Canceling student debt would backfire on Biden

President-elect Joe Biden is under pressure to do something that sounds bold and progressive when he takes office: Cancel the student debt of millions of Americans. If he really wants to help the most financially challenged, however, there are much better ways to do it.

Editorial: Thank you, election workers

If you think it was stressful waiting for election boards around the country to count the millions of votes in the presidential election, imagine being the workers who were doing the counting.

Editorial: Biden should reboot transatlantic ties

China and 14 other Asian-Pacific nations have signed a massive free trade agreement — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The pact covers about 2.2 billion people in the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as U.S. allies Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Editorial: The US can’t wait for new COVID relief

In the months leading up to the election, U.S. lawmakers failed to agree on a new coronavirus relief plan. Now, with a lame-duck Congress and President Donald Trump moving reluctantly toward the exit, the temptation will be to do nothing until President-elect Joe Biden is in office and the new legislature is installed.

Editorial: Double hurricanes could make migration crisis even worse

It’s unclear at this point exactly how much death and damage have been inflicted in Nicaragua and Honduras by Hurricane Iota, the second major storm to strike the region in as many weeks. But it will be considerable — winds raging at 155 mph stripped roofs from buildings and blew other structures apart as rain drenched land already sodden from the previous storm, Hurricane Eta.

Commentary: The problem with the Democrats’ messaging

Post-election, two questions are on every Democrat’s mind. One: Why did Donald Trump and Republicans nationwide receive such wide support, despite the incompetent and odious Trump presidency? And two: What can Democrats do to reverse the red wave?

Cass R. Sunstein: Here’s how executive orders actually work (hint: slowly)

Facing urgent national challenges and probably a Republican-controlled Senate, President-elect Joe Biden will need to use executive actions to respond to problems such as COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change. To understand how that works, it is essential to ask: What are executive actions, anyway? How do they happen? How fast, and how slow?

Why is China regulating big Tech now?

Governments around the world put out consultation papers all the time. But only in China can one vaguely worded, 22-page document on antitrust regulations ignite a $290 billion equity selloff. As investors nurse their wounds, they want to know, why is China regulating Big Tech now? And what exactly does Beijing want?

America’s voting system is underperforming

The administration of the 2020 election wasn’t the calamity some had feared. Warnings of armed violence and voter intimidation came to nothing. Polling sites were sufficiently staffed, the system coped with the Covid-related surge in mail-in ballots, and Election Day lines remained manageable even in historically underserved areas. With few exceptions, voting equipment functioned properly. In the most encouraging sign of the electorate’s resilience, turnout is expected to exceed 66% of eligible voters, the highest in more than a century.

The US-EU trade war is mutually destructive. The two sides should finally negotiate.

When is a setback for U.S.-European trade not necessarily a setback for U.S.-European trade? When it’s Monday’s European Union announcement of $4 billion in new tariffs on U.S. goods, in retaliation for the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on $7.5 billion in European goods, ranging from aircraft to whiskey, last year. This latest round of tit-for-tat levies so clearly demonstrates the mutually destructive nature of transatlantic trade conflict that it may finally prompt both sides to negotiate a permanent settlement.

Editorial: When will America fix one of the founders’ biggest mistakes?

Having to explain to hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of people elsewhere the craziness of the Electoral College isn’t the worst part of the creaky system that disenfranchises millions of citizens and thwarts popular democracy. No, the worst thing about the Electoral College is Donald Trump, who lost to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes but was still elected president, and who lost to Joe Biden by more than 4 million votes and almost prevailed again.