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Ursula Rozum: Obama throws crumbs to student debtors

Rozum in the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Debt is the tie that binds the 99 percent in the United States. Collectively, we owe $1.2 trillion in student loans. This year's graduating class is the most indebted in U.S. history, with borrowers owing an average of $33,000 upon graduation. More than 70 percent of this year's graduates have taken on student loans, a number that has more than doubled in 20 years. Student loan debt is dragging down our economy by preventing graduates from taking risks like starting a business, investing in a home or even starting a family.

While PAYE might make debt more manageable, it does nothing to restructure the fundamental problem with education in the United States. Education is not a commodity to be bought, sold and priced at the whims of market forces. At least it shouldn't be. What we really need is a commitment to making higher education free.

Free public education means writing off existing student debts and providing tuition-free higher education at public universities. If the federal government can bail out Wall Street and the auto industry, then it can bailout out American citizens whose only "mistake" was pursing higher education.

Education is a social investment that brings strong economic returns. The post-World War II GI Bill provided 8 million veterans with full tuition plus a generous stipend for living expenses. This investment returned $7 for every $1 invested in increased federal tax revenues and expanded economic output.

Well, yeah, but returned to whom?

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...big, very big, business.What a sweet deal it is; no way out of it (student loans) short of dying. Almost guaranteed 100% to be re payed. How 'bout them apples?
And you know nobody is really going to relieve student debt; 1.2 trillion? No way.

Submitted by lambert on

... and they aren't named Stein. Ursula Rozum in Syracuse, NY and Asher Platts in Portland, ME. Not only are their policies a good deal closer to my own than any Democrat's, they are both very savvy at the nuts and bolts.

Platts, for example, was getting ballot signatures and got, like, two or three overs where customary practice is to get a large percentage to survive challenges. Platts knew his signatures were solid, and when the Democrat challenge came, he beat them off with a stick. That takes both stones and competence, which is very refreshing. And far more refreshing than whining about those mean Democrats.

Rozum was given a contribution by a Republican and loudly returned it (or did she give it to charity? I forget). The PA Greens, faced with a similar situation, took the money and never lived it down. Then in the campaign debate, the Democrat refused to participate, so Rozum and the Republican debated each other and an empty chair.

I just hope the national party is smart and strong enough to give them an opportunity to rise. I'm all for the Socialist minimum wage thing in Seattle, but I'm not seeing the nuts and bolts there, and both Platts and Rozum are doing that in BFE.

Both have gotten respectable double-digit percentages in their campaigns.