> A few points about the program:
> - The program forgives $10,000 of debt held by the federal government for individuals who make less than $125,000. It also forgives $10,000 of debt for couples that make less than $250,000, and it forgives up to $20,000 of debt held by Pell Grant holders, who are mostly lower-income borrowers.
> - Biden's student loan forgiveness plan could add $300 billion to $600 billion to the federal debt, economists estimate.
> When you answer, please address the concept of "fairness," in terms of the people who didn't go to college, who went to college and paid off their loans already, or those that worked and paid their way through college. Also please comment on the federal debt this imposes. And finally, please speak to the value of college today if one cannot pay off the loan in order to gain the education, which supposedly allows one to make more money.
> Thanks, take your time, and good luck!
Here are the Blue and Red responses, inline, so far:
Blue: Student Loan Forgiveness. The simple answer is NO. Of all the things Democrats want to do, this one is a very expensive way to affect very few people.
So much of what Biden has accomplished so far (the infrastructure bill comes to mind) are things this country needs, and that affect everyone. They move the country forward. Those are the things the government should be doing. I don't mind Republican opposition the the Student Loan Forgiveness program. But it does bother me that they couldn't get behind the infrastructure bill.
Red: Awesome! Common ground! Fantastic! I salute you for bucking against your party! Good for you!
Blue: I am for America, not party. My party is right more often than not, but not always. I would never vote for anyone who puts party before country. The fact that no republican voted for infrastructure bill (which is required for economic growth) is pure evidence that they are putting party before country.
Red: Hey I am giving you credit for going against your party line. The Inf bill is a different topic – try to focus here.
Blue: My "NO" answer is not necessarily affected by your "fairness" argument, though you have a point. [[ an (attempt at humor) aside: do you think it is fair that if you you enter the country illegally you can get a free plane ride to Nantucket? Or a bus ride to NYC or Chicago? I as an American citizen can't get that free trip. That's not fair either -- you don't have to dignify that with a response]]. My NO is based on the fact that there are so many other things that *need* doing. If people are unwise in how they spend their own money, the government doesn't need to come in and save them. We have other laws for that (e.g. bankruptcy laws). I feel bad for those with a huge student loan debt, but they did that to themselves.
Red: Ahhh, yes that is funny “free rides for illegals.” Of course you know that was done to draw attention to a problem that the feds and northern blue states don’t seem to care about, because it doesn’t impact them (while it is ravaging states near the border). As for free stuff, I think your party is the king of free stuff for illegals (phones, healthcare, voting, etc. As well as plenty of Biden “midnight plane rides”). As well as free stuff in general, of which the college tuition thing is Exhibit A. Your last three sentences are perfect! I kind of want to say…welcome to the Republican Party!!
Blue: Oh my god! Really, welcome to the republican party. First you congratulate me for not blindly following my party, they you say I have to join yours because I don't agree with everything democrats want. I am willing to disagree with my party on occasion. I wish republicans could too. Republicans are very much against helping people in need - they'd rather give tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. We could instead sit down and solve real problems. We could make corporations pay their employees enough so that the government doesn't need to subsidize their wages so they can feed themselves. You can't have it both ways -- tweak laws that help corporations at the expense of their employees and then refuse to help them when they can't afford to live.
Red: Again, I was giving you credit. Take it easy.
Blue: I should add that I DO think the government should continue to have a safety net for those in need (e.g. those that get laid off and can't afford rent) at least until employers are required to pay a living wage. So don't take my argument that the government doesn't need to save those with huge student loan debts to mean that the government doesn't have a responsibility to help people in real need.
Red: Ugh. A backslide here, but ok. “Living Wage.” Does that go for the kid at Burger King? As well as the 50 yr old at Burger King? Do they get paid enough to “live on,” whatever that might be? Totally new topic, so I guess we shouldn’t spiral on this though.
Blue: Your argument is orthogonal to anything. It's a talking point on Living Wage. But it does nothing to further the discussion on how we help the American family. Which came first, Wal-Mart paying too little, or the government having tax-payer paid programs to subsidize those employees. Then does Wal-Mart keep wages low because the government will subsidize their wages? We could force corporations to either pay a living wage, or pay enough taxes to support the government programs that their employees are using. The government programs should be there for when wal-mart lays you off, not for while you work there. Your argument about teenagers making a living wage at Burger Kins is not helpful - but does allow republicans to continue to dodge the issue and not work to fix anything. If someone spends 40 hours a week at burger king, they should not receive any government subsidies. That should make republicans happy. How about joining the democratic party and help us make that a reality.
Red: I think we are mostly in agreement here. . “If someone spends 40 hours a week at burger king, they should not receive any government subsidies” OK. I would like the free market to do the work, so yes, let’s not have the government to solve all of our problems.
Blue: Lastly, an orthogonal point. Kinda like DeSantis who hastily called a special session of his legislature to retaliate against Disney without thinking through about the consequences, I think the loan forgiveness program too has not been thought through. It fixes a symptom, not the underlying problem. I think there is some consensus (at least I believe
it) that an educated electorate helps the whole country. That having a high percentage of college educated adults is good for the country. So we need to find a way to educate more people. We can do that, especially if we encourage people to get useful degrees. Or we could better educate them in K-12. All of that helps the *whole* country. The loan forgiveness program is a hasty solution that wastes money that could be used to better educate K-12 graders, and only fixes a symptom and not the problem.
Red: Hmmmm. Why not let the free market decide whether people need a college education or not? I think there is a valid argument that says many of the college educations are WAY over priced now, and many of these kids coming out of college are straddled with ridiculous loans and might not even be able to get a job in that field. Meanwhile the trades need tons of people, it is relatively cheap to get trained, and you can make good money. So why not let the market help adjust the prices colleges charge, the fields they train people for, and how many kids go into those professions? That is how you get a balance there.
Blue: I don't think we are saying anything different here. But you went off on a tangent without addressing my comments. First yes, the free market will eventually stop people from geting useless degrees and taking on so much debt. Especially if we don't bail them out (again, I think this program is unwise - not unlawful, unwise). So we agree on that. But do you think it is good for the country to have an educated electorate? And if so, do you think (based on the above) that Fox News is helping or hurting our ability to keep people informed?
Red: Educated Electorate – yes. But that doesn’t equate to “going to college.” A person should be “educated” enough coming out of high school. Then they can choose where to go from there. College is becoming ridiculously overpriced, especially with many schools just becoming Marxist echo chambers with little real learning going on.
Biden trying to buy votes with “free college money” only exacerbates the underlying problem. Colleges have gone crazy with tuition rates and throwing more money into the mix will make it worse, not better. If a college education is not worth the price tag, and the loan, then people should not do it. That is how the free market works.
Blue: If you think this is a way to buy votes, it is very ineffective. The number of people who would receive benefits is insignificant. We are talking about fewer than 350K people. Again this isn't the wisest program - for any reason - for democrats to be pursuing. But most certainly (other than a republican talking point) is not a good way to buy votes.
Red: And yes, it is definitely not fair to people who don’t go to college, paid off their loans, or paid the fees directly. And yes it adds a ridiculous amount to the federal debt – right at a time when things are about to implode too, by the way (only a matter of time).
It is also not the American way. As an individual, you make your choices and you reap the benefits or misery of those choices. You said it nicely: . “If people are unwise in how they spend their own money, the government doesn't need to come in and save them” I am going to marinate in that a bit, because it gives me a new hope for you (as well as the country in general)! I mean that in a good way my friend. Bravo! Well said!
Blue: I'm fine with that. I'll be looking for something I can pin hope for you on. ;-) So, we agree that the government doesn't need to bail people out for their own bad decisions. Can we agree that corporations should pay people enough so that the government never needs to subsidize an employee who works 40 hours a week?
Red: No, we can’t. I am a free market guy, not a government control guy. You are free to work for anyone you want. If they don’t pay you enough, go work for someone else. Gain skills. Research options.