Remington Gregg writes ("Canceling student debt would narrow the racial wealth gap and stimulate our economy," Dec. 26) that the federal government should cancel the $1.37 billion student loan debt “to help close the racial wealth gap.” I suggest that said debt be canceled simply because college education of our citizens is a wise government investment that will be repaid many times over, “regardless of the race, color, or creed” of the loan’s recipient.

College-educated adults on average earn significantly more than their lesser-educated counterparts and, therefore, pay more in federal and state income taxes. I believe that these payments greatly exceed the expense of the tuition and student living costs.

One needs only look at the results the college education provisions of the World War II “GI Bill” to see the social and economic benefits, not just to the individuals but to our nation.

Student loan forgiveness today could foster a similar result by removing the debt burden and enabling individuals to get on with income-producing employment and, thus, with tax-paying lives.

(40) comments

threecents

I consider myself progressive, but jeesh, the basis of student loans cannot be forgiven. The real issue is forgiving a portion of the interest. Can we just focus on that?

DickD

New York State had free tuition for years, if you went to a State college. What is stated here is forgiving ALL college debt. So, you might as well go to Duke and run up your debt. Now, if the debt forgiveness was limited to a state college tuition, that would be reasonable.

knahs25

Doesn't seem fair to those of us who borrowed reasonably and paid off our loans. I was told I was eligible to borrow $18,000, I said I only needed $5,000 and only wanted $5,000. That was what I got and paid off. Maybe if more borrowed just what was needed instead of taking the entire amount, they wouldn't be in debit.

MD1756

What you believe may have nothing to do with reality. Population growth certainly hasn't lowered anyone's taxes. What make you think forgiving student loans will raise collective wealth better than some other investment of the money. You need to look at opportunity costs. I'd rather see more money spent on protecting human health and the environment. In my opinion, that would be a better investment because we benefiting everything on the planet not just humans. If you just want to look at economic impacts, I suspect investing in infrastructure would provide a better enfit to all over forgiving student loans that people freely took on.

public-redux

Thank you for bringing up opp costs and alternative uses of money.

I used to say that we could eliminate poverty if everyone owned their own house and one rental property. And then I would wait to see if people understood why that was ludicrous.

threecents

P-R[thumbup]

Blueline

Andrew Cuomo had the same philosophy about owning a house (less the rental) when he was HUD Secretary under Clinton. We all saw how that ended up.

gary4books

They take a tax deduction for the lost income of an empty rent house and that gets rid of poverty. Neat.

TomWheatley

For everyone in favor of forgiving student loans, how about you lend out $30K to an aspiring student and have the Government vaporize your loan?

shiftless88

I believe you are missing the point. The companies that loan the money are not robbed of their money. The government pays them.

Luke Skywalker

WE are the government. It's our tax money that the government spends.

threecents

[thumbup]Luke

bosco

Too many people fail to realize that Luke. [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

shiftless88

And WE will reap the rewards. Simple. Tom made a bogus straw man argument.

NewMarketParent

@Luke

And we make investments as a country just like you do in your own household. I don't understand why we no longer think of education as an investment that yields a great return. We used to think that way. Education is always critically underfunded, yet reading these comments I understand why.

TomWheatley

Not exactly clear per the discussion floating out.

https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/federal-vs-private

If you apply for financial aid, your school will likely include student loans as part of your financial aid package. It’s important to understand what types of loans you are offered. Generally, there are two types of student loans—federal and private.

Federal student loans and federal parent loans: These loans are funded by the federal government.

Private student loans: These loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

gary4books

Tom: How about a list of jobs where we need workers and paying students to go to school (tuition and living expenses)? This will fix two problems. Of course they need good grades to stay in school and will need to work in that job for so many years to earn the tuition and expenses.

micky

How many "spring break" vacations were made with loan money, just wondering ??

Greg F

I may grump about this subject, but GUILTY as charged.....but I paid it off with interest...no freebies here.

Greg F

Why do we need a second letter on this? There was one already and plenty of comments that could simply have been added to that discussion. Yet, FNP decides to post more on the same thing. So, since you put this here, I will repeat my comment from before: Where is the forgiveness for all those who've paid them already through hard work, diligence and smart decisions over often what is decades, even after attempting to refinance with them taking it down from 9.25 to 9.0? Do we not then congratulate those who've made that struggle rather than simply fork over a sh*tload of cash to people who've often made bad decisions like getting a masters in social studies or photography or others that will NEVER see an income to justify the expense? Are we paying off loans for those who've misused them for vacations, big-screen TVs, cars, booze and whatnot? I know MANY who've done just that instead of using it for what it was intended....MANY!!! Do we also then forgive those who are "lifer" students with no intention of graduating? I know enough of them too...20+ years of school with no intent on ever paying anything back, ever. We need to more squarely aim at phony-baloney for-profit colleges like Phoenix U that offer degrees worth about 2 squares of toilet paper...or Trump U who's founder is one of the bigger crooks out there with thousands of fraud charges against him and which any degree is worth less than those 2 squares of TP. I don't mind that GIs get free tuition for their service. I also don't mind specific programs for teachers who are now under the gun from that a**hole DeVoss and the Trump agenda to not pay them what they agreed to for years of service in crap areas in exchange for their loan to be forgiven. There are other programs. How about a program like that for SCIENTISTS and DOCTORS in hard-to-fill areas? That's probably well worth it. I don't see that blindly paying off that chunk of debt (in the trillions, not billions) to people who have spent everything at the mall or in a house that's way too big (also know many of them) instead of working their azz off pay the debt they took on voluntarily. We also should go after employers who don't pay fair wages to start with and shed politicians who think trickling down wealth works. It doesn't. Ask a stupid question, you'll get an earful...and deserve it.

Dwasserba

I don't believe it can happen, up to the present day too many are familiar with situations you describe and have some simmering resentment.

shiftless88

So basically you want everyone to suffer like you did and assume everyone is in the same position you were/are? And education is an investment that benefits society, unlike a TV.

bosco

I love it when government comes up with a new way to spend my money by rationalizing that it will pay for itself. How did that work out with Obamacare?

Greg F

Better than any trickle down like your side loves so much.

bosco

See your rant of 7:43 above for an argument for trickle down (capitalism) instead of just wiping out inconvenient debt that people take on knowingly (socialism).

public-redux

I thought the rap on Obamacare was that it cost individuals and families too much money. And you’re saying it was too inexpensive. When did the talking points change?

Greg F

Bonzo....we would not have this level of debt if it weren't for voodoo economics (Bush I's name for it). We gave the repayments to already wealthy people via trickle down and Trump's latest tax giveaway. You can keep throwing them, and everyone else will keep hitting them over the fence. Your side is the problem with education, period.

bosco

Public, where did I say it was too inexpensive? I'm saying that one of the selling points was that Obamacare would pay for itself. Has there ever been a government program that "pays for itself"?

francesca_easa

Forgive 15% of the debt. Force lenders to slash interest rates in half. Rope in the champagne tastes of universities. No need for student bookstores, coffee shops, gyms and concert halls when most of these amenities exist in the towns already. Colleges have been feasting on money provided by government loans to students for too long.

Thewheelone

good one, francesca_easa! Concert halls house music student classrooms and recitals, so that one should stay. Not sure if they could do without bookstores...

francesca_easa

Wheel, they can order those books through stores like Barnes & Noble or even a local bookstore like Curious Iguana. Unless the college is in the boondocks, what is gained when college students have a self contained environment when they never have to leave the compound for basic services? Isn't it better that they interact with the community around them? Plus we all know that colleges do a hefty markup on products they sell.

threecents

My kids seldom get their texts from the school bookstores, as they can often get them from Amazon or other sources cheaper.

Greg F

That may be fine, but teachers often (at the school's insistence) are forced to use only more recent versions where things are changed up just enough you can't use an old one.

threecents

My point was that school book stores are not the only place that most textbooks can be purchased, and often cheaper sources can be found - whether or not new editions are being used. Some students use the school book store only because it is convenient.

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed three. My kids got a book list from their various schools citing the edition of the book that the professor would be using, and we would shop on Amazon with a significant savings, even with new texts. If they were books out of the major that would not be kept, the books could be rented from Amazon at about a tenth of the purchase price, and then returned after the semester is over. The only thing we get at college bookstores anymore is school logo merch, and not much of that.

MD1756

There are thing colleges should do to lower costs, but that is separate from loans. Interest rates on loans are to a certain degree, based on risk. It seems like the delinquencies of student loans are proving that the interest rates were appropriate. Maybe parents should do a better job of planning in order to support their children through college or college students needs to pick majors that will lead to good jobs.

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed MD1756. College loans are unsecured loans (no collateral). If you default on your mortgage, they foreclose on your house. If you default on your car payments, the "repo man" gives you a visit. You cannot send the "repo man" for somebody's brain after they received their education, hence the high interest rates, and inability to shed the debt through bankruptcy. Avoid such loans like the plague, just like credit card debt. For those that dug themselves into the hole, there are debt services that can help with budgeting and repayment. Making minimum payments just extends the debt forever.

public-redux

Second City had a comedy sketch in which people who defaulted on their student loans had their education repossessed. The repo agents took away their NYT and WSJ subscriptions and replaced them with Reader’s Digest. Took away their fine wines and gave them Coors, etc.

drippeon

Trillion, not billion

threecents

[thumbup]Drippeon

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