What we’re reading: Supreme Court skepticism of student debt forgiveness, moon time and more



Student debt relief advocates gather outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. Arguments at the Supreme Court over President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation left some borrowers feeling isolated as they heard such a personal subject reduced to cold legal language. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By Leah Waller, Staff Writer

Supreme Court skeptical of Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the two cases challenging President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan, which would forgive up to $20,000 in debt for borrowers with student loans.

The cases seek to determine if the debt relief plan exceeds the Department of Education’s authority and if it has legal standing. Several questions still stand from the two cases, such as whether the law Biden proposed gives him the power to create the program.

There is also concern about how the government will ensure the fairness of the program.

“It punishes Americans who couldn’t afford college or worked hard to pay off their loans,” Chief Justice John Roberts said to USA Today.

The Supreme Court will not issue a final decision on the two cases until later in the year.

The Moon may be getting its own time zone

NASA’s Orion spacecraft flew past the moon on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (NASA via AP)

As space exploration continues and becomes more complex, the moon may receive its own time zone. The move would be beneficial to both astronauts in space and space agency navigation efforts.

Establishing a time zone on the Moon is a complex task.

“Clocks on the moon gain roughly 56 microseconds per day (one microsecond is equal to one-millionth of a second),” according to NBC.

Another concern that the European Space Agency has is if time on the moon will be uniform. The ESA is prioritizing the establishment of the “moon time” in hopes to make time systems for other planetary destinations in the future.

Twenty-three whales have washed up dead along the East Coast

Workers move a dead whale that washed ashore in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on March 2, 2023.  (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Record numbers of dead whales have washed ashore along the East Coast in the last three months, Proquest says.  Critically endangered North Atlantic right whales and humpbacks have been seen on the shores the most.

According to the New York Times, the main reason for the spike in whale death is due to the effect of  the shipping industry.

With channels to get in and out of ports being so narrow, “You have to cross your fingers and hope there are no collisions,” said Paul Sieswerda, executive director of Gotham Whale.

The National Oceanic and Atlantic Administration is taking action as their concern for the whales increases. They have proposed a 10-knot speed limit on ships of 35 feet and larger, hoping that this may help decrease the number of whale deaths moving forward.

Why is economic improvement bad for people who are not rich?

The economy is off to a great start this year, according to the Commerce Department. According to Time, spending in U.S. households went up 1.8% in January.

With the sudden strengthening of the economy, the Federal Reserve is having to continually increase interest rates.

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been since the 1980s. People may not realize what this could do for the lower class, but with higher rates comes higher costs.

Credit card balances will go up monthly as well as prices on goods across markets.

“I predict a K-shaped consumer spending pattern this year, with higher income continuing to spend, while lower income households slow their economic activity,” said Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY Parthenon.

As the economic pattern continues through the year, the public is wondering how long it will take until the economy feels the loss from lower-income households.