Back to Top

Student Loan Forgiveness

TLDR: Who wants to go hunting for perpetrators of the Great Predatory Lending Disaster?

Confession: I did not go to college. There were many reasons for this, but instead, I chickened out and enlisted in the Marine Corps. At that time, I was under the impression that the choice of a military career was a "last resort" direction when you couldn't go on to college to find a "good" career. I have since learned differently.

On August 25, 2022, President Joe Biden announced his three-part student loan relief plan. His announcement made headlines and generated animated political commentary from both ideological sides of the issue. Personally, I could not care less. I did not attend college, and the student loans that I took out to pay for broadcasting school (with the help of my military benefits) were paid off decades ago.

That said, I have high hopes for the efficacy of social safety nets. As a taxpayer, I expect a decent return on my investment. I still know many people from my high school graduating class who went on to college with no idea of what they wanted to do, no plan, and a large wad of loan cash with which they could do whatever they wanted to do. I have always taken a dim view of such financial plans. Yes, college can open doors and it is definitely one path (of many) to better yourself intellectually. I tend toward an appreciation of trade schools, and very specific education tracks for a specific career with a specific plan in mind. I feel that a 'general' education should be more elective, and that a paid-for-education should be targeted toward whatever it is that you want to do as a career, or to do as best you can because you don't know what you need to know starting out in that career (hence, broadcasting, in my case).

"Tough-talking hood boys in pro-team logo knock-offs conform to uniforms of some corporate entity."

Fast forward a couple of decades and I find the expected disappointing results. I know people who still labor under the loans they took out at that time. I also know people who we (the federal "we") sent off to "serve, protect, and defend" under the lure of promises toward educational funding (I was one of those). I also know people who are still, decades later, tied to the educational system, crushed with un-repayable student loans who are just trying to find ways to qualify for extensions and to continue marching on, not for the education that they are at this point merely participating in, but just to kick the can a little longer in hopes of student loan forgiveness while meaningless numbers accrue in accounts somewhere. Others like me have been warning for decades - to no avail - that the old Stafford Loan program (which, thankfully, has been reformed out of existence, but whose damage remains) was financial suicide, that valuable educational degrees were being diluted into oblivion, and that so-called universities were offering degrees in subjects that have no meaningful value whatsoever.

I also confess that I derive some delight in schadenfreude, in seeing people suffer for some of the dumb decisions that they have made because, like myself, that suffering can be the crucible that leads to making better decisions. But as far to the 'political right wing' as that sounds, I still see the value of a social safety net. I see the value of turning unproductive people who are caught in a circumstance of a bad choice into productive tax-paying citizens. In my perspective, being a taxpayer is sort of a universal measure of your personal success (until you get to a point where you can hire a lawyer to help you evade taxes, but that's a completely different conversation). 

"Bleacher-creatures, would-be desperadoes clutch at plausible deniability."

I have a natural predisposition of skepticism for any new social safety net, but I can be convinced. Show me how it works and why it's needed, and preferably a successful trial run, add in some sunset provisions in the event that it doesn't work in actual wide-scale practice, and yes, there is a good chance that I will be able to support such a measure. But I would support it on its merits, not on its intent. 

As a Libertarian, I cannot support the announced federal student loan forgiveness program on the taxpayer's dime. First, because these forgiven student loans are now being viewed as taxable income and we are already paying too much in taxes regardless of what we are told they are being used for. And second, even though I thought it was a stupid idea at the time, federal regulations and student loan programs encouraged what can only be described as "predatory lending" by banks, and no one should remain a victim of that kind of environment for an extended length of time.

"Nail-biting hood boys in borrowed ties and jackets clutching at the straws of respectability."

My largest problem with the federal student loan forgiveness program announced by President Biden is that both the 'predatory' lenders and the educational institutions that profited from this arrangement are essentially being let off the hook without consequences. Where are the perp walks for these people? Where are the perp walks for those who enthusiastically granted predatory loans to unwitting consumers; for those who implemented campus amenities specifically designed to attract those easily accessible loan dollars while at the same time ratcheting up tuition costs that far outpaced inflation for decades; those who minted trash degrees by the dumpster-load in fields that they already knew were over-saturated with workers; and those who outright lied about the earning potential of those utterly worthless degrees?

"Can't do the time? Don't do the crime and end up in the perp walk on TV."

So when you see me vociferously objecting to the announced federal student loan program as we are seeing it implemented now, understand that it is not that I object to those who were obviously taken advantage of obtaining some relief. I do not object to the tiny cracks through which the emaciated prey of the educational and banking industries can escape the over-extended consequences of their foolish acts. I do, however, object to those in the educational and banking industries escaping with billions of dollars that they have accumulated over decades of predatory tactics and trash 'education' programs, degrees, and certificates. And until I see federal agents raiding colleges, universities, and banks for records, evidence, and suspects of the Great Predatory Lending Disaster, I will continue to object.

Please understand; it's not about you (unless you are one of those predators), but I've got a pitchfork and a torch, and you've all got pitchforks and torches. So let's get together with our pitchforks and torches and go where that money went and get some of it back. 

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
Powered by - Political Campaign Websites
Close Menu