The Democrats are beating the drum for College Loan forgiveness, with every candidate seemingly trying to out promise the others. Be wary… This is an evil problem with a righteous solution.
Yes, college loans debt is astronomical and growing. Yes, there are people that have been taken advantage. But the solution is not universal loan forgiveness. First of all, that kind of screws all the people who paid for college with their savings, borrowed sparingly, and sacrificed to pay off their debt. I could stop there, but that sounds like a grumpy old man complaint. So, I’ll provide some options.
- The federal government could buy up all the college loan debt and lock in a below market interest rate. And to prevent this situation from occurring again, the federal government would become the sole college loan provider for students and families. Debtors would pay back the federal government, and if they didn’t, various benefits could be reduced and/or withheld. This is a logical solution that has no chance of occurring (see the Affordable Care Act).
- State and federal governments could provide loan subsidies and forgiveness for time served in the public sector in high need areas. This is not a new solution. It has a lot of practical and societal benefits and lots of people have taken advantage of these programs (see: G.I. Bill). But there are some problems with this solution. It doesn’t apply to everyone, which seems unfair. If you don’t serve the public, you don’t get the support. Kind of mean to some debtors… But, completely fair to the public.
The above solutions are workable. What isn’t workable is for me (and you) having to pay off the student loan debt of the under-employed graduate of Trinity University with a degree in French Poetry*. That is the responsibility of the person who made that bad (in terms of a marketable major) decision and the family that supported it. The university and college major a person selects has real world consequences.
- I don’t know if Trinity University actually offers a degree in French Poetry.
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