Don’t cut Public Service Loan Forgiveness program

Beth Akers’ op-ed, “It’s time to axe student loan forgiveness for public service” on June 22, was entirely flippant, misleading and uninformed on the opposing side of the issue. As a public service employee, I know all too well the burden of student loan debt in a field riddled with credential inflation, funding issues and staffing issues. With skyrocketing costs of tuition coupled with credential inflation, swelling costs of living and an economy plagued by the decisions of a generation before it, it stands to reason there would be more support for policy that would alleviate the financial burden of money-hungry institutions that prey on the American Dream and on lower socioeconomic classes.

It is shameful and irresponsible to write an article detailing reasons to cut funding when there is an obvious lack of research done to understand all sides. Specifically, Akers said in her article, when students realize they can have their debt forgiven they will then attend higher-cost institutions and live the high life on the government’s dollar, when they otherwise would not have if they weren’t eligible for loan forgiveness. This is an abhorrent assumption and insinuation, which does not encompass all who seek out loan forgiveness. I am fearful of reading misinformed views like this, as the reversal of such a program would be detrimental to the public service sector, and ultimately to those who work the front lines in our counties, cities and towns.

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When there is a decrease in the disparities of public service wages and the cost of an education to even obtain an entry-level public service position, then maybe there can be talk about dismantling a loan forgiveness program. Until then, over 500,000 hard working graduates currently enrolled in the program are at risk of being further sunk into the debt pit of the so-called American Dream.

From Sara Cometto, Roanoke, Va.


The US should forge closer ties to Russia to defeat ISIS

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made an ally of Joseph Stalin during World War II in order to defeat Germany. We need Russia’s help to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.  Thankfully, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not anything like Joseph Stalin. Russia is slowly evolving into a European-style democracy. They are not there yet, but they are getting close. The American people should embrace Russia with love and understanding instead of surrounding Russia with new NATO members.

Russia has a right to be paranoid because of their terrible history of being invaded by a Western European nation. Put yourself in Russian shoes and imagine how Russians view the world. Russia and the U.S. have the ability to destroy each other many times over. Isn’t it in the security interests of our own children to make Russia a trusted friend and ally rather than an enemy? That is exactly what Vladimir Putin and the vast majority of the Russian people want. Why start a new Cold War when peace is cheaper and safer? Whatever election-year interference any Russian hackers attempted in 2016 did not win Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE the presidency. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE’s obvious poor health and the Democratic Party’s policies of open-border anarchy and war on affordable energy lost them the election. It is time to end sanctions against Russia, not impose new ones.

From Christopher Calder, Eugene, Ore.