Amy's been suggesting for years now that while making college more affordable for people there now or for those who are about to enter is a grand idea, it might be nice to think about those of us who've recently left and are struggling with some pretty crippling student loan debt. Loan forgiveness, public service--either of these are fine ideas from our perspective, but hey, we're pie-eyed liberals, always wanting the government to step in and take care of us, right? Conservatives would never advocate for something like this, right?
This might be the only time I ever agree with the right-wing blowhard blogger who has named himself AllahPundit. He links approvingly to a Facebook group calling for student loan forgiveness--not suggesting that the banks take a bath on them but rather that some of the stimulus money pay off said loans:
Forgiving student loan debt would have an IMMEDIATE stimulating effect on the economy. Responsible people who did nothing other than pursue a higher education would have hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars per month to spend, fueling the economy NOW. Those extra dollars being pumped into the economy would have a multiplying effect, unlike many of the provisions of the new stimulus package. As a result, tax revenues would go up, the credit markets will unfreeze and jobs will be created. Consumer spending accounts for over two thirds of the entire U.S. economy and in recent months, consumer spending has declined at alarming, unprecedented rates. Therefore, it stands to reason that the fastest way to revive our ailing economy is to do something drastic to get consumers to spend…Allahpundit continues:
One question, though: Why do they assume forgiven debtors would spend the savings instead of pocketing them or using them to pay off other debt a la tax rebate checks? The answer, maybe, is the sheer amount of money we’re talking about. In my case, forgiving federal loans would save me north of $8,000 a year; toss private loans in there and it’s a cool ten grand. I’d sock some of that away, but with tens of thousands dollars suddenly freed up, I’d also start looking at home prices in the area. Stimulating! Exit question: Who’s onboard?I'm onboard. And I'll go them one better--I don't require, or even request, a full-on bailout. I don't need something for nothing. Just make me a deal whereby I spend a handful of years in the public sector making what people in the field make--teaching in a public school, for instance, since that's where my expertise lies--and in return, I get rid of my student loans. I don't particularly want to teach high school kids--I like my current gig at the university level--but if I have the option to go into a job for 2,3,4 years and get rid of my education mortgage along the way, I'll probably jump at the chance.