How good news finally got the green light in the United States | Local News
We relate once again to the intersection of news media, politics and politics. From there, we can see how and why government really works – and mainly how and why it doesn’t work the way it should too often.
This is where all the vehicles of governance converge and collide: the executive, legislative and judicial branches – plus those of us in the media. For better or for worse, we play an undescribed, but still understood role in shaping political agendas and priorities by what we cover and what we ignore.
Now this: we just saw some amazing news. Surprising because it was good news. Yet there he was, announced but barely noticed, right in the middle of this globe of horrific news.
But if you’re finally worried about solving a long-standing problem in which your government’s bureaucracy hired hard-working public servants, the news that was announced Monday morning by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was your type. good news. And we will get there. But we have to start by reminding you of what first happened at the intersection.
On Sunday, you may have seen another CBS News “60 Minutes” article that left you furious at the injustice of your government’s inaction. Correspondent Lesley Stahl and a team were investigating yet another long-known but forever irremediable failure of a program designed to reward underpaid public servants. It was a well-intentioned 2007 program signed by George W. Bush, implemented by Barack Obama, to write off student loan debts of public servants ranging from teachers to the military who have made 10 years of monthly payments without ever default.
Managed by the Department of Education, the program has become infamous for being a jumble of bureaucratic rules that hurt those it was designed to help. Ministry officials thoughtlessly dismissed 98% of all who presented what they said was valid proof of their decade of on-time payments. When consumer protection officials first polled the program in 2017, Trump’s education department simply canceled it – with hundreds of thousands still in it – and was sued by the Federation. American teachers. Last April, the Government Accountability Office released a scathing report. And CBS’s “60 Minutes” looked into the matter. Surely Joe Biden’s education department knew where this story was going.
On Sunday, Stahl’s article showed us the faces and told the infuriating stories of awesome officials our government had shamelessly trapped. They were not naive and helpless victims; all were qualified military lawyers. All were safe and had been officially assured that they had played by the rules and paid as required for a decade. But there was always a technical detail: the wrong type of loan company; wrong type of loan. A military lawyer who paid through automatic payment discovered, only when he applied for his benefits, that when the system underpaid by a dime, it invalidated his years of missed non-payment. Military attorneys were told they didn’t have to make their monthly payments while in war zones – but they were not told their flawless payment chain had summarily ended. They were stunned to find that they had been bureaucratically reduced to zero. You couldn’t watch the Sunday play without getting angry.
Biden’s education department has announced that a major announcement is coming sooner rather than later. And early Monday morning, just hours after the ’60 Minutes’ play aired, Secretary Cardona announced a temporary program designed to make things right for all those who have been unfairly rejected by the sloppy and sloppy bureaucracy. Teachers, military service members and all other eligible public servants will now have until October 31, 2022 to reapply, show proof of 10 years of good faith payments – then get the rest of their student loan debt. canceled and erased the books.
Now back to our intersection of news media, politics, and politics. Think about the good governance that could have happened if our permanent news wired networks were still back in the realm of corporate journalism teams. What if cable streaming news networks regularly brought original stories to Washington, and especially to the field? What if they had hardly given up on this role and done it on the cheap, paying thinking heads to tell us, series after series, the same old things about what they think (and what they feel what they think) about the old news that everyone already knows?
What if, several years ago, CNN, MSNBC and Fox all broadcast their own Lesley Stahl / “60 Minutes” versions of this governance failure? What if we had all seen our most deserving public servants tell us how they were misled and grossly rejected by the government they have faithfully served?
Isn’t it possible that Republicans and Democrats united to at least end this absurd injustice a long time ago?
Tribune press service