Thursday, March 19, 2020

Tighten Up on Student Loans

Shortly before Elizabeth Warren dropped out, a man confronted her about forgiving $1 trillion+ in student debt. “My daughter is getting out of school,” he said. I saved all my money. She doesn't have any student loans. Am I going to get any money back?”

“Of course not," Warren said.

“So you're going to pay for people who didn't save any money, and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?” he said.

As The Washington Free Beacon reported it: “Warren told the man her policy would not disadvantage him, but he described how he and his daughter sacrificed to avoid going into debt, while others spent money on cars and vacations. ‘My buddy had fun, bought a car, went on vacations. I saved my money," he said. "He made more than I did. But I worked a double shift, worked extra—my daughter worked since she was 10. So, you're laughing.’”

“No, I'm not,” Warren said.

“Yeah, that's exactly what you're doing," he said. “We did the right thing, and we get screwed.”

I could identify with that guy and so could millions of other Americans — and not just fathers. Anyone who has struggled for years, decades even, to pay off student loans would be pissed at being forced to pay off other people’s student loans through higher taxes.

While I wasn’t among them, there are people who know exactly what they want to do after graduating from high school and they follow that career path for the rest of their lives. A week before classes started in September I enrolled in a community college that September but had no idea about what to major in, so I dubbed around liberal arts courses for a couple of years. State-subsidized tuition was very reasonable and I could pay all my expenses with a part-time job during school and working full-time over vacations and summers. Classes were easy and I did the minimum. With no particular goal other than maintaining a student deferment (the draft was still on), I dropped out after Nixon reduced American involvement in Vietnam enough that getting drafted became unlikely.

After working various jobs for a couple of years I decided to become a teacher, so it was back to school for a couple of more years while continuing to work full-time. After obtaining a teaching position, I attended graduate school and paid for that myself as well by working additional jobs during summers. I never took out any loans and never got help from parents either. As a husband and father, I took out loans to help my children to go to college and they took out loans as well. Then my wife decided to go back to school and she took out loans. It took years to pay them all off.

As an undergrad I rushed off after class to work the 2nd shift while many of my fellow students went partying. Some of them had prosperous parents. Others had taken out loans. I graduated with no debt, lots of work experience, and time-management skills. Too many of my fellow students just prolonged their adolescence four more years, and not a few took six or more years to finish because they partied so much. Should their student debts be forgiven? Certainly not.

Unless they’re in STEM majors, today’s students are indoctrinated by leftist instructors, graduate with negative views of capitalism, and are more likely to vote for socialist candidates according to polls cited by They’re taught to believe old white guys like me are enemies of everyone else and responsible for virtually all of the world’s historical ills — especially any suffered by women and minorities. Some still work their way through as I did, but most do not. They’ve become over-reliant on government assistance in the form of grants and loans. Should their student debt be forgiven? Certainly not.

They’ve also come to view college as a “right” just like “free” medical care. They think a lot of things should be free because they haven’t learned that nothing is free. They believe Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren when they claim that all we have to do is raise taxes on “the rich” and on “Wall Street” and it will all be paid for. They’re not taught that “the rich” are not only paying their “fair share”; they’re paying the vast majority of all income taxes collected each year. Neither do they learn that 50% of Americans aren’t paying any at all. Not only do they pay nothing, they actually get checks in the form of Earned Income Tax Credits.

Colleges charge more and more for teaching less and less to students who think themselves entitled. Grants and loans should be tied to performance by students in majors that guarantee employment after graduation. Those in majors like Art History, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and other dubious subjects should pay their own way.


Ted Ropple said...

OK, Boomer! LOL. Couldn't resist, Tom- spot on article.

Nick Peace said...

Let's see, looking at the UNH website
1 year in-state tuition = $15,520
1 year mandatory fees = $3,418
1 year room and board (double room) - $7,660
1 year meal plan = $4,582
1 year books (estimate) = $1000
TOTAL = 32,180

That's a lot better than I thought. (I should have gone to UNH!) Note that out-of-state tuition costs an extra $17,340 making the total $49,520. So let's just call that 50K, which I think is more in line with averages nation-wide. Multiply by 4 years = $200K.

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that back when you were going to school, an undergraduate degree didn't cost anywhere near as much.

If you really wanted to focus your attention on something worthwhile, you should have asked WHY an undergraduate degree costs so much. Does it make sense that a new graduate, someone in their early twenties just starting out is saddled with $200K in debt? Looking at an on-line amortization calculator, a 30yr loan for $200K at 5.25% interest rate = monthly payment of $1,104.

CaptDMO said...

Be advised that "Room and board" implies food as well.
College "Meal plan" SHOULD be an unnecessary additional expense, ESPECIALLY if they serve the "Vegetarian Eggplant Souffle Surprise" on a regular basis!
Any college that has a policy of MANDATORY Campus housing and meal plan for Freshmen is simply confessing they admit folks of insufficient "Adulting class" credits to be
dabbling in higher education.
"Finishing School", without a minimum GPA maintenance requirement, excepted of course.
Such "colleges" will cost MUCH more, best reserved for the children of "famous", and wealthy, societal rent seekers.

Brian said...

One thing that older "waah, it's unfair because I paid for my college" people need to take into consideration is that tuition prices have skyrocketed at a rate 8 times that of wages. So it was much more doable for people like me to not take out loans in the past. Also, should wrongs never be corrected because it wouldn't be "fair" to people in the past?

And what is it about people that are fine with free schooling as long as it arbitrarily ends after grade 12, but god forbid it extends until "grade" 16? Don't they realize it is in societies and the countries interest to have educated citizens? No, college students are not taught to believe old white guys like you are the enemy. That is just your conservative wailing of victimhood, the constant "boo hoo, it's unfair against me" that comes from the far right. College students are given facts and they make up their own minds.

Here are some facts about your Taxes comments:

The income tax is not the only tax collected by the federal government — far from it. Just half of the taxes collected by the federal government come from the income tax. About a third come from payroll taxes — which fall much more heavily on working people, since they’re largely levied only on the first $130,000 or so of earned income.

This means the rich pay a far lower payroll tax rate than regular people. A nurse making a salary of $50,000 per year pays (counting both the employee and employer side) 12.4 percent in OASDI taxes (for Social Security and disability insurance). But a sitcom star making a thousand times that, or $50 million a year, will pay the 12.4 percent only on the initial $130,000 of their salary, working out to a total OASDI tax rate of just 0.03 percent on their $50 million. And because OASDI taxes are only levied on earned income — meaning, money you make from a job — a billionaire investor with a $50 million annual income from dividends and capital gains will pay exactly zero percent in OASDI taxes.

You complain about people that pay no taxes but make no mention of the many corporations that pay no taxes and also get billions in government subsidies.

As for your dubious attacks on certain college degrees (which can certainly pay off financially:, this is why many young people look at the facts of what old people like you say, and think you are an enemy.

Nick Peace said...

I made an error in the labelling. The web page is titled "Room and Board Rates" and contains two separate sections: Residence Hall rates and Meal Plan rates.

Unknown said...