Growing up “back in the day,” parents hoped their children would go to college in order to do better in life as far as career than they did. It was a time when college tuition didn’t cost the same price as a house unless your child was pursuing a medical doctor or dental degree. Times have changed drastically and so has the cost of college even for non-medical students.
While K – 12 education is commonplace, mandatory until a certain age determined by the State and funded by the taxpayers, college is optional — expenses paid by either the parents or students, sometimes assisted with loans. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, frontrunner in New Hampshire, routinely asks attendees to yell out their student loan debt. Yesterday, Bernie Sanders stated that students who have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt “deserve to be ‘bailed out’ by imposing taxes on Wall Street.”
At a rally in Manchester, NH, on Monday, a female crowd member yelled out that she faced $200,000 in student loan debt for obtaining a graduate liberal arts degree from Columbia University. Columbia University, located in New York City, happens to be one of the most expensive universities in the nation. This private four-year institution charges approximately $49,138 per year while the average four-year private institution costs $24,269 annually.
The University of Pennsylvania boasts the highest cost for a four-year public institution at $17,000 annually; the national average for a four-year public university or college is $7,617.
Speaking at the Palace Theater in Manchester, Sanders stated too many Americans are facing what he terms “oppressive student debt.” At campaign events, people have told him they owe about $300,000 to $400,000 for obtaining a degree to be a doctor or dentist. Sanders claims to hear these stories everywhere he goes.
According to The Blaze:
“I hear those stories at every single place I go,” he said. “We should not be punishing people and forcing them to live under real economic strain for decades because of the crime of getting an education.”
Sanders’ 2016 platform includes a plan to allow people with student debt to refinance their loans to get the lowest possible interest rates, and proposes lowering undergraduate student loan rates from 4.29 percent to 2.37 percent.
“We’re the wealthiest country in the history in the world, people should not be $150,000 in debt for wanting to get an education,” he said Monday.
Excuse me? Punishing people and forcing them to live under an economic strain for decades because of the crime of getting an education? A crime to get an education? Well, the solution is fairly simple to that — if getting an education is a crime, don’t get an education.
On the serious side, parents and children have a choice when it comes to receiving secondary education. If cost is an issue with a particular school, then the choice is either to bury one’s self in debt or choose another institution. Choosing to bury one’s self in debt is a conscious choice to commit to paying a student loan debt in full. The government did not saddle these students or their parents with any debt — they chose to incur it. Interest rates on student loans are already far lower than financing a home or car these days. The key in all of this is “wanting to get an education,” not being forced, punished or living under economic strain imposed by anyone else.
For students who want to be doctors or dentists, the cost for a four-year undergraduate degree, then the cost of medical school, is very expensive, no doubt. General practitioners or primary care physicians charge over $100 for a visit in some locations on average. Specialists can be double or triple that charge. Granted, there are overhead costs in running an office with staff and insurance; but that’s the breaks of anyone who owns their own business.
The choice to pursue a career in dentistry or become a medical doctor rests with the student and their parents. Depending on the school, the costs for the full degree attainment can be calculated to determine how much debt would be incurred.
The Blaze continued:
Sanders admitted that many are skeptical of the feasibility of his plan. “My opponents say, that’s a nice idea Santa Claus,” he said. “What else do you have to give away?”
But Sanders said he plans to pay for it by imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation, or trying to profit off fluctuating values of goods on the market.
“When Wall Street’s greed and illegal behavior crashed the economy, the middle class bailed them out,” he said. “Now it’s their time to help the middle class of this country.”
Well, imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation solves this problem. NOT!! How does this work exactly? He doesn’t really know but is throwing it out there to make these whiners happy. And, if students nor parents want to repay an astronomical student loan debt they agreed to repay, there is always bankruptcy court.
And, the middle class did not bail out Wall Street — the federal government did with the taxpayer dollars. The middle class did not have any input. Those on Wall Street who received bailouts from the coffers funded by the taxpayer should be in jail, which the middle class would have rather seen happen.
As my parents used to say, “A college degree does not guarantee anyone a job. It opens up opportunities you might not have had otherwise.”
These days, a solid trade in a thriving market or college education, means little when college graduates are waiting tables, working in the retail industry, or taking a position for which they are over qualified in order to receive a paycheck. Times are different; however, it remains the same today as it was “back in the day.” Not everyone can get a secondary education for various reasons, including costs. To saddle one’s self with a student loan debt that will be astronomical to repay in this day and age is ludicrous and foolish.
Bernie should explain to everyone why those making the choice to incur a student loan debt for an outrageous amount, then want to be given a “pass” for that choice; deserve to get “relief.” Does a liberal arts degree from Columbia University weigh any more with employers than one from another less expensive school? Probably not. Does a law degree from Harvard mean an individual knows the law and the Constitution? One look at Hussein Soetoro should provide that answer.
It’s difficult to have sympathy for students or parents who incur this much debt on “education” knowingly, then turn around and complain about the cost of repaying the loan with interest, which is lower than buying a home or car. As they say, “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” It’s good advice in life for any scenario. It’s weighing cost versus reward. Students and parents need to realistically look at education today versus the job market and choose accordingly. If the choice is to incur the debt, then, the responsibility is upon the parents or students to repay their obligation since the estimated cost is known up front. No additional government intrusion in the form of a tax should be implemented to help deflect the responsibility of those making a conscious, informed choice.
In fact, less governmental intrusion might help bring costs of everything in the nation down since unconstitutional agencies implement pseudo-law through rules and regulations that stifle free enterprise and economic stability, which might affect secondary educational costs. And, costs for secondary education might decrease should the dollar amount of student loans be capped at a maximum based on a percentage of the university costs.
There are better solutions than more government “taxes” no matter against whom the tax is assessed. But, that’s the Democrats — Republicans too. The only solution the government ever implements involves taxing some entity or group. In this case, students and parents need to suck it up and repay the loans or don’t borrow money for secondary education in the first place. Everyone in the nation is already “taxed” out.