We've all heard a lot of preposterous ideas of how to stimulate the economy lately (see Jobs Plan: Obama's), but this one--brought to my attention in an e-mail from someone named Robert Applebaum in the name MoveOn.org--may be the most ridiculous:
Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President's pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month to spend on ailing sectors of the economy.
As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created, and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats—forgiving student loan debt, rather than tax cuts for corporations, millionaires and billionaires, has a MUCH greater chance of helping to raise that tide in a MUCH shorter time-frame.
The future economic success of this country is wholly dependent upon a well-educated, prosperous middle class. Instead of saddling entire generations with debt from which there is no escape, let's empower the American people to grow this economy on their own!
That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org, calling on President Obama and Congress to support legislation seeking student loan forgiveness as a means of economic stimulus.
I love the line about "saddling entire generations with debt from which there is no escape." Exactly who do you think will end up paying for this loan forgiveness anyway? Tooth fairy? Easter bunny? Nope. Our children and their children will as it will become just another layer in the mountain of debt that we're heaping upon them. By the way, unlike those who FREELY CHOSE to take out loans to pay for their college, there's no option for future taxpayers when it comes to taking on this debt.
I also love how this plan specifically benefits a large special interest group (college graduates with debt) while being sold as a tonic for the economy writ large. I’m sure that blue collar workers struggling to get by will have no problem signing on for a program to transfer wealth to those poor middle-class college graduates who VOLUNTARILY assumed debt that they no longer feel like paying back. Or people like my wife and I who both took out student loans to pay for college and spent a good part of our early careers working to pay back those loans. Yeah, we’d be happy to pay more so that millions of others could have their student loan debt erased at the drop of a hat. After all, obligations are for suckers, right?
Since it seems like anybody and everybody is backing their trucks up to Uncle Sam’s back door to get their load of the ever diminishing loot, I have another special interest group that wants to be rewarded. We’re the ones with jobs who pay our taxes. We pay our mortgages too. And our student loans. And any other debt that we happen to occur. We don’t get in over our heads and then expect someone else to bail us out. We give our time and money to charity because we believe that’s’ a more effective way to help those truly in need. We accept and assume the responsibilities to take of our families ourselves. We do the right things.
The good news is that we really don’t want anything more than to be left alone. Quit telling us what to do and quit asking us to pay for the irresponsibility of others.