Letter: Student loan bubble's a risk

A Penn State University student walks across campus

A Penn State University student walks across campus in front of Old Main on main campus in State College, Pa on July 12, 2012. Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In "The fact-checkers need some checking, too" [Opinion, Sept. 11], columnist Cathy Young covers two key points we must be cognizant of during this election season.

Each campaign has little regard for the truth presented truthfully -- let the buyer beware, as far as political ads and rhetoric are concerned.

Second, although the choices are as clear as the opposing parties say, one of the fundamental tenets of the Democratic platform is being sugarcoated for political gain.

Although former President Bill Clinton spoke in Charlotte, N.C., about student loans in terms of who is crass enough to put college education out of reach, it is the simplest demonstration of the fundamental wealth redistribution platform underpinning the Democratic Party's ideals.

Suppose a student goes to a second-rate private university and scrapes by with lousy grades, ending up $250,000 in debt. Since all she qualifies for is a low-earning job, she barely puts a dent in this debt under the Democratic plan requiring student debt holders to pay only a percentage of their income. The plan caps monthly payments at 10 percent of the debtor's discretionary income, down from the 15 percent cap imposed by Congress last year.

After 20 years, seemingly like magic, the debt balance is forgiven. It just seems to go away. Eloquent in its simplicity, except it's not that easy. All that has happened is that the taxpaying public is left paying the bills of the less productive entitlement recipients who made a terrible decision to take on all that debt. This is the housing crisis, volume two. Over-availability of easy debt contributes to a huge asset bubble -- in this case, college construction and unfettered tuition increases.

Like the housing bubble, this cannot go on forever. We will find out if the entitlement appeal will outweigh ethical common sense in November. Forgiving college debt helps no one but the profligate universities.

Robert G. Colvin, Huntington


Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: