Readers comment on student debt forgiveness

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Regarding the article in the June 9 RTD, “Dems put spotlight on college debt issue” — forgive student debt? Nonsense. Each of the borrowers made an individual decision to borrow the money for their tuition, or whatever, and others should not be required to repay the debt. Otherwise, why not home mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other decisions to create debt? Forgiveness by the government creates taxes on those who might even be less able to pay. It is also a cost to lenders for the principal they have loaned, often because of government guarantees for repayment bringing it all back to the taxpayer. And, what about those who have responsibly repaid their loans, often with personal sacrifices? Shouldn’t they be given a refund?

Political proposals by either party for student debt forgiveness to “buy” votes should be soundly defeated.

Gary W. Grove.



Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In a move to pander to millennials and college graduates strapped with student loans, Pete Buttigieg — like his fellow presidential hopefuls — said he will wipe out college loan debt if he becomes president. Buttigieg said he had upward of $132,000 in student loans. A high school class valedictorian, Buttigieg went to Harvard, which in 2000 cost $33,000 per year for tuition and housing. Am I to believe he took 100% in student loans to fund his education and did not receive one Harvard or local scholarship? He then went on to Pembroke College, Oxford, as a Rhodes scholar, for his second bachelor’s degree, this time in philosophy. So, essentially, he received two degrees for the cost of one. He then served in the U.S. military, which has programs to pay for college education. Both of his parents were professors at the University of Notre Dame and, if like many colleges and universities, the offspring of faculty can attend for free or at a discounted rate.

For Buttigieg, who wants to use my money to simply pay off the debt of thousands, if not millions, of graduates, I have a few questions: 1) Where in the process of applying for student loans did anyone twist Buttigieg’s or anyones’ arm? 2) Who takes $132,000 for student loans for philosophy, history and literature degrees and then thinks he knows more than I know on how my money should be spent?

Quit pandering to one group of voters, and instead use that Harvard education to figure out why loans for undergraduate degrees should be allowed to reach such high balances when most careers will never have a promising income-to-debt ratio. That also will answer the question of why colleges keep charging so much. Perhaps Buttigieg should have majored in mathematics.

Danielle Fink.



Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Virginians are famously proud of their heritage. I am one.

There’s a cruel joke that says, if you take Northern Virginia and Tidewater out of the commonwealth, what do you have left?

The answer is Arkansas.

The inference is that federal bureaucrats in Northern Virginia vote their pocketbooks and always want more government for job security. The rest of the state seems more conservative.

When I came to majority and registered in Northeast Florida, I registered as a Democrat so I could participate in elective government. With virtually no Republican Party, most races were resolved in the primaries. It was called gerrymandering. As soon as there was a Republican alternative, I changed party affiliation because I more closely identified with their platform.

Democrats are running for president on free tuition and forgiveness of student debt. I’m 68 years old and have paid a lot of taxes. Adjusting for inflation, how much will the check be for my college education?

After all, fair is fair, and the Democrats are the ones with a heart. I’m changing my voter registration back to Democrat tomorrow. And with the windfall, maybe I can afford to move back to central Virginia full time.

Rob Richardson.

Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

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