Emerald Isle, N.C.
Aug. 28, 2022
TO THE EDITOR:
It’s just roughly 72 days before the mid-term elections and President Joe Biden has announced his next big payoff in order to buy a few votes and thank the nation’s educational industry for their campaign contributions. With the $1.6 trillion in college loans in his crosshairs, the President has decided to forgive between $10,000 and $20,000 of each individual’s college loan debt.
Just recently on the news, various members of the Congressional “Squad” were heard advocating for the forgiveness of college loans. It was noted that several of the “Squad members” have college loans outstanding themselves in the tens of thousands of dollars. It surely will be nice to know, once the “language” in the proposal is finalized, whether or not a member of Congress making $174,000/year will have $10,000 of their college debt forgiven.
As of 2021, approximately 37% of Americans age 25 or older hold a bachelor’s degree. That means that 63% of Americans age 25 and older do not have a 4-year degree.
I’m quite sure that many Americans did not attend college because of lack of funds. Why should those Americans that did not attend college and those who attended college with loans that were paid off have their tax dollars taken to pay off the loans of those individuals that just don’t want to pay their loans? Will we continue to pay off college loans for students that decide to apply for a loan next year or is this deal only pre-election?
Why not have the colleges be responsible and provide the loans for their students? At least then the schools would have “skin in the game.” I’m sure then, the schools would limit loans to those curriculums that they believe would have a higher likelihood of resulting in a good paying job for the student. This would also surely reduce the numbers of loans approved for totally worthless school curriculums! And I doubt seriously that schools would be so quick to forgive such loans.
“Last year (2019), nineteen presidents or chancellors of public universities made one million dollars or more in total compensation. And average total compensation for chief executives of public institutions reached $544,136, according to recent data assembled by The Chronicle of Higher Education” (Forbes 2020). This report did not address the thousands of school department heads, deans, vice-chancellors, assistant vice-chancellors across this nation that can easily have compensation packages ranging from $200,000 to $600,000/Yr.
“The most total compensation in 2019 for a public university CEO was Mark P. Becker at Georgia State University, who made $2,806,517” (Forbes, 2020).
The college loan program and the level of university and college administrator’s compensation packages have only helped fuel the staggering increase in college tuitions. Many of these schools have endowment funds in the billions of dollars. And let’s remember that the vast majority of both public and private universities and colleges enjoy tax-exempt status.
Forgiving college loans will only serve to add to current inflationary pressures and increase the US debt or require additional taxes. Though, on the Democrats positive side, it could just be enough to keep them in power.
It wasn’t long ago that for the administration in the White House to hand out between $300 and $500 billion in gifts required a vote in Congress. Unfortunately, today, all it takes is for the President to wave a wand.
STEPHEN F. BACH