It seems that 2016 isn’t only a year of political baffling, but also strapped households where debt trumps assets. This year Americans have more than $1.2 Trillion in student loan debt. This is the most ever. The Student Loan Hero claims that the average 2016 graduate owes more than $37,000. These debt-ridden voters are looking to the next President to fix their epidemic. Both Trump and Clinton have very different approaches to solving the student loan crisis. Everyone can agree that we should not be sending freshmen into student debt when they haven’t even learned professional finance skills yet.
Clinton promises to eliminate 4-year college/university tuition for every student from a family making $85,000 or less. This would climb up to $125,000 by 2021. This was adopted by several of the platforms Senator Bernie Sanders was proposing, in an attempt to attract several of his supporters. Clinton also says she will take an immediate executive action to offer a three month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal borrowers. In other words, streamline enrolment in income-based repayment plans and give borrowing ability to re-finance student loans at current rates, all to push employers to contribute to student debt relief and offer an entrepreneurs incentive reward for public service.
Trump plans to release a position on the student loan crisis within the next four weeks. Ideas being considered include requiring colleges to share in the risk of loans and discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors. Trump also claims that his ideas won’t fit in overly well within the Republican framework, and the GOP 2016 platform calls for the Federal government to get out of the business of originating student loans.
This is the first time that there has ever been such an interest in higher education by both parties in an election. Economists are now starting to say that the student debt epidemic is now affecting the entire economy. The cost of education is also increasing. Between 2000-2001 academic year and the 2010-2011 academic year, the cost of a degree at public and private 2- and 4- year institutions rose 70%. Incomes are most definitely not rising at the same rate, so students are forced to take out more loans.
ON the plus side, more students than ever are attending college, and we have entered an era of power for millennial votes during an election. We don’t realize that the size of our millennial generation is merely the same size as the baby boomers themselves. Students everywhere are trapped by their debts and unable to carry on with their lives or the freedom that a college degree theoretically should give them. America is too ironic. IF students have significant debts, it means they’re less likely to take out a mortgage of a house. This also means that consumer purchasing in the U.S is decreasing.
The power that the millennial don’t know they have is all in the student debt. This is essentially a political revolution. Now that we have identified the historical ugliness that has lived in the shadows of our own economic system, it is finally being dragged into the light. Young people have become revolutionaries for all sorts of social rights, and they sense that they are both America’s impoverished generation and America’s moral backbone. Lacking in payroll, but very present in revolution.