After President Joe Biden announced the administration’s plan in August to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans, I listened to the debates, read the comments on Facebook, and had interesting conversations with my husband about what it all means.
For me, that could very well mean a $10,000 reduction in student loans that I still have to pay after I graduate from Arizona State University. Of course, for a while, I thought that was great. This is a huge sum that would allow me to repay the entire loan sooner than expected.
However, that instant gratification thought faded when I really started looking at the big picture and realizing that it wasn’t as great as those pushing for that big win think.
Even many economists wonder what the plan would mean for an already struggling economy. Would that make inflation worse? Would middle-class families be the ones footing the bill? Many questions began to come to mind.
As the days and discussions continue, I can’t see this as anything more than a political stunt to buy votes before the midterm elections.
Let’s face it: Democrats seem to be learning from the mistakes of the past and taking advantage of Americans’ short attention span by stringing together several PR victories before Election Day. It’s not a bad strategy.
However, the long-term student loan strategy simply shows an administration and Congress as a whole refusing to truly address, discuss, and work to fix a broken system.
I would gladly give up the instant gratification the $10,000 would bring in the name of fixing the system to allow my three children to go to college without the problems our students face today.
Take all those billions of dollars that Biden is willing to shell out to pay off people’s loans and apply them to fix the system. Fix the loan system itself, fix the loan forgiveness system, and for God’s sake do something about the incredibly ridiculous tuition fees our institutions charge.
Do you want to turn things around and make a difference as you claim? Then fix what’s broken.
Although $10,000 is considered this wonderful gift from the government, my question is, what happens next?
Think about it – a student who had a bunch of student loans he was paying off for the bachelor’s degree gets that freebie applied to his loans. In some cases, the amount can even pay them back. And then ? Does that person then go ahead and get a master’s degree? Again, they will sign the same loan documents they signed before.
Once they get tired of repaying those loans, does the government step in again and repay them?
As a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein says, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
The results here will be no different. The instant gratification and happiness that many Americans feel about it today will fade in the expectation of more.
How much money do we have as a country to continue doing this? I’m not sure we have it now.
This measure taken by the Biden administration is nothing more than a small bandage applied to a bleeding wound that requires immediate surgical attention.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor of Colorado Community Media, an eight-county newspaper chain that The Colorado Sun co-owns.
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