Joe Biden should cancel student debt

If Biden and his secretary of education refuse to act, there will be an exodus of left-leaning young Americans from the Democratic Party.

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President-Elect Joe Biden Makes Address On Nation’s Economy

President-Elect Joe Biden makes address on nation’s economy.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A generation of young people were told they must earn a college degree to compete in a global workforce, but the rising cost of post-secondary education left students no choice but to borrow more money than they could pay back.

Today, the student debt crisis has left over 45 million Americans in a combined $1.7 trillion in debt. Almost 25% of borrowers have defaulted or struggled to pay back their loans. College debt and poor credit scores keep people from buying homes, starting businesses, and circulating money into an economy already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Biden Administration will have the power to cancel student debt. While his administration is likely to face congressional gridlock over a long list of issues dividing the country, student debt cancellation is an achievement within grasp. If Biden and his secretary of education refuse to act, there will be an exodus of left-leaning young Americans from the Democratic Party.

Struggling people cannot wait any longer. If Biden can’t deliver, we must walk away.

Matthew Downing, medical student, Rush Medical College

Fair Tax loss and trust

I mostly enjoy reading Phil Kadner’s musings. But I need to respond to the level of responsibility he put on the governor for the failing of the Fair Tax proposal.

I have no way of knowing the percentages of failure in Illinois Department of Employment Security. I feel for those who struggled to get the help necessary. But when my wife lost her job, the process went smoothly. There is always need for improvement and I trust the problems continue to be addressed. And that’s what’s at issue...Trust.

It is true that our politicians have made some bone-headed moves in the past that we are paying dearly for. For those unfunded pension obligations and corresponding mismanagement of departments, we will continue to pay a price. But this has been the drum beat of Republicans for decades. If their answer was Bruce Rauner, then they have to live that down. We need solutions and reform, not a simple doubling-down on distrust.

Opinion Newsletter

Political losses occur primarily out of messaging. And that began more than 40 years ago. Remember President Reagan’s cynicism during the debates about the dreaded nine words: ”I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” That message has been endlessly driven home by Republicans as a means to undermine government.

Campaigning against politicians is the easiest, most insincere method of denying reform. It’s easy to be against something but much more difficult to offer realistic solutions. How does “I’m from Citadel and I’m here to help” sound? They have no inclination to help society. 

This campaign was part of their ideology and strategy to gain “consistent investment returns for their clients.” When an oligarch like Ken Griffin and others decide to fund a campaign simply by being against government, all we are left to do is say thanks. Thanks for your consistent efforts to harm the state. 

Peter Sjoblom, North Park

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