Tomorrow’s deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass a bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is looming. Congress will step down in early August and before that, President Biden wants to pass a $ 3.5 trillion budget that he calls his “human infrastructure” legislation, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Republicans are, unsurprisingly, opposite how to pay the bills and do not want to see the cuts to corporate tax deals made by the Trump administration. But another major piece is missing: As long as the President and Democrats revolve around the issue of canceling student loans, we will not see our economy rebound with the strength and sustainability needed to compete in the long run with countries. like China.
According to Forbes, 45 million borrowers in the United States owe a whopping $ 1.6 trillion in student loan debt, which is now the second-largest category of consumer debt after mortgage debt. Most Republicans seem generally opposed to ridiculous ideas like universal pre-K or the expansion of dental and vision care in Medicare, both of which are in the proposed $ 3.5 trillion budget deal. . And I get it: if babies can’t make enough money to pay for their own toys and child care, they shouldn’t expect the government to step up their extravagant way of life! As for health, honestly, real Americans don’t need teeth to eat soup!
As reasonable as these arguments may be, I think the benefits of canceling student loans have a bipartisan, pro-capitalist appeal that Republicans in Congress overlook. If we want our free market capitalist society to thrive, we must ease the burden on generations of Americans who cannot get ahead financially because of the massive student debt that hangs out on them. When you owe tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, you can’t buy a house, save for retirement, get married, or go shopping – all of the fundamental pillars of spending (and savings) of this Yankee economy is based on.
When I went to law school in 2009, I never thought I wouldn’t be able to repay my student loans. No one submits to three grueling years of 16-hour days of enduring the Socratic Method, describing and reading hundreds of pages of jurisprudence a day, and passing a bar exam while simultaneously believing that they will not be able to. never earn enough money to pay everything back. That is to say nobody plan. Today, however, more than ten years later, I am faced with the terrifying and depressing realization that I will never be able to repay all I owe (and I didn’t even have to borrow for my undergraduate studies. ).
The American oppressive fee system for higher education has not always been so. When my mother went to college in the late 1960s and 1970s, student debt was manageable; even though she came from a family with very limited resources, she was able to work and go to college and my father to law school, buy a house, a car, get married and save for retirement. Manageable student loans are a thing of the past.
If Republican lawmakers want a throwback to the good old days where people could spend their way and pay it off, and if Democrats want to relieve Americans unable to move forward despite their hard work, then we must forgive student debt under these two infrastructure plans. Without it, it is simply not enough.