Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Could college tuition make 25-candidate campaign instead nothing more than a Warren/Sanders brawl?

We’re up to 25 people with delusions that they’re the one capable of running for president as the Democratic Party’s nominee, with most would-be voters dreaming that everybody else is going to come to their senses and drop out – rather than run against their preferred candidate.
SANDERS: Writing off student loans

But just will be the factor that causes many of these political dreamers to “give it up” to take the advice of comedian Samantha Bee and run instead for the U.S. Senate – instead of for the post that offers up a mansion and private airplane as being amongst its perks?

A PART OF me wonders if Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts, respectively – have latched onto the idea that will sway would-be Democratic voters into making this a two-way campaign between them.

While pushing everybody else off to the political sidelines.

For Sanders and Warren are the two who have tried most to make an issue out of a college education becoming more affordable.

Warren has talked about tuition being free at public colleges. While Sanders is now going further in talking about wanting to erase the debt that students incurred in taking out the loans that helped pay their tuition bills.

HIS LINE OF logic is that it benefits no one – and actually defeats the purpose of a better-educated society – if students are perpetually in debt upon graduation.
WARREN: Tuition-free public education?

Writing off all those unpaid loan bills would benefit the students, and actually result in less time being wasted by entities that are trying to collect debts from people who, realistically, can’t afford it.

Personally, I’m not swayed by the idea – largely because I remember back some three decades ago when I was a freshly-graduated university-type scholar.

I managed to repay my loans in full – even though I also made what I’m sure some (such as my father) would regard as the asinine decision to want to be a newspaper reporter. Not exactly the highest-paid of professions we have in our society. 

FURTHERMORE, I SPENT those early-reporter years with the now-defunct City News Bureau of Chicago – a place that actually took a certain amount of pride in the low wages they paid (my memory recalls starting at $190 a week – which dropped down to $156 weekly once taxes were deducted).
O'ROURKE: Can we write-off Beto yet?

Yes, if I hadn’t had to make that monthly loan payment, I’d have had a few extra bucks. But I did make it. And also have to admit it helped that at exactly the point in time I was finished off with the loans – my future employer gave me a significant pay boost.

Which became the point in time when I could start living a more-adult lifestyle. Maybe I could have had a financially-easier time of it had I made other choices, but those were choices I made -- and I paid the cost, without expecting a financial write-off someday.

Now part of the problem, as I comprehend it, is that college costs are significantly-higher now than they were back in the Age of Reagan. When I look at the costs of college that exist now, I wonder if it would be possible to borrow so much money to afford the tab.

BUT A LARGER part of the problem lies in part with those students who, for whatever reason, wind up not completing college – but took out loans to pay for the years they attended.
BEE: Run for Senate, instead

They’re whacked with significant debt without the potential future earnings that a degree would offer them. Note I said “potential.” There’s no guarantee – as it’s usually only the most promising of students who actually wind up employed to the standard of their dreams.

So I expect Sanders will encounter some opposition from those who think “we paid off our loans, let the deadbeats do theirs.” But there also will be others who will think the theory of “free college” outweighs all others, and will be more than willing to ignore all other would-be presidential candidates just because of it.

So maybe it’s beneficial that the number of presidential dreamers on the Democratic side be reduced. Although I can’t help but be dismayed at the notion that it could be something as trivial as this that causes the ranks to be reduced to a more-comprehendible number.


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