President Joe Biden’s decision on student loan relief has certainly, understandably, drawn emotional backlash, but two important issues are being overlooked “Student Loan Relief May Hit Taxpayers”, News, August 30].
First, do we also forgive the debt of all future students? And we’re not doing anything to contain tuition fees, which is the real problem. Until we force colleges and universities to cap tuition, costs will continue to rise with impunity, as they have for decades.
The fix: Any college that raises tuition more than 2% in a year is cut off from all federal funding until tuition is reduced.
No matter what you think about debt cancellation, we can all agree that it’s not the taxpayers’ fault, and it really isn’t the students’ fault. Let’s put the blame where it belongs and stop it.
—Vincent O’Neill, Massapequa Park
More than 60% of Americans don’t have a four-year college degree. Why should they repay the debt of those who do? Forcing truckers and construction workers to foot the bill for philosophy and gender studies is unfair, elitist, and racially inequitable.
Instead, Congress can pass legislation requiring all U.S. colleges that receive federal aid, such as research grants or subsidized student loans, to freeze tuition at current rates or reduce them if they exceed the inflation rate.
—Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills
Noticeably absent from the discussion is any mention of loan companies [“Mixed feedback on debt relief,” Letters, Aug. 30]. These companies have no federal oversight or regulation and have made billions of dollars in profits over the years. They charge high interest rates (more than 8% for unsubsidized loans) and can use capitalization to increase balances due. Many borrowers cannot make a dent in what they owe, even after years of payments.
Loan companies calculate repayment schedules. They are the ones who should pay the cost of canceling these loans, not the taxpayers.
A hefty tax on student loan companies would cover the cost. That would be a prime example of fairness.
— Dennis Hoffman, Middle Island
Do people who balk at $10,000 in student loan forgiveness complain about Paycheck Protection Program loans that were granted without having to be repaid? Many who have obtained PPP loans have received well over $10,000. In fact, there was little oversight during a time of national crisis and much exploitation by those who received loans.
It is hypocritical to focus on canceling student loans.
— Cynthia Rabinowitz, Old Bethpage
In these days of handing out cash like Halloween candy to help Ukraine fight a war, and with hundreds of thousands of immigrants illegally entering our country, I find it a bit perplexing that so many Americans have struggling with the US government that wants to help millions of Americans eliminate some student debt.
It’s time for some money to stay home to help a few million Americans.
—Anthony Perri, Baldwin
It’s a shame that the Biden administration is forgiving up to $20,000 in student loans to young adults who were old enough to know the difference between smart decisions and irresponsible decisions. [“Specter of heavy debt lingers,” News, Aug. 26]. Students could choose from state, two-year, or four-year colleges for perhaps 75% less money than some private schools. I believe the education is the same. Millions of responsible students have received degrees this way.
Another major problem is that Congress is not stepping in and putting a mandatory cap on these loans, maybe $20,000, as protection. Blame Congress for also looking the other way; the bankers, who have lobbyists, make a fortune out of all this. Colleges continually raise tuition to unreasonable levels, lining the pockets of administrators.
If these students are granted $10,000 immunity for not paying their student debts, all students who have paid off their student loans should receive a check for $10,000 as a reward for their responsibility. It’s just.
—Jeff Kirby, Hampton Bays
When I got my law degree in the 1980s, my loans totaled over $100,000. I hated that. I choked on every check I wrote. Still, payback has been one of the most positive influences on my career. It reinforced the work ethic that my parents instilled in me. It also strengthened my ability to work hard and never give up.
Reimbursing a contractual obligation benefits both the payer and the beneficiary. I think in the long term, debt relief would be detrimental to students whose loans have been forgiven.
—Susan B. Lyons, Freeport
Your editorial “The loan plan misses the mark” [Opinion, Aug. 30] said taxpayers are understandably irritated by the student loan forgiveness program, which begs the question: Why do people only get irritated when someone who has less than they have gets a benefit?
Corporations have seen their taxes cut by the Trump administration, but instead of increasing wages for their workers, many have further increased the incomes of their executives.
If they had increased their salaries, how much more student debt could their employees have been able to pay off? Trump’s tax cuts sent workers’ money from the blue state to the red states, but how many were angered by it?
—Barbara Haynes, Hauppauge
I applaud President Joe Biden’s forgiveness of some student loan debt. However, the government would do much better if it had a way to rein in college costs that have skyrocketed far more than the rate of inflation for the past 50 years. If the government is going to bail out student loans, it will only encourage colleges to keep raising tuition fees.
Unless we can hold colleges to account for the success of their graduates in the workplace, we will continue to burden students with crippling debt.
—Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead
I’m furious about the $10,000 student debt deduction. I ensured that my children and grandchildren were not subject to debt later in life. I could have saved $50,000 if I had allowed them to borrow from the government.
—David A. Reiss, Massapequa
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