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Repaying Student Loans – Life Lesson

Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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President Joe Biden meets with White House staff in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss student debt.

What a mess. If Karl Marx reappeared from the dead, were asked how best to ruin incentives behind capitalism, disrupt and demoralize America, retrain young Americans to forget the lessons of greatness, how best to seed Communism, he could not do better than Biden. Here is the latest.

The Biden White House is preparing to “forgive student loans,” at a level between $10,000 and $50,000, but only if loans were not to be a doctor’s or lawyer’s, and not if the recipient worked up to $150,000 income. Biden already canceled student debts for those with disabilities, as well as deferred payments during COVID. 

As someone who came from nothing and borrowed under federal, state, and private sector bank options to finance an undergraduate and legal education, someone who carried hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for decades until it was all paid off, this pandering – vote buying binge – is a mistake.

Worse than a mistake, it undermines the American Dream – what it means to dream of being a doctor, lawyer, nurse, pilot, educator, scientist, architect, veterinarian, military officer, priest, businesswomen, or political leader, then to dare to invest in yourself, and finally to have the self-respect, personal responsibility, and honor to work hard, finally repaying what you and others trusted you would repay.

Biden throws all that away. The idea of giving away “free” money – incidentally earned by others’ hard work, paid for in taxes, that’s not Biden’s money to give away – undermines the core values, life lessons, historic expectations, and goodness of the American experience itself. Follow me.

By allowing kids to dream, then making real their dreams by offering loans – a means by which they can invest in their own education and future, we do a great service. We empower the dream. By setting the expectation that hard work in college and beyond is required to pay back the loan, we incentivize hard work, self-worth, self-respect, and self-accomplishment.

When the government makes “free” all that money – either ahead of time or by loan forgiveness, the student who would highly value the education as his or her own doing, the product of personal risk-taking, resolve, hard work, and a point of pride, ends up a recipient of educational welfare. 

Put differently, rather than feeling satisfaction and accomplishment in dreaming, daring, working, earning, and repaying the debt that made the dream theirs, they become part of a long hand-out line, a conveyer belt of entitlement, part of federal largess that makes everything easier.

Worse is the process of having to borrow, to account for those funds, to measure the expenditure, to squeeze as much learning from every dollar spent, then timely and properly learn fiscal and individual responsibility by paying these monies back – over time – is all lost. 

The Federal Government becomes a helicopter parent, sweeping in to relieve the student or worker of responsibility – and in this way failing the student or worker, by doing for them that which they had agreed to do for themselves, and what they had planned to learn from by doing.

Is free money alluring? Yes. But was America built on free money or teaching each generation to dream, believe, take risks, work hard, and follow through? 

And if one slips, fails, misses payments, must learn to work out problems, is perhaps forced to make choices, downsize, reorient, or become resilient to achieve that dream, is that bad?

Protections of all sorts already exist: deferred interest, consolidation options, extended repayments, lower interest, public service waivers, and even bankruptcy protection.

Like most Americans of his day, and most today as well, Democratic President Harry Truman was proud to be a risk taker, felt a sense of honor in hard work and made few excuses. Yet the future president also knew failure and resilience and what it meant to be hit hard and recover. He faced bankruptcy and recovered.

Today, the options for managing debt are enormous, and post-COVID even higher than before. The life lessons in ownership, self-confidence, and self-reliance taught by regular debt payment, accountability, follow-through, and a sense of ordered advancement are as real today as they ever were – arguably more important today, as excuses for not being accountable seem to proliferate.

For the Federal Government to imagine that a blanket forgiveness of student debt is somehow a public good that trumps life lessons in borrowing, repayment, and advancing one’s dreams is myopic. Free money sounds good now, but is a politically opportunistic approach to public good, one that elevates dependence on government over learned lessons, the sort that never comes painless.

Notably, the idea that only those in lower paid jobs deserve this forgiveness is also insulting to those who dream big, work hard, and throw themselves at higher mountains and steeper slopes, making them somehow less deserving of this questionable public good. 

Moreover, the idea that dreams should be downsized, that the same kind of relief would not be given to those who hope to save lives, deliver justice, strive for more years to learn to enhance themselves and society – by working to become successful doctors and lawyers, is equally insulting and runs down the American Dream as envisioned by those who aim high.

So, while Biden and Congressional Democrats seem to be on a fiscal bender, an endless spending binge creating greater dependence on the Federal Government at every turn, spending money not theirs on social justice whims, angling to buy votes from whoever will accept their Turkish Delight, it is wrong.

Individual responsibility, fiscal management, aligning dreams, daring, and work to complete the circle, producing individual and societal accomplishment generation after generation is not about giving away free money or about buying votes, but about opening the opportunity for all to get a good education – and upon paying back what they willingly invested in themselves, feeling that salutary sense of success.

Biden’s college and legal education was paid for him, and the rest of his wealth came from the American taxpayer. Perhaps that is why he finds this lesson so hard to absorb. For many, it is simply a life lesson.

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anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

Loosers pandering to loosers

George
George
2 years ago

Oh, my! Is the Biden Administration, the champion of democracy who does not send out mean tweets, establishing a class system in America? Should someone tell him this?

talgus
talgus
2 years ago

forgiveness needs to be tied (and not by the current administration) to credit for doing something in your life that has helped society. participating in ANTIFA is not. I paid mine. I got a demanding and $ productive career. many ways to help society. drug running or human smuggling are not.

George
George
2 years ago

I am sorry that your investment in education did not reap you rewards as you had hoped. If you bought a car on time payments and then found it difficult to make those payments, would you want the loan company to forgive your car loan debt? Likewise, your home loan? Likewise, your credit card debt? It is a shame that we cannot see into the future. However, you took out the loan. You signed a contract. You need to pay it back. Or, you could be like my son and big his parents to pay his obligations.

Richard C..
Richard C..
2 years ago

You don’t take out a loan if you can’t pay it back. That’s just like you also don’t have children if you can’t afford to have and support them. Who am I, now go ahead and vote Democrat, become a bigger part of the problem for the rest of us. I’m sure America doesn’t mind paying off your loan or anything else you want, afterall you deserve it…right?

legally present
legally present
2 years ago

WHAT in hades did you get a degree in??? You’re 56 years old and still owe 75,000??? How old were you when you accumulated this debt??? We paid and worked hard for where we are today, and no one helped but US!

Richard C..
Richard C..
2 years ago

What kind of lesson will are youth learn by canceling of their student loans? The only lesson I can think of is that you sign a contract then you can get out of it by voting Democrat. This is the world where right is wrong and wrong is right. Riot’s = protest and freedom of speech, where protest and freedom of speech = insurrection. It all makes perfect sense.

Will the American people ever wake up or are we all so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t see what’s happening or just don’t care anymore?

Becky
Becky
2 years ago

Bidden and all of his Communist cohorts need evicted from our government, AND America.
Now.
Who will lead?

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

you do not borrow money you know can’t be repaid just to indulge the whim

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
2 years ago

Students who decide to go to college should be making an adult decision if the costs to attend put the student into heavy debt. If the student is only taking courses which will lead to a low paying job, then he/she should have enough maturity and critical thinking not to put himself/herself into a loan situation that can’t be realistically repaid. Those who don’t come from families with lots of money do not have the luxury of partying for 4-5 years on the public dole. If a college degree, in a specific concentration, does not lead to gainful employment, then many students need to reevaluate their educational goals. Going to a community college, enlisting in the military, and gaining full time work experience are just a few of the choices which would be more productive than wracking up huge debt.

TBill
TBill
2 years ago

I paid my student loan. We suffered, by I paid it in full. Why should I be responsible for paying some deadbeats student loan?

Russ
Russ
2 years ago

Teaching our youth personal responsibility and economic reality is much more important than pacifying AOC. I have taken loans and paid them back(with interest). I didn’t expect anyone else or the government to repay them for me.

Carol
Carol
2 years ago

This too is ALL wrong! There are millions of us that PAID our loans off and some who never went to college or took out debt! Why should we pay back the loans of these immature children who need to grow up and accept their own responsibility? They took this debt willingly! Don’t like the cost of college, then protest the cost of college (which is a scheme between the government and the leftists colleges) but DON”T EXPECT OTHERS TO PAY FOR YOU! What a bunch of selfish, spoiled, immature fools!

Kate Pytel
Kate Pytel
2 years ago

Joe Biden should donate to pay for student debt with his Chinese payoffs!!!

spitfire?1940
spitfire?1940
2 years ago

Typical of Biden.He is person devoid of any values,a selfish pig who is not worth 2 penny worth of cold cats pee.spitfire

Cookiepress
Cookiepress
2 years ago

This is all about getting people to rely more and more on government. The ones receiving the benefits don’t care where the money is coming from and are being taught even more irresponsibility.

Mandy
Mandy
2 years ago

I would rather Congress investigate why a college education has become so outrageously expensive.

Hugh
Hugh
2 years ago

… no one twisted your arm; no one held a gun to your head. You signed on the dotted line. A deal’s a deal. You made a promise. Now, you want to break it. Either pay up. Or, file for bankruptcy. You are undeserving of a bailout.

Alfred
Alfred
2 years ago

… our government’s officially stooped, to rewarding financial irresponsibility? I played by the rules. I repaid my student loans, fair ‘n square. I balanced out all my student loans, more than a decade ahead of the final due date. All these people, who instead after graduation, buying themselves fancy cars, while out the other side of their mouths, whining about their student loans, they get the special Elizabeth Warren bailout?

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

Most of the problems of student debt is caused by choosing a major that will almost guarantee failure to to pay back a loan. Schools must be, at least, partially responsible for student loans. This would incentivize schools to guide students to more successful, higher paying careers and thus make them more capable of paying back their loans.

D.P.
D.P.
2 years ago

Should the current administration choose to go the whole distance…..then this is part of that total response……refund our student debt already paid back as far back as such loans existed…..and do so for every person who went through the whole process of setting up a loan, and paying it back as was their duty. If you are going to let the current debtors of student loans off the hook , then refund my loan that has been fully paid back, and let me off the hook, post pay. Of course, you will have to print billions more dollars to cover this plan…..and that’s no problem for the people who stand in leadership of our nation…..if you are going to take us down by inflation and over spending and all the related means….then at least we get to go down with no debt…….makes perfect sense to me.

Dick Greene
Dick Greene
2 years ago

What a mess Biden is creating. If college is free the schools will become over loaded with students who figure, ” What the h*** I might as well blow off a couple years before I have to get serious about life.” More instructors will need to be hired, more classroom and dorm space built. Cost of the schooling will increase even more than what it is today. All this will be passed on to the tax payer.

What about a national service role model so if an individual is willing to do a few years of national service by working in a hospital, nursing home, federal, state, or city level job can earn credit for some college payment. A program similar to the GI Bill.

Kim
Kim
2 years ago

Hey, Joey, after you’ve handed out all those plastic trophies for participation, and after you’ve written off $~1.5 trillion in student loan debt…after you’ve sent those big checks to millions of people for the very difficult job of staying home while collecting unemployment… please let me know which line to stand in so I can be reimbursed for all that student loan debt I voluntarily incurred and paid back in full while working my butt off for the privilege of seeing the next generation show the world what worthless leeches look like.

VoterAnn
VoterAnn
2 years ago

Am I not correct in remembering that, among other BAD policies under Obama, the federal government took over the student loan program, which should have been left an issue between the student, the family, and the higher institution (many of which have built enormous endowments with the government loan money)?

Willy
Willy
2 years ago

IMHO: With exception from 2016 to 2020, about everything, for many decades, that the government has touch, or even thought about touching, has basically turned a smelly brown excrement that needs to be flushed. This loan forgiving program is no different, and will likely result in a large number of even more worthless degrees that we now have and will destroy any respect for those who have been given them. It is a definate slap in the face and a kick in the gonads to all who have worked hard, earned, and paid for theirs. The government is turning the American Dream into a nightmare, making me glad I’m old!

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