Student Debt Forgiveness

I plan on voting in the Democratic primary, providing we still have a choice on March 10–a week after super Tuesday.

I will not vote for a candidate who offers across the board student debt forgiveness. This is simple bribery and shows a lack of presidential character. It is also fundamentally unfair. More on that in a minute. First, why are college costs increasing so quickly? Mostly due to cheap and easy student loans, backed by the government. The government handing out “free” money to students made colleges hike fees, increase administrative costs, and generally grow their budgets to absorb all of the money the government is artificially pumping into the system. This has served to push many, otherwise deserving, folks out of the educational system. Government policy created the problem. Want to decrease the costs associated with higher education? Remove the artificial bloat that poor planning has created.

Back to that fairness issue. So, what if your parents worked 2 jobs so that you could go to school debt free? Many do. All the while the neighbor lived profligately, taking vacations, working a single job and saddling their children with debt. Now we are going to bail them out? That is ridiculous.

How about the students that put themselves through college? Working the whole time, their grades suffering because of it. Perhaps taking extra time to get their degree? All to avoid burdensome debt. Compare this to someone who lived off their loans, spent their weekends drinking and lived profligately (there is that word again). Now we are going to reward the second? This is ridiculous (and there is that word again.)

Besides having a loose relationship with the truth, Warren’s debt forgiveness plan rewards the profligate and does not pass the ridiculous test.

Sure, college is expensive and it saddles folks with debt. But the sad fact is that we are a service economy and there are not enough college level jobs for all. So free college is just more government debt, with no real benefit except for rewarding the profligate.

A better plan would be to increase the Pell Grant to make community college free for all. Meanwhile, help fund trade school. And simultaneously start making it more difficult to obtain student loans (these are essentially unsecured debt, no better than credit card debt).

But what about the 1.5+ trillion dollars debt already out there? There can be some forgiveness, but with a cost to the borrower. Enter a field that we struggle with finding enough employees for, get some limited debt forgiveness. Volunteer to work with under-served populations, get some debt forgiveness. Re-locate to an area that needs your skills, get some debt forgiveness.

Got a degree in art history? Get a job at McDonalds and pay your fucking loan back.

We also need to start cracking down on the scofflaws who choose not to pay their debt back. Start taking bank accounts and cars from those who are in arrears.

I cannot consider voting for a candidate that offers bribes for votes. That would be both profligate and ridiculous.

Profligate: recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources.

Ridiculous: absurd, inviting or deserving of mockery.