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Will Student Loan Forgiveness Help the Economy?

What do you think about this act? Are you still paying loans? What's your story?


Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

By Robert Applebaum (Contact)

To be delivered to: Rep. John Kline (MN-2), The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Total outstanding student loan debt in America is expected to exceed $1 TRILLION this year. Millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy continues to sputter. Support a REAL economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170).

Since 1980, average tuition for a 4-year college education has increased an astounding 827%. Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%. 

In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 Trillion. 

In short, student loan debt has become the latest financial crisis in America and, if we do absolutely nothing, the entire economy will eventually come crashing down again, just as it did when the housing bubble popped. Reasonable minds can disagree as to the solutions, they cannot, however, disagree on the existence of this ever-growing crisis, as well as the unsustainable course we're on towards financial oblivion. 

As a result of more than 30 years of treating higher education as an individual commodity, rather than a public good and an investment in our collective future, those buried under the weight of their student loan debt are not buying homes or cars, not starting businesses or families, and they're not investing, inventing, innovating or otherwise engaged in any of the economically stimulative activities that we need all Americans to be engaged in if we're ever to dig ourselves out of the giant hole created by the greed of those at the very top. 

Now for the good news: there's finally hope on the horizon! Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, in the House of Representatives - legislation designed to lend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt. 

For a brief summary of H.R. 4170's main provisions, please copy & paste this URL into your browser: 

To read the full version of the actual bill itself, please go here: 

To read answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, please go here: 

Student loan debt has an undeniable and significant suppressive effect on economic growth. The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 directly addresses this enormous boot on the neck of the middle class and represents a glimmer of hope for millions of Americans who, with each passing day, find that the American Dream is more and more out of reach. 

Therefore, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that Congress bring H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, up for consideration and commit to holding a straight, up-or-down vote on it this year. Thereafter, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that President Obama sign this legislation into law.

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Comment by Ragingmountain on June 20, 2012 at 7:11pm


   Regards "Wackonomics," that is the type of financial policy-making for the purpose of generating VOTES in whatever election is due in the foreseeable FUTURE.  Ala 2012 PRESIDENTIAL type?

   The ELECTORATE REALLY NEEDS to smarten up as to who is saying what, and HOW it is being told.  Nancy Pelosi legislation style is NOT needed.  Nor is the concept of either letting the RICH pay for it all.  The alternate concept of all OTHER people SAVE the rich and CORPORATIONS, are to pay taxes, ala Leona Helmsley; is rather dumb a swell.

   Right now, the voters are faced with two unpleasant choices:  #1: Elect Dems in the top offices, and continue as we are now; losing even MORE ground regards economic  recovery, and job creation.

   #2:  Elect the GOP into the top positions, and we have higher taxes on the lower wage earners, shirking of corporate tax revenue, but MORE tax BREAKS at all levels of government.  We also have shortening of some social programmes' funding.  A very dicey set of problems to deal with.  The concept of the "Government has all the money needed," is a thought that needs to be purged. 

   Money is a RESOURCE, and is LIMITED.  Hence how to BEST USE a limited resource? 

   THAT, folks is the RUB.



Comment by Gab Gomez on June 19, 2012 at 5:49pm

I pay my bills, pay my loans and pay my taxes. My cars are paid off, paid cash for the last one.  Paid off my student loans with no help from Uncle Sam!   Where is my relief?   Why do the people who pay their obligations have to stand at the end of the line and pick up everyone else's tab?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?  If you don’t pay, you will be forgiven.   If you do pay, you are stuck!  What kind of Wackonimics is that?

Comment by Ragingmountain on June 13, 2012 at 12:40pm



   I AM surprised at your position on this matter.  Frankly, I find it rather repugnant to let all these borrowers skate on THEIR responsibility to REPAY borrowed funds.  The "free lunch" died years back, but then the world of academia has problems with reality.

   Mr. Glenn has a MAJOR argument.  I, would have wanted MANY times to have partaken of SOME college courses, since being forcibly retired, 12 years ago.  The per-credit-hour costs were prohibitive, and the forecast for jobs in the area I wanted (Paralegal), was stated by the Bureau Of Labour Statistics as being flat and projected to decline in the future. I think not, as Paras are doing working NOW, that was restricted TO LAWYERS, only.

   As to forgiveness, I say, RE-WRITE the TERMS of the loan package.  The nation is COMPOUNDING this problem ANNUALLY.  High School students are scurrying to enter college in Sept., 2012.  College grads of 2012, are desperate for a job IN THEIR FIELD.

   With continuing sluggish job creation, college is no longer a true goal to bountiful employment.  Employers are often fickle. They cry for grads, but WANT EXPERIENCE.  A very rare "bird" in a 20-something package.

   China has succeeded to be THE "MANUFACTURER of the World."  As a member of my men's club commented when the question  of job retraining was brought to the floor,  "...and, DO WHAT????!!!!"  A tough inquiry to respond to.

   As I see it there are TWO roads to travel:

#1:  "The Short Line:"  Pass this EQUALLY financially RUINOUS legislation, and moan our misfortune at our leisure.  PLUS, foster the notion the GOVERNMENT WILL BAIL US OUT---- ALWAYS!!!! 

   HOG WASH, I say.  HHHHOOOOGGGG WWWWAAAASSSSHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Whose pipe-dream are you partaking?  We BOTH know the "Tooth Fairy" doesn't exist, eh?

   This is MERELY a POLITICAL gambit to foster CONTINUATION of failed policy-making, a/o failed political efforts to REALLY make PRACTICAL efforts for recovery, a REALITY.   Hard to decipher.

#2:  The "LONG" Road:  This involves clamping down on the ENTIRE educational spectrum.  Getting better management tools in the process for evaluating teachers as to USEFULNESS in the classroom.

   We have to CHANGE the focus that a "college edjumacated" grad IS qualified to solve ALL PROBLEMS.  BUNK!!! 

   SUBJECTS taught, MUST be useful in the REAL WORLD.  Not all H.S. grads are college material; regardless of academic standing.   How useful is it for the MAJORITY of secondary students to take Chemistry, and Chem. Lab?  How many such positions EXIST in the companies CONNECTED TO all sectors of Chemistry?  Manufacturing is the LAST part of the picture of taking an idea for a cure-all from a thought, through research,  trials, and approvals, BEFORE there is PERMISSION to be placed on a retail shelf, or restricted to a controlled issuer. 

   My "Rule Of Thumb" circles around two numbers:  95, and 5.  Name any career, and 95% of humanity doesn't really qualify.  That is the person has  SOME talent, but either little interest, gets little satisfaction, or sees no use being part of that career field.

   Now, the 5% is a matter of concern.  Of the 5%, 95% of THESE qualifiers fail the talent test.  Might be "book smart," but "street stupid."  Point is, that career has a talent pool, but 95%, of the 5%, just don't really want, or LIKE, to apply themselves.  That means 4.5 people out of 100, also go away from a job opening.  That leaves .5% as USEABLE candidates.  Their talent make be lacking in some areas, BUT, they can DO the job, and do it PASSABLY, and even SUPERBLY. 

   Bottom line is this:  The "LONG" Road means creating NEW jobs, plan well for the FUTURE, RESTRUCTURE college loans to react TO employment conditions.  That is, in tough times REDUCE minimum due amounts, AND INTEREST rate to NOT become a form of PEONAGE. 

   The EDUCATION community must be better CONTROLLED, and TESTED regularly.  These folks ALSO must test their STUDENTS as to INTEREST PREFERENCES. TEACH PRACTICAL COURSES that "make a buck." 

   These folks also must also be realistic in terms of trying at all levels of NOT being INSULATED to economic conditions.  They must ALSO instruct their pupils that education is NOT limited to the class room, but ALSO life experience is NOT to be shunned.  That POST formal schooling courses ARE available to tap into for additional help.  

   However, the one thing we must NOT TEACH is dependence upon a NATIONAL government to solve our personal problems.  hasn't worked, yet.



Comment by Duck Bill on June 13, 2012 at 12:26pm

These students need to get off their rears and adapt to what is available and pay their loans.  I paid for my student loans without a government bailout.

Comment by Peter Glenn on June 13, 2012 at 11:21am

This sounds similar to the "trickle down" effect from years back.  It just didn't work that way.  On the other hand, I would like to see some thought given to how education can be made more affordable.  People are strapped with debt for years.  But forgiving the loan is not the answer in my opinion.  Everyone wants to be forgiven their home loans, education loans and credit card debts but people need to honor their loan agreements.

Comment by Kelton on June 13, 2012 at 11:02am
It would help MY economy if I didnt have to pay on my son's student loans. I suppose the money that i was using to pay on the loans would then get spent somewhere else (cuz i know me and seriously doubt that i would save it) therefore helping the economy. This being said thou, it would in no way be fair to fogive these loans and then ask taxpayers to foot the bill, which is exactly what would have to happen.

All the folks, like me, who were weak enough to take this "easy money" need to just suck it up and pay thier loans instead of expecting "Big Brother" to come in and bail them out. "Big Brother" aint got no money!

So would it help the economy? I doubt it. Somehow the money would still have to come from somewhere and all that forgiving the loans would do is reaarange who and where the money would come from to repay the debts. Even if the loans were government money, the government cannot make the debts just "disappear", contrary to popular belief.

All this would be doing is exactly what has gotten this country into the finacial shape we are in. Playing games with the numbers. This would create another fiancial problem that would have to be paid for sooner or later, somehow. I'm sure it too would be "kicked down the road".

Yes, forgiving student loans sounds great! Heck yea! But it is just another irresponsble idea and exactly the sort of thing that has this country in shape we are in. Spending money we don 't have, borrowing money we can 't afford to pay back for things like houses that are worth less than we are borrowing. Creating bubbles. Bubbles eventually bust!

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