President Biden has simply blown it with trying to cancel student loan debt. This is just flat out wrong and its repercussions will last for generations. I see the problems with student loan debt every day and the financial devastation it is causing. This is a real mess and it all starts with the change in the law with the Affordable Care Act, and ends with a disastrous proposal to try and cancel debt. How does the law with insurance coverage impact student loans and Biden's proposal to cancel its debt? Let me explain.
In 2012, I was invited as a main presenter to the AFCPE annual conference, an association of professors and deans in family science and financial literacy, and financial counselors. At the end of my presentation, I warned them about the problems of growing student debt wrecking the financial lives of many past students. The total student loan debt at that time was just under $1 trillion. It is now approaching $2 trillion.
The problem I highlighted was the takeover of the student loan program by the Congress as part of the Affordable Care Act. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. The problem is universities just send their students to the “Financial Aid” department and that usually means signing on loans they have no idea how they work, when they have to repay them, and the total amount they will ending up borrowing. It is a recipe for financial disaster. That is exactly what has happened and it will continue to happen. There is no accountability by the universities. I see it all the time. That's a great deal for the universities!
Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then President Barrack Obama said that this federal takeover of the student loan would save $68 billion to taxpayers, and “…improve the lives of our people for generations to come.” President Obama continued, “That's real money -- real savings that we'll reinvest to help improve the quality of higher education and make it more affordable.” Did that happen? Absolutely not. The opposite happened. We went from saving $68 billion to being charged $330 billion or so.
Nevertheless, salaries of all university employees keep going up on the backs of these student loans that are now guaranteed by the taxpayers. If people really knew how much these professors, deans, and vice presidents make, there would absolutely be a community uprising. There are university vice-presidents, professors and other university employees that are making twice what members of the legislature thought they were making. They have raised their salaries to levels unreal -- all primarily on the backs of student loans. There is nothing to keep them in check. Their money tree is the student loans. I have seen very few at the university level care about the future financial well-being of their students. It is sad to see.
Now Biden is trying to cancel out $330 billion in student loan debt? What does that do? We still have the same problems today and more coming tomorrow and this cancellation does nothing to solve it. The $330 billion estimate is about $2,200 in cost to every American taxpayer. That is a lot of money. And there is more to come. Why don’t colleges have to make big changes? Then to have his press secretary, Ms. Jean Pierre say that the $330 billion in new spending will be offset from $4 billion payments made on interest payments from student loans next year – and is ”economically responsible”. What? As one person commented about this and other economic policies of this administration, "Biden makes Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill."
I agree with several legal experts that don’t think this will hold because Congress must approve it and the Courts will be involved, and eventually put a kibosh on it. But at the very minimum, the damage is done to think that no one has responsibility to pay their debts and continually ask for loan cancellation at any time is going to be multi-generational to correct. I have been seeing for a couple of years and this sentiment has got to stop. I don’t want other people paying for my debts and most people don’t want to be paying other people’s debts.
Every party involved needs to be at the table on this including the universities. The government cannot continually give away money without something in return. The taxpayer’s voice needs to be heard now requesting substantial changes to student loans, or this could be another “financial crisis” which could end up costing many more trillions, further jeopardizing everyone's financial future.