The student loan forgiveness program recently announced by President Joe Biden stirred up quite the political brouhaha. Progressives praised Biden for helping students burdened by overwhelming student loan debt. Conservatives decried it as an unfair giveaway. But as with most issues, the popular political debate misses the bigger picture.
The student loan crisis was primarily a problem of the federal government’s own creation. And no matter what you think about the forgiveness program, it fails to address the root of the problem.
President Joe Biden recently announced a student loan forgiveness program. While it will provide some people a small amount of relief from student loan debt, this $300 billion taxpayer-funded scheme does nothing to address the underlying problem. In fact, it will exacerbate it.
The underlying problem is the high cost of a college education.
Student loan forgiveness has been in the news lately. There are a number of different plans being floated, from blanket debt repudiation up to various amounts, to more limited income-based schemes. But nobody ever talks about a key question: who is going to pay for it?
Well, you will.
With the stimulus checks long ago spent, Americans have gone back to buying things the old-fashioned way – on credit.
Household debt surged by $313 billion in the second quarter to nearly $15 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Household Debt and Credit Report. It was the biggest quarterly dollar increase in household debt since 2007. In percentage terms, household debt grew by 2.1%, the biggest surge since Q4 2013.
There is a lot of talk about student loan forgiveness. The idea is wildly popular and it would relieve a huge burden crushing millions of Americans. But is there any downside to this idea? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey talks about the student loan debacle and the possible downside of loan forgiveness. He also touches on the shaky labor market and why the bond market can’t tell us anything about inflation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently suggested that as one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden should wipe out $50,000 of student loan debt for every borrower by executive order. But what kind of impact would this have on the US economy?
It would certainly benefit a lot of people. But somebody would have to pay the bill. And that somebody is everybody else.
US taxpayers are on the hook for a $435 billion loss on the $1.37 trillion in student loans that were on the government’s books at the beginning of this year, according to an internal study by the Department of Education recently reported by the Wall Street Journal.
That’s before any loan forgiveness program that might come down the pike under the Biden administration. And the massive number doesn’t account for any student loans issued going forward. It also does not include student loans issued by private lenders but still guaranteed by the federal government.
Student loan debt continues to surge despite falling college enrollment.
In Q3, student loan balances rose by $23 billion from the second quarter, according to the latest Federal Reserve data.
Total household debt was over $1.6 trillion higher than the previous peak in 2008 even before the full force of the coronavirus pandemic government shutdowns hit the economy.
Household debt increased by $155 billion (1.1%) in Q1 to a total of $14.3 trillion, according to the latest data released by the New York Fed. The previous peak was $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of ’08 in the early days of the financial crisis.
Americans are driving the US economy along with borrowed money. The question is how much longer can it last?
Consumer debt surged once again in December as Americans charged up their credit cards for the holidays. Total consumer credit grew by $22.1 billion in December, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve. That represents an annual growth rate of 6.3%. Total consumer debt now stands at a record $4.197 trillion.