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Addressing Student Loans Must Take Center Stage

May 3, 2021

College and university loans now account for more than 40% of outstanding consumer debt in the U.S., outpacing the amounts owed on motor vehicle loans, for example, by more than $477 billion. ponder that fact for a moment.

I have argued since (what year is this?) that our economy is hampered with the millions of people redirecting income towards student loan payments rather than doing what works best in a consumer-driven economy. The fact is if someone is struggling to pay off their student loans, they are not buying things that workers are making in factories or assembly lines. The tax revenue from such transactions is lost.

The education derived from college studies is working as these now adults apply their skills, but the financial burden of their loans is creating a far larger negative impact than we can continue to abide as a nation. So this news today is mighty worthy of attention if you think about our economy and how to increase jobs and put more money into the system.

The issue is a tricky one for President Biden. Though he has endorsed canceling up to $10,000 per borrower through legislation, Mr. Biden has been pressured by some Democrats to forgive much more, and to sign an executive order making it happen if Congress fails to act.

But with his new position within the federal Education Department, the primary lender for higher education, Mr. Cordray might be able to relieve the president of that burden by canceling student debt administratively. Democratic leaders are pushing for up to $50,000 in debt relief.

Mr. Cordray is a former Ohio attorney general who made a name for his aggressive investigation of mortgage foreclosure practices. He headed the consumer protection bureau, which Ms. Warren was a driving force in creating, from 2012 to 2017, leaving in the first year of the Trump administration to make a failed bid for governor of Ohio.

Education is a great investment for the future of the nation, and it should be viewed as a most valued commodity. But we must not shackle the ones who have the ability to learn, and then turn their knowledge into ideas for the betterment of society, with lifetime financial burdens.

We simply must address this decades long problem.

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