While the Republicans and the Democrats scrap over student loan interest rates, the real problem is ignored.
Who should pay?
But full disclosure here: I’m paying on a student loan from grad school, my stepdaughter is in college and paying on a student loan, and my daughter will likely be taking on debt to pay for her education.
So these student loan discussions hit home for us.
Currently Stafford Loan students pay 3.4 percent, but the interest rate is set to increase to 6.8 percent in July. If the loan rate doubles this summer, it would cost 7.4 million Stafford loan recipients an average $1,000, according to the administration, according to a story in the Journal Sentinel today.
But the solutions Democrats and Republicans have come up with some pretty big political punches. The House GOP bill cuts $17 billion from President Barack Obama’s prevention and public health fund. The money pays for “immunization campaigns, research, screenings and wellness education.” And the Democratically controlled Senate’s version of the bill asks “high-earning owners of some privately owned corporations to pay more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, violating Republicans' anti-tax doctrine.”
So in the House GOP version we’re pitting lower student loan interest rates against “Obamacare” and in the Senate version we’re pitting student loan interest rates against corporations, all under of the guise of wanting to help students not feel the burden of increased interest rates.
I find both of these bills unacceptable because they are disingenuous in their attempt to actually fix the problem and root their solutions in harming the very group of people they are trying to help. The authors of these bills act as if the people who are in school don’t need to be healthy or to have access to health care, and they act as if the people who are in school aren’t trying to get jobs.
But the question remains… who should pay and how can we have better conversations about it?