Student debt forgiveness is neither the fault of the taxpayers nor...

Student debt forgiveness is neither the fault of the taxpayers nor students, a reader writes. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Darren415

The decision by President Joe Biden on student loan relief has certainly, and understandably, created an emotional response, but two important issues are overlooked “Student loans reduction may hit taxpayers,” News, Aug. 30].

First, do we forgive the debt of all future students as well? And we are doing nothing to contain college costs, which is the real problem. Until we force colleges and universities to limit tuition costs, the costs will continue to rise with impunity as they have for decades.

The solution: Any college that raises tuition more than 2% in any year gets cut off from all federal funding until the tuition cost is rolled back.

No matter how you feel about debt forgiveness, we can all agree that this is not the fault of the taxpayers, and it is really not the fault of the students. Let’s put the blame where it belongs, and let’s put a stop to it.

— Vincent O’Neill, Massapequa Park

More than 60% of Americans don’t have a four-year college degree. Why should they pay off the debt of those who do? Forcing truck drivers and construction workers to foot the bill for philosophy and gender studies majors is unfair, elitist and racially inequitable.

Instead, Congress can pass a law requiring all U.S. colleges that receive federal aid, such as research grants, or subsidized student loans, to freeze tuition costs at current rates or lower them if they exceed the rate of inflation.

— Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills

Conspicuously absent from the discussion is any mention of lending companies [“Mixed feedback on debt relief,” Letters, Aug. 30]. These corporations have no federal oversight or regulation and have made billions of dollars in profit over the years. They charge high interest rates (more than 8% for unsubsidized loans) and can use compounding to increase balances owed. Many borrowers can’t make a dent in what they owe even after years of payments.

The loan companies calculate the payment schedules. They are the ones who should pay for the cost of forgiving these loans, not the taxpayers.

A hefty tax on student loan companies would cover the cost. That would be a prime example of fairness.

— Dennis Hoffman, Middle Island

Do the people who begrudge $10,000 student loan forgiveness complain about the Paycheck Protection Program loans that were issued without having to be repaid? Many of those who were granted PPP loans received far more than $10,000. In fact, there was little oversight during a time of national crisis and much exploitation by those who received loans.

It is hypocritical to focus on student loan forgiveness.

— Cynthia Rabinowitz, Old Bethpage

In these days of handing over money like Halloween candy to help Ukraine fight a war, and with hundreds of thousands of immigrants illegally entering our country, I find it a little perplexing that so many Americans are having a hard time with the American government wanting to help millions of Americans eliminate some student debt.

It’s about time some money stayed home to help a few million Americans.

— Anthony Perri, Baldwin

It is a disgrace that the Biden administration is granting forgiveness for up to $20,000 in student loans to young adults who were old enough to know the difference between smart decisions from irresponsible ones [“Specter of heavy debt lingers,” News, Aug. 26]. Students could choose between state colleges, two years or four years, for perhaps 75% less money than some private schools. I believe the education is the same. Millions of responsible students received degrees this way.

Another major problem is Congress not stepping in and putting a mandatory ceiling on these loans, perhaps $20,000, as a protective feature. Blame Congress for also looking the other way; bankers, who have lobbyists, make a fortune on all this. Colleges continually raise tuitions to unreasonable levels, padding administrators’ pockets.

If these students are granted a $10,000 immunity for not paying their student debts, then all students who paid off their student loans should be given a $10,000 check as a reward for being responsible. That is fair.

— Jeff Kirby, Hampton Bays

When I graduated law school in the ’80s, my loans totaled more than $100,000. I hated that. I choked on every check I wrote. Yet, repayment was one of the most positive influences on my career. It reinforced the work ethic my parents instilled in me. It also strengthened my ability to work hard and never give up.

Paying back a contractual obligation is beneficial to the payer as well as the payee. I feel that, in the long run, debt relief would be a detriment to the students whose loans were forgiven.

— Susan B. Lyons, Freeport

Your editorial “Loan plan misses mark” [Opinion, Aug. 30] said taxpayers are understandably irked by the student loan forgiveness program, which begs the question: Why are people only irked when someone with less than they have get a benefit?

Corporations had their taxes slashed by the Trump administration, but instead of increasing their line workers’ wages, many further larded up the incomes of their executives.

If they had increased wages, how much more of the student loan debt could their employees have paid off? The Trump tax cuts sent money from blue state workers to red states, but how many were irked by that?

— Barbara Haynes, Hauppauge

I applaud President Joe Biden’s canceling some student loan debt. However, government would do much better if it had some way to hold back college costs that have skyrocketed much more than the rate of inflation the past 50 years. If the government is going to bail out student loans, it will only encourage the colleges to keep raising tuition.

Unless we can hold colleges to some form of accountability based on how their graduates succeed in the workplace, we will continue to burden students with crushing debt.

— Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead

I am furious over the $10,000 student debt deduction. I made sure my children and grandchildren were not subject to debts later in life. I could have saved myself $50,000 if I allowed them to take loans from the government.

— David A. Reiss, Massapequa

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