Forgiving Student Loans

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Dear Editor,
The median income in the United States is falling, but college tuition is climbing. In the U.S. as a whole, median income has fallen 7 percent since 2000. In the state of Missouri, median income in 2014 was 9 percent less than in 2000, while tuition and fees to public colleges and universities cost 52 percent more, according to ProPublica.org. In the country as a whole, the cost of tuition and fees at public institutions has risen 80 percent during the same time period.
Tuition and fees for University of Central Missouri was $4,398 in the 2000-2001 school year. In the 2014-2015 school year, that cost was $7,265, an increase of about 65 percent, according to ProPublica.org.
If the cost of education is going up and the ability to pay is going down, students will have to obtain larger student loans. Current college graduates are already burdened with debt now, but it’s going to be even worse for students who are attending classes now.
Can we do anything about this problem? Yes, we can.
If we go back and look at the economic crash of 2007-2008, we’ll see that the U.S. and the rest of the world were struggling to prop up the economy. In 2009, the U.S. government bailed out the big Wall Street banks with TARP loans and quantitative easing. QE means that the government, through the Federal Reserve, purchased loans that were uncollectible because the borrowers couldn’t pay. The Federal Reserve did this repeatedly, until the Wall Street banks were more stable. The TARP program involved money loans and these funds were paid back in time. The funds involved in the QE process, however, were never paid back. The government essentially wrote them off, according to TaxResearch.org.
Why can’t we do for ourselves what we did for the big Wall Street banks?
The Green Party, with candidates Jill Stein, M.D. and Ajamu Baraka, Ph.D., want to do exactly that with student debt. They propose that the government, probably working through the Federal Reserve, would buy the student loans from the holding entities (Sallie Mae, for instance), and then just forgive the loans. These debts will be gone.
What would be the results of this action? The effect on the individual debtor would be immediate and clear. He or she would have a better credit rating because of less debt and would have funds to actually buy things. The effects on the overall economy would take a little longer to become apparent but would be inevitable. More people would be buying things, thus increasing overall demand. This would force more production, which would create more jobs. A boost to the entire economy would result.
We could do this if we put the right people into office. Only one political party has a plan to address the student loan debt problem. That is the Green Party.
Vote for prosperity. Vote Green!
Linda Featheringill
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Green Party