Canceling student loan debt is the worst approach to the crisis in higher education
In the U.S., students have run up over $1.5 trillion in debt and the Democrats' solution is not to address the problem of the high costs of college and easy credit that caused the high debt. Instead, they just want future taxpayers to bail out the debtors and allow colleges to continue to inflate salaries, proliferate useless administrative positions, and degrade the quality of education with indoctrination masquerading as education. It also subsidizes some of the biggest donors to Democrats' campaigns. Taxpayers taking over the college debt ensures that the problems will compound, not be resolved.
Nothing is free. Democrats are clearly promising free stuff as they troll for votes. After all, nothing is as important as power to them.
My personal history
I graduated from high school in 1971. My parents made under $15,000 and could not afford to send my brother and me to college, so we had to figure out how to pay for it ourselves. My parents never went to college, but my brother is a lawyer, and I am a CPA. Today we are referred to as enjoying "White privilege."
We are privileged: our parents taught us to work hard and study hard. Not once do I remember them saying the government owed them anything, nor do I remember them complaining about the rich and saying they needed to pay for our stuff. I also do not remember any disparaging remarks toward other races.
Isn't it amazing that the terms "systemic racism" and "the 1619 Project" didn't come up during the Obama/Biden years? It is a shame Romney, Bush, and the Cheneys don't seem to remember that they were lied about and called racists only because they were Republicans. The media and other Democrats always play the race card because their policies are so unpopular and destructive. Or else they lie about Russian collusion for years.
My dad worked for Western Union for 41 years until he died at age 58 in 1981. He made $19,000 his last year, including overtime. His father was a baker who never owned a house, and his grandfather was a barrel-maker.
I started working as a paper boy at age nine. I de-tassled corn, washed dishes, bussed tables, was a soda jerk, worked at McDonald's, and shoveled cow dung at the fair among other jobs. All jobs were important to me and, I assume, necessary for those who hired me. I worked several jobs at or below minimum wage.
The jobs taught me responsibility, how to manage money, how to interview, how to deal with customers, how to get along with co-workers, and how to get along with bosses. I learned who were good bosses and who were jerks. It is a shame that the higher the minimum wage goes, the fewer young people will be able to experience what I learned so much from.
Unlike power-hungry politicians who disparage, depress, and intentionally impoverish people and businesses whom they deem non-essential, I understand that all jobs are essential. These people and businesses that politicians deem as non-essential have always made our economy thrive more than politicians and government.
I went to the University of Illinois my freshman year. Tuition was under $400, room and board around $1,100. Books and spending money: around $500. Total cost: around $2,000. I borrowed $1,000, and the rest was from earnings and savings.
Sophomore year: Western Illinois University. The total cost was around $2,000. I got a $300 scholarship, borrowed $1,000, and paid for the rest.
After borrowing $2,000, I thought I was broke and decided to go to a new two-year college called Sangamon State University and live at home. Tuition was $400; a scholarship provided $300. My personal costs for the year and one half it took to graduate were around $200.
I got married in 1976, and my wife and I made around $16,000. My student loan payment was $39.60 per month for five years. Not once did I believe that the government or someone else was responsible to pay off my debt.
My first child started college in 1998 at an in-state public university. Total cost for four years was around $50,000.
My second child went to an out-of-state university starting in 2002. Total cost was between $80,000 and $100,000 for four years.
My third child went to a private university starting in 2006 and got a six-year master's degree. The total cost was around $250,000, and she got $40,000 in scholarships, so net cost was around $210,000.
Our personal costs for educating our kids were around $350,000. We borrowed some student loans, some parent-plus loans, took out a home equity loan, used cash value life insurance loans, ran up low–interest rate credit card debt, took out retirement funds, and used savings and earnings to pay for the rest.
We made a lot of sacrifices so our kids could go to college.
All the debt has been paid off, and not once did my family believe that the government or anyone else was responsible for paying off our debt.
History of Student Loans
In the 1960s, the government started making student loans readily available. Colleges and universities used this opportunity to jack up all their costs substantially, much higher than inflation, and this has gone on for sixty years. They especially raised their administrative or overhead costs.
For sixty years, students were told they should go to college because they would earn more. Colleges never used this massive inflow of students to reduce the cost per student. They knew that the kids could just get loans to pay for whatever they charged. Now they in effect say, "Who cares how much debt they ran up?" How is that for teaching personal responsibility? Instead, graduates and schools are told that politicians will pay for them if they only vote for Democrats.
Egotistical universities like Harvard and Yale were especially egregious in raising costs. No matter how big their tax-free endowments, they just kept jacking their rates rapidly. This allowed other public and private universities to raise their costs substantially because, after all, they were a better buy than the egotistical universities.
For example, Senator Warren made $400,000 for teaching one class for four semesters at Harvard. Maybe she should personally pay some of the loans back since she is the one who benefited.
In 2009, the Democrats took over almost all student loans by pretending the government would make money and using this fake income to pretend Obamacare would pay for itself. In other words, they knowingly lied. They lied a lot about Obamacare, including you can keep your policy, keep your doctor, you would have lots of choices, costs wouldn't increase substantially, and it would reduce the debt with the help of the fictitious profits from student loans.
From 2016's Wall Street Journal:
The huge taxpayer bill for buying millennial votes is coming due
Now the bill has continued to rise, and the solution is to forgive the debt?
I hear a lot about how people who paid off their student loans are getting screwed and now must pay for others also.
What about all the people who didn't go to college, either because they couldn't or didn't want to, who earn less and now are supposed to provide welfare to their wealthier counterparts? Why do Democrats want to bail out the people who they know earn the most? It appears they just want to buy more votes with another of their endless welfare programs.
I have worked with many people who have no college and who are much better workers, better at handling money, and have much more common sense than people who got a college degree. Why do people who have a piece of paper get paid more?
My brother-in-law had to drop out of school after 8th grade to farm because his parents died. He ended up being an electrician in a coal mine that Democrats want to get rid of. He could put anything together and was better with money and had more common sense than a lot of college graduates. He took care of his five children very well.
Why are so many kids encouraged to go to college and pay massive amounts of money for that piece of paper when they could do very well in so many other jobs especially in the oil industry field (before Biden)?
I believe that a solution would be for the colleges and universities to have to guarantee a significant amount of the debt that the students run up. After all, they are the true beneficiaries of this largesse from the government. Many administrators get huge salaries, great benefits, and high pensions because of these student loans, so shouldn't they have skin in the game?
Writing off student loans is a pathetic idea because existing and future students will clearly expect that they shouldn't have to pay off whatever debts they run up. It is a simple concept to understand.
I see many elitists from Harvard, Yale, and other expensive universities spread the theory that hydrocarbon combustion causes climate change despite zero scientific evidence. I see supposedly highly educated people keep schools closed for a year despite no scientific evidence that they ever should have been closed. And I see college-educated campaign workers, posing as journalists, who just repeat talking points. Why should we pay off their college debt when they don't seem to independently or critically think, don't have ability or refuse to investigate and do research, have little or no common sense, and when they refuse to debate and seek to destroy, silence, and cancel anyone who dares disagree with their talking points and agenda?
Graphic credit: Public domain image.