From Monday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show, by guest host Draze.
Student loan repayments have been in limbo since March 2020, with regular payments being periodically suspended throughout the pandemic. In the latest update, President Joe Biden extended this hiatus until May 1, 2022.
It’s a bandage. It’s a pain reliever.
For seven million borrowers in default, such an extension will do little to help their personal economic recovery. Now is the time for President Biden to write off a large chunk of these student loans, debt that disproportionately affects people of color. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that black borrowers owe, on average, $ 25,000 more in loans than their white counterparts.
We don’t need bandages and we don’t need painkillers. We need treatment, surgery, if you will.
The interest rates on these loans have gotten completely out of control. School in America might as well be a one-way ticket to debtor jail. It’s a hoax, in the sense that teens are struggling with expensive loans with astronomical interest rates for studies that aren’t even likely to be directly related to their careers.
Most of these children would not qualify for a mortgage or business loan, which would more than likely have lower interest rates than they are charged by the federal government.
President Biden ran his campaign flirting with the idea of simply getting rid of student debt. Now we should ask him to have the courage to follow through on this conviction. I know he will find a way around it, but the path to economic recovery from this pandemic lies in eliminating student debt.
It’s not complicated. We treat student debt like a brain surgery, but it’s more of a routine procedure. This is an obvious economic solution as so many Americans struggle to extricate themselves from this pandemic.
Listen to Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to podcast here.