Readers Write: Student Loan Forgiveness, ‘Dilbert’

Opinion Editor’s Note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print every day. Click here to make a contribution.


The Supreme Court cases reviewing President Joe Biden’s unilateral decision to cut student loans are about the constitutional separation of powers, not politics. Tuesday’s Associated Press online article, “Supreme Court Seems Ready to Deny Student Loan Writ,” framed the story as a political confrontation with terms like “Republican-appointed judges,” “Republican-run states,” and “Republican president-appointed judges.” “.

The Constitution makes it clear that Congress authorizes spending. Biden expanded interpretation of legislation designed to relieve military personnel who were involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan from student loans. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 95% of all students would be eligible under Biden’s executive order. That increase would cost $400 billion.

If the current administration believes that getting rid of all student loans is good policy, it could use its Senate majority to pass new legislation. Debate allows Congress to say more precisely who should receive aid and enforces accountability for funding. Someone has to pay the debt – will it be the taxpayer or the student? I suspect that the large number of students Biden is attempting to reach would be constrained by open discussions of need and cost.

The drafters of the constitution deliberately did not give the president budgetary powers because that would give too much power to one person. It is an important principle that should be protected no matter which party holds the office of President.

It is dangerous to break the separation of powers with a popular giveaway. The political twist in the Associated Press article belied the true story.

Lee Newcomer, Wayzata


As the Supreme Court decides the fate of student loan forgiveness, one argument really speaks to me: Judge John Roberts questioned fairness, arguing that a small business owner who takes out a bank loan to start a lawn care business should be offered the same opportunity for student loan forgiveness. Instead of going to grad school, I should have gone into auto industry or mortgage banking in 2007 or 2008, or maybe I should have started a small business and taken out a PPP loan in 2020. I should have given a hell of a refund if I had chosen these other options as some financial assistance programs seem to be fairer than others.

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Kara M. Greshwalk, Minneapolis


The Supreme Court is dealing with two cases challenging Biden’s authority to forgive student loan debt. This debt doesn’t just go away. We’ll all pay for it. I’m sure we can all agree that tuition has become prohibitively expensive and that student debt relief is not going to solve this problem. How did we get so far from reality? What are we teaching young adults if we even think about paying the debt they chose to take on? What about all the families and students who have worked hard to pay their own college loans or their children’s? What about the sacrifices these students and families have made to do what is right? This is a slap in the face to these students and families.

The message this sends is that you don’t have to make responsible decisions because the government will take care of you. How does that help a society? Do you want to sacrifice to pay for your own way and then sacrifice again to pay for the way of the people who get the free ride? Is this the kind of society you want to live in? A society where people have no consequences for the decisions they make? This is a slippery slope. What will we all have to pay for next?

Kim Pogue, Minneapolis


The issue of student loan forgiveness continues to be an emotional issue and is currently being debated in the Supreme Court. Articles have been written about the burdens young people face in paying off their student loans. Other articles have raised questions of justice should many receive forgiveness of their loans. Neither article addresses the underlying, fundamental problem that causes the dilemma before us: the exorbitant and excessive cost of a college education. The paradigm of college education remains unchanged. It consists of redundant physical structures, redundancy of instructional delivery both within and across campuses of state systems, year-long sabbaticals for tenured professors, tuition increases when enrollment falls and revenue needs to be replaced, research done for the sake of research, itself when it is there There is no apparent potential long-term economic benefit to society and virtually no accountability for managing finances efficiently. All of this is happening while colleges across the country are sitting on billions of dollars in pristine endowment funds. When can we expect colleges to be held accountable for providing affordable college education to our citizens?

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In the meantime, I would suggest that at least 50% of the cost of forgiving student loans be pushed back and borne by the colleges that originally funded the debt. Maybe then they’ll realize they need to do things differently.

David A Kunz, Woodbury


The Star Tribune has decided to no longer feature “Dilbert” on its comic page, and the newspaper has the right to do so. Cartoonist Scott Adams’ derogatory comments about African Americans deserve condemnation. Adams sacrificed his intellect to the lowest – and more comfortable – form of collectivism: racism.

Unfortunately, Adams’ comments are uttered far too often in American society. However, appeals to racial separatism and boasts of racial superiority are not the exclusive domain of the MAGA right. In academia and the media, leftist racial ideology has established a double standard that promotes and practices discrimination and defamation of its favored category of villains.

If we are to condemn the words of Adams (and we should), we should also, on the same principle, reject those who adhere to the inherent precept of critical race theory. Ibram X. Kendi’s thesis that racial discrimination can only be corrected by reverse differential treatment is intended to provoke the Separatist conceit that Adams was expressing.

Racial double standards impede our progress toward a post-racist—and post-racial—society of free individuals. In rejecting the appeal to racial separatism that killed Scott Adams’ career as a syndicated cartoonist, shouldn’t we also apply the same moral reasoning to those on the cultural left who also promote melanin quotient-based segregation and separatism?

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Robin Lundy, Minneapolis


I will miss Dilbert. Having spent the 1990s living in the booth, I found the cartoon’s barely-over-the-top episodes hilarious.

The February 27th front page teaser “Papers Cancel ‘Dilbert’ Comic” was a surprise, but after reading about Adam’s racist comments I think the cancellation is justified.

Adams was responding to Rasmussen poll results, which indicated that barely half of black respondents agreed with the statement, “It’s okay to be white.”

My question is why would an organization put this question in a survey? Rasmussen is looking for racism and causes trouble! Our society is nervous enough without such a taunting poll! Let’s all agree to boycott Rasmussen.

So the Star Tribune pulled “Dilbert” from the funny pages. Fine. I’ve embraced the daily comics and was excited to see what would fill in the blank for a cartoon I enjoyed. But please come up with a better replacement! “Crabgrass” is full of angry faces and nasty remarks about “gifted and talented” people – a phrase that probably should be scrapped.

Please find something funny for the funny pages.

Vicky Ercolani, Minneapolis