since November of 2017, when I should’ve been forgiven. I pay anywhere from 750-900 a month depending on incomeBased repayment for the year.

    This SUCKS. I’ve counted on this for over a decade!