To the Editor:
Over the last 30 years college and university enrollment has increased 300%. President Biden’s recent ploy to forgive $10,000 in student loans ($20,000 if you have a Pell Grant) for those who make under $125.000 was done illegally without Congress. It is a slap in the face of everyone who worked to pay off their student loans or parents who worked two, three jobs to pay for the children’s education.
This has nothing to do with blue-collar working-class individuals. For many it will lower student loan balances for financially able families to help cover college costs. Government does not have the legal right to transfer incurred debt of private citizens on to the backs of all taxpayers. This is strictly a ploy to get votes for the midterms.
Like much of what the Biden Administration has done by ignoring the law, Student Loan Forgiveness will be contested in the courts where it will be overturned. The problem is that will not happen before the November elections and for those who believe they are going to receive $10,000 it will be a disappointment. Unfortunately, the White House does not even know the true cost of Student Loan Forgiveness. Their best guess is $300 billion. At $300 billion it will cost each of us who pay taxes $2,200. It could reach well beyond this number. Estimates have been between $500 billion to one trillion. It will do nothing to prevent colleges and universities from raising costs. The only way to pay for this is raising taxes.
What his administration should do is address the cost associated with overcharging for tuition and room and board which is a direct cause of government financing and organized labor intervention. These institutions have no skin in the game. Government doles out billions of dollars in loans while colleges and universities capitalize on collecting this government money lent to individuals who may or may not be able to afford it with no obligations other than to dictate tuition and housing costs. Organized labor benefits by their support of government. In return they get to add thousands of administrative jobs and tenured teachers in a never-ending cycle.
Like all loans borrowing, money for education means the borrower has contractually obligated themselves to pay it back plus interest. From my own experience it took 13 years to pay off my undergraduate loans at a job that paid less than $10,000 per year. What this President is doing is immoral and will create future student debt problems. It does not create any incentive for Colleges and Universities to cut costs which would be far more lucrative to students than a $10,000 or $20,000 stipend. It will disincentivize students from working hard to get out of debt. For those who cut back, worked, scrimped, and saved to pay off their loans will now have to cover the cost of those who did not.
William R. Bellotti
Bellotti served as Deputy Labor Commissioner under Gov. John Rowland