First 100 Days: We Must Not Forget Student Loan Reform

Apr 16, 2017 by


As the first 100 days of Trump’s Presidency draws to an end, we must not forget the crisis of student loan debt.

The exuberant fights and smear campaigns by Democrats will likely keep all the attention on Obamacare, taxes and illegal immigration. That makes it very likely that student loan reform will again be lost.

This cannot happen.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are all warning that student loan debt is as dangerous a threat to the economy as the housing bubble was in 2007.

American colleges and universities enrolled around 19 million students this year and after four years most leave with an average of $35,000 in debt. Over a 10-year repayment period at current interest rates, the average borrower will pay back around $48,333. The student loan debt problem has become so onerous that a third of millennials would sell an organ to repay their loans and over half would sell all their possessions.

According to the Government Accountability Office, 25% of student loan borrowers are currently in default, deferment, or forbearance, which equates to about $120 billion of the over $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans.

Since the 1980s, the price of food has increased 151%, the price of energy 154% and the price of health care 401%. Meanwhile, the cost of education has increased 757%. Why? The universities, lobbyists and federal government all profit from the business of higher education, so it goes unchecked.

The Department of Education, higher educational institutions, and politicians are locked into an apathetic and corrupt cycle that is drowning millennials in decades of debt, slowing the economy, and hindering the attainment of important life goals. Real reform needs to be demanded of the above three institutions so the next American generation can become as successful as the last.

President Trump has fantastic proposals when it comes to helping student loan borrowers repay their debts. He would like to have loan repayments be income-driven, where the borrower’s likely repayment would not exceed 12.5% of their income.

This is no new proposal and has support from individuals as varied as Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Trump would also like to open more competition in the student loan market by encouraging more private banks to participate and thus limiting the amount of student loan debt the federal government takes on.

Most importantly, Trump would like to bring the banks and colleges together to decide if the loan will be granted to the student based on factors such as the students major, choice of college, and potential to find a job after graduation.

Finally, Trump wants to “Make Colleges Great Again” by decreasing administration bloat. This would ultimately lead to tuition decreases. If the federal government is going to subsidize student loans then these institutions must be held accountable to invest back into their students.

In a speech to students in Ohio last October, Trump said “we have a lot of power over the college, and they’re not doing the job of cost cutting because they don’t have the incentive cost to cut it because you’re paying for it”.

Trump has some great plans and ideas to get the student loan programs working for everyone, but the hot button headline issues of Obamacare repeal and replace, taxes, and immigration will likely take priority over student loan debt. Those important issues should be handled first, but the crisis of student loan debt cannot be forgotten by another Congress or president. And it’s up to the people to keep the pressure on them.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has been pressed on why the House is only in session 8 days in April when there is so much work to be done. This is absurd and exactly why the government moves so slow.

While, congressional leaders are waiting for issues like Obamacare repeal and replace to clear procedural hurdles, they could — and should —shift focus to student loan debt and cost of education issues so they can be passed right after repeal/replace and tax reform are finished.

The student loan debt in this country is a crisis that stunts borrowers’ earning potential and their ability to save for retirement, buy a house or car, or even start a family. It’s a big reason why the economy is so sluggish right now.

Stopping the student loan debt crisis will help unleash the economy, especially once Obamacare and taxes are lowered, bringing back jobs that have been lost due to globalism. Student-loan debt reform is needed to strengthen the U.S. economy so that the next generation can achieve its own American Dream.

For far too long Democrats and President Obama treated millennials as a campaign donation and a vote, making empty campaign promises. But to Donald Trump they are the future and a vital part of Making America Great Again. Their success is his success, and their future is his legacy. Let’s not forget about their most pressing issues again.

  • La Mastra, a dentist, is a former National Youth Vote spokesperson for the Trump/Pence campaign. He frequently writes on the issues facing millennials.

Source: First 100 Days: We Must Not Forget Student Loan Reform | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis – IBD

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