Is Rising Student Debt a Government Concern?

 Posted:  June 19, 2014

We all know college graduates who have student loans approaching the stratosphere. We also know college grads who are working at Dollar Store for $10.00 an hour or pushing coffee at Starbucks because they haven’t found a job. We also run into college students around the world using their college loan money to take a fine trip or women who have to use the money to support themselves and their kids after dad runs off with someone else. There are lots of aspects of this story that our fine Senators don’t talk about.

You read the op-eds of Martin Heinrich; you see crocodile tears about costs going up for school and how it is the governments job to see everyone has an affordable college experience subsidized by the taxpayer. Tom Udall doesn’t write op-ed’s because he would be putting himself out but his sentiments are on his web page musings. Both Senators are doing their part by negotiating to bring down the interest rate for student loans and blaming the Republicans for holding it up. It seems that loaning large sums of money to teens who don’t have a job or a credit history should make them have to pay more. Let’s think about this issue more than our Senators have.

When you go to Universities you see lots of buildings. They aren’t cheap buildings. They cost money that comes from tuition, among other things. If colleges weren’t so set on being showcases they wouldn’t have to raise tuition. It costs money to keep these structures maintained year round and school is not a year round experience.

When you go to Universities you find services available that weren’t there before. In the day you barely had a student health center. Now you have departments created for research and establishing relations with foreign countries. You have work out rooms, big pools, twenty four seven security, sports programs that do bring in money to schools, a public relations staff, and a support staff for students and teachers that is extensive. This costs money.

Some of the expense is related to student behavior. You change majors you have to take more classes. You still have room and board to contend with and this is a huge part of the college expense. The presence of loan money guaranteed by the government in and of itself tends to push up the cost of school. What if it takes you five years to graduate instead of four? What happens if you need remedial classes to make up for what you didn’t get in high school? What happens if you drop out and still owe the money?

The real issue is not student debt but an economy that is stagnant, non-existent, and unable to absorb thousands and thousands of new graduates each year. The Senators would be good to address themselves to this problem instead of worrying about a few percent changes in interest rates.

Personally, we are wondering when the mighty Udall or Heinrich start pushing for a massive student loan bailout just like they bailed out Wall Street. That is on the way, we fear.

Big government men like Udall and Heinrich always find reason to create problems and then tell you they are solving your problem for you. Keeping track of their self promotion and selective fact rendering gets really hard to take the longer you watch them do it.

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