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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:21 PM

Tell Democratic Leaders: Support forgiveness of student debt

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/forgive_student_debt/



You may have heard that Congress passed legislation that delayed for one year the doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans.

Although Congress didn't pass the indefinite extension of lower student interest rates that over 284,000 CREDO Action members pushed for with petitions, calls and letters to the editor, it did pass legislation that delayed for one year the doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans.1 Many of our progressive allies2 joined this fight, and no doubt it was thanks to all of our activism that Congress took did anything at all to stop the imminent doubling of federal student loan rates.

This was a step in the right direction as it provided millions of America's working class students and their families much needed immediate relief, making sure they are not going to incur additional financial stress in the current fragile economy.

But unfortunately, we haven't even started to make a dent in the student loan crisis -- we merely stopped Republicans from making it much worse. Since 1999, the average student loan debt has increased by 511 percent. 3 That's 511 percent in just 13 years!


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Response to midnight (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:26 PM

1. done... n/t

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:49 PM

2. "...for [those] who have already paid 10 percent of their discretionary income for ten years"

So this proposed legislation would require someone to pay 10% of their income for 10 years straight before their loan could be forgiven? Is that gross or adjusted income? If gross, then if a person makes $30,000 they would need to pay $30000 in order to have their loan be forgiven. Seems to me this means the vast majority of people who really need it would never get it.

A much better solution would be to simply control college costs at public institutions and increase Pell grants to adequately cover the cost of a college education.

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:57 PM

3. I have said it many times, and I'll say it again here.

I strongly believe the massive infusion of federal dollars into higher education via Pell Grants and student loans the last 20 years is responsible for the huge (several orders of magnitude beyond inflation) increase in tuition costs. Higher demand, higher costs. Simple.

Cut ALL of that funding out of the federal budget and you watch. All universities will find ways to greatly reduce tuition getting back to basics. They will have to in order to attract students.

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Response to Southerner (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 04:17 PM

4. Considering that those federal dollars have not increased appreciably against inflation...

I don't think so...

Rather I think it's a complex mix of
[ul][li]Creeping (more like leaping these days) credentialization (i.e. requiring college degrees where none are really needed, requiring graduate degrees when BAs or BSs are more than adequate),
[li]The shared myth that college is necessary for everybody (look at the BLS stats and projections -- there aren't jobs, and won't be jobs for the vast majority of those college grads, and it's even worse for PhDs)
[li]Shifting student priorities (i.e. country club colleges), and,
[li]Greatly increased building and staffing costs for colleges (some justified, some not)[/ul]

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:29 PM

6. Federal dollars have not increased appreciably against inflation? You are VERY, very wrong.

1990: $5 billion spent on Pell Grants

http://www2.ed.gov/finaid/prof/resources/data/table1.pdf

2010: $28 billion spent on Pell Grants!!!!

http://chronicle.com/article/Federal-Grant-Aid/125133/

Inflation total for those 20 years: 67%

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

1990: Total of new student loans issued: $5 billion

http://www2.ed.gov/finaid/prof/resources/data/fslpdata97-01/loandatabook.pdf

2012: Total of new student loans issued: $100 billion!!!

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/2011-10-19/student-loan-debt/50818676/1

By the way, none of things listed in your four bullets would happen if it wasn't for all the new money available.

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Response to Southerner (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:13 PM

10. Interesting how loans went up 100 billion but grants only 28 billion....in the last two years

creating a more indebted population...

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Response to Southerner (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 04:56 PM

14. I disagree.

I think private loans would increase. Professors would get laid off, classes with low attendance would be cut, possibly majors with low attendance would be cut. I also think some colleges would completely close.

I'd also like to see data on which followed what. Did tuition increase first, or did federal dollars increase first?

Tuition at community colleges remains affordable, as does tuition at some public colleges and universities. I think they would become overcrowded.

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:46 AM

12. controlling costs and increasing Pell grants will help future students

 

The crisis right now is the trillion or so in outstanding student loans that students have no way of paying off.

It's not all about going to top universities, majoring in art history and wondering why you can't pay off a hundred thousand flipping burgers.

I went back to school to retrain in allied health. All data said it would be worth the investment. Federal statistics showed 4 years ago (and continue to show today) 14% annual growth in the field.

The University documentation touts 100% employment of graduates from the program. (but they never mention employment at what)

The local hospital told first me, and 2 years later a classmate, the starting salary was $19 and then $20/hour.

Reality: hospitals are cutting back. at graduation, half our class had yet to get interviews, let alone offers, at graduation. All offers but 3 were part time (per diem, 2 days/ week). 1 of the full time offers never materialized. The other was at a much lower level job and temporary (summer).

Oh, and that $20/hour starting salary? Flat out lie; the hr rep inflated the starting salary by 25%...the difference even working 4 days/week would have been enough to pay the student loans *and* save a little money. Take away that difference, and it's barely enough to squeak by on as long as the old car doesn't give out and no other emergencies every happen.

The only reason I'm not in default is the income based repayment program. And now my per diem work has been cut back, as has my classmate who was lied to. The only way I can pay off my loan is to find other work than I just trained for, or lose my home and be homeless and jobless. The only way he can pay off his loan is to go back to commercial fishing until his body gives out.

Other stories from my class are similar. There are far more graduates every year then there are job openings.

Oh, and for the record, he was president of the honors society and we both graduated summa cum laude. B.F.D. I'd gladly give that lying university their effing degree back and be free of the loan. 4 years of my life trashed, but at least I could walk away from this hell.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #12)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 03:32 PM

13. I understand that

I just don't think the 10/10 plan is actually going to help that many people.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:11 PM

5. A big student loan bailout for borrowers would really jumpstart the economy.

It would be a big boost like what all our favorite economists say we need.

Krugman, Stiglitz & Reich isn't it them who are saying we need a big demand-side boost?

Forgive student debt to usher in a new era of American prosperity.

Isn't going to happen while the government is so cozy with Wall St. and the banks . We need to start electing better governments next time.

But it's like we don't really have too many choices when the election comes up. I feel like it's not fair that so many good mainstream ideas are considered inconceivable in our political system just because big money special interests run the government with bought politicians from the two major political parties.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 10:36 PM

7. I get the impression that the job creators AKA those who received all the tax cuts don't want to

create jobs and that they don't want prosperity...

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Response to midnight (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 10:44 PM

8. Sure because they are too busy diving in and out of their swimming pools full of money.

From that point of view everything is awesome.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:10 PM

9. 9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity—so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates. The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman’s ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980.

For the past decade, we have doubled down on this theory of supply-side economics with the tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, which President Obama has agreed to continue for two years.

You would think that whether this grand experiment worked would be settled after three decades. You would think the practitioners of the dismal science of economics would look at their demand curves and the data on incomes and taxes and pronounce a verdict, the way Galileo and Copernicus did when they showed that geocentrism was a fantasy because Earth revolves around the sun (known as heliocentrism). But economics is not like that. It is not like physics with its laws and arithmetic with its absolute values.

Tax policy is something the framers left to politics. And in politics, the facts often matter less than who has the biggest bullhorn.http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-17350-9_things_the_rich_dont_want_you_to_know_about_taxes.html

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Response to midnight (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:46 PM

11. My goodness.

In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.

...How can anyone be so dense.

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