Remember the pictures I posted in the post A few pictures from the Denver Flea Party? Two of the “demands” of the fleabaggers are “Free college education” (Demand #4) and “Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now!” (Demand #11)
Looking at the fine gentleman from this picture makes me wonder: in just what did he get his degrees, and why would he go $50,000 in debt for two degrees which apparently bore no resemblance to the economic realities of entering a profession upon graduation?
Well, it seems that the fleabaggers have an ally in the President of the United States. In March of 2010, he signed a bill which has the federal Department of Education as the originator for 100% of all guaranteed student loans. And now Mr Obama is pushing a measure to provide some student loan relief.
One of Obama’s proposals would advance the start date for a special loan repayment program based on income that aims to help struggling graduates.
The way the Income-Based Repayment Plan works now is that graduates who enroll get charged 15% of their monthly discretionary income to pay off loans, with debt forgiven after 25 years.
Congress passed a law set to go into effect in 2014 that would drop the monthly payment for loans originated that year to 10% of discretionary income and would forgive all debt after 20 years.
The administration would improve on the law by fast-forwarding the new terms to take effect in 2012 on loans originated that year, White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes noted Tuesday.
So far, about 450,000 students are enrolled in the income-based repayment plan, but hundreds of thousands more are eligible.
OK, so who is going to have to pay for all of this? Yup, you guessed it: it will be paid for by those former college students, now working people, who did pay off their student loans, and those former college students, now working people, who worked their way through school without taking student loans, and working people who never went to college, and working people who would like to see their kids attend college but know that they can’t, and working people who are simply not college material or who chose trades which don’t require college. President Obama would burden the working class of America to help students who generally come from somewhat better off families.
Kind of looks different when you look at it that way, huh? One of my electronic friends wrote, in an e-mail on the subject:
I worked three jobs while in college and was fortunate enough to graduate without indebtedness. Although my own son was able to attend school on a full-ride scholarship, he earned the money for other expenses via a paid internship (not related to the school) throughout three of his four years at SMU. The firm where he worked after graduation paid his grad school tuition — via a contract that he would continue to work for the firm for a certain number of years — but he also worked 20 hours a week as a consultant to pay his living expenses. In both our situations, the work enhanced, rather than detracted, from the school experience.
I am sick of the sight and the sound of the protesting students as they complain about their loans, but admit that they “don’t have time to work” while in school. Spoiled rotten lazy students = unproductive workers. Those students owe the taxpayers the money they have borrowed. Obama needs to tell them to buck up and repay their loans instead of joining in their whinefest.
Donald Douglas wrote about this three weeks ago:
Ezra Klein gives it the old college try, but I’m not buying it. See: “Who are the 99 percent?” (via Memeorandum):
College debt shows up a lot in these stories, actually. It’s more insistently present than housing debt, or even unemployment. That might speak to the fact that the protests tilt towards the young. But it also speaks, I think, to the fact that college debt represents a special sort of betrayal. We told you that the way to get ahead in America was to get educated. You did it. And now you find yourself in the same place, but buried under debt. You were lied to.
I don’t think so. Scroll down at the website, “WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT.” I honestly don’t know what people expect? What are they thinking? They attend college, perhaps for a Bachelor’s degree, and graduate with $100 thousand in student loans? That’s gotta be the definition of insanity. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Political Science at the age of 30 with no debt. None. Zero. Nothing. My first year of graduate school I continued working part time on Saturdays for extra income. That allowed me to borrow less that I could have in federal student loans. Then by the second year of the program I won a four-year fellowship that paid for tuition along with a stipend and teaching employment (guaranteed two TA assignments per year). I quit my part time job to attend my studies. I graduated with my Ph.D. with about $60 thousand in loans. I’ve been paying them down ever since. It was a good investment. But I would’ve never taken out that kind of money for a Bachelor’s. These young people haven’t been betrayed by the poor economy. They’ve been lied to and ripped off by all the people who told them they could borrow their way through undergraduate college rather than pay their own way.
It was a good investment for Dr Douglas because he’s now a college professor of political science, though some of Dr Douglas’ friends on the left are trying to get him fired for speaking his mind.
There are plenty of good colleges out there that are not that expensive, and there’s not one thing wrong with someone starting his collegiate education at a community college. It seems pretty simple to me: if you can’t afford a college with a $40,000 a year tuition, perhaps the wiser course of action would be to attend a less expensive school rather than load yourself up with huge debts. For some majors, where there is a significant demand and high pay — engineering, computer science, and pharmacy would be examples — and it can be reasonably foreseen, rather than wishfully or hopefully, that such debt can be paid off, taking on such debt might be a wise investment.
But some of the investments made have been poor ones, as the gentleman in the photograph can seemingly attest. It’s got to be hard on him to be saddled with $50,000 of student loan debt, but why, I have to ask, should the taxpayers take care of it for him?