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Bad News, Good News for Biden

We have so much post-election stuff to write about that it's going to dominate the blog for weeks. But there's also news beyond the election results, and we have to stay on top of that, too. So, let us first note that yesterday, Joe Biden's student-loan forgiveness was "struck down" by a federal judge.

The judge in question is Mark Pittman, a Donald Trump appointee. The suit was brought by a group called the Job Creators Network Foundation, on behalf of two people who made a dubious case for standing, based on the fact that they did not qualify for the program. And Pittman's ruling would seem to have an equally shaky foundation. He declared that the program is "an unconstitutional exercise of Congress's legislative power and must be vacated," despite the fact that the program is based on specific language in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This is why we put "struck down" in quotations, since the decision is going to be appealed and there is a very good chance that Pittman will be overturned.

Meanwhile, while things were going badly on the legal front (at least temporarily), there was good news for the country and the White House on the economic front. Namely, inflation is trending downward again. The Consumer Price Index has increased 7.7% over the last year, which is not good, but is way better than the 8.2% figure from last month. Further, core inflation (which excludes food and energy) was up 0.3% last month as compared to 0.6% in September.

Part of the downward trend is due to supply chain issues being resolved. That is something that can be expected to continue. And part of the downward trend is due to consumers changing their spending habits. That might or might not continue. Still, while there is some chance that things will take a turn for the worse next month, the chances are better that things will continue to improve. (Z)

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