Forgoing student loans is like buying votes | Columns

RUSHVILLE — Have you noticed President Biden starting to talk about student loan forgiveness again? Why do you think this is so at this precise moment? Have crowds of recent college students started picketing the White House to demand that the money they themselves borrowed from the United States government not be repaid? On what basis should a student who borrows money from the government not have to pay it back? More importantly, why shouldn’t students or, more specifically, former students have to repay the money they knowingly borrowed in the hope that it would be repaid? Keep in mind here, dear taxpayers, it’s our money that President Biden is talking about former students who don’t have to be reimbursed too!

But not everything is as sparkling as it seems at first glance. Keep in mind, so far Joe Biden has only talked about forgiving $10,000 per borrower. More than 8 million people owe the government between $40,000 and $100,000 in student loans. But whether President Biden is following through on a certain amount of student loan forgiveness and by how much — while some members of Congress have urged Biden to forgive $50,000 of debt per borrower — still begs the question of why at this time. particular ? A little introspection should bring us the most logical answer: votes in the midterm elections! This is a classic example of vote buying, no more, no less. If the president forgives $10,000 or more per student borrower now, or so it is believed, they will be inclined to vote for all the Democratic members of Congress whose seats are up for grabs next November. You can just hear it, “I voted to forgive your crushing student loan burden, so you should re-elect me to Congress!”

How much does a $10,000 student loan cost anyway? Just erasing that many things would result in the cancellation of up to $429 billion. Broad, at least $50,000 student loan forgiveness could affect 45.3 million borrowers with federal student loan debt who owe the government $1.54 trillion.

While the student loan forgiveness campaign sounds good, that’s not quite what he meant. Here’s what he actually meant, but didn’t say: Only students attending a public college or university would be eligible. Only students at historically black private colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions would be eligible. You would only be eligible if you use the loans for undergraduate tuition. You would only qualify if you earn less than $125,000 per year. Biden’s plan referred to phasing out that benefit but offered no further details. So, it’s not quite all student loans, and especially not for graduate or professional school loans.

Here are some of the reasons critics say debt cancellation is unfair (keeping in mind the real reason President Biden wants to forgive student loans, midterm votes). Critics argue that those who did not go to college or those who have already paid off their student loans would not benefit from student debt cancellation.

Research from a January 2022 Brookings Institution study argues that cancellation would disproportionately benefit wealthy student loan borrowers because those with the highest debts have typically attended graduate school.

The one-time cancellation does not solve tomorrow’s student debt problem. If all student debt were eliminated, overall debt would return to current levels by 2035, according to July 2021 estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

So, again, why this particular proposal at this particular time for this segment of the population that currently has student debt? Vote! That’s the only possible reason given Biden’s poor performance.

Finally, to make the issue even harder to understand, here’s what the official Federal Student Aid website adds to the mix: “It’s important to remember that outside of the circumstances that may qualify you for your loans are cancelled, canceled or cancelled, you remain responsible for the repayment of your loan, whether or not you complete your studies, find a job related to your study program, or are satisfied with the studies you have paid for with your Even if you were a minor (under 18) when you signed your promissory note or received the loan, you are still responsible for repaying your loan.

There are a ton of ways to get your student loan forgiven, from closing your school to canceling a teacher’s loan, so getting a loan forgiven isn’t as easy as it might seem at first glance. But when you ask yourself, “Why now?” the only politically rational answer boils down to a single sentence, “Votes in the midterm elections”. Personally, I don’t think it will matter. Too many other things have gone wrong.

It’s —30— strong this week.

About Judith J. George

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