10. Student Loan Debt Refinancing

Student Loan Debt RefinancingOur students and former students are more than $1 trillion in debt from education loans. These young people have far fewer employment prospects due to the financial collapse directly caused by the unbridled and unregulated greed of Wall Street.

Ensuring a higher education, particularly in the fields of science, engineering, technology, green energy and mathematics, is no longer a luxury for the few and must now be viewed as a national security issue.

Banks receive virtually interest free loans from the Federal Reserve Bank and then charge upwards of 6% interest to our students for profit. Because education is the only way to secure our future success as a nation, interest on student debts must be immediately reduced to 2% or less and repayments deferred for periods of unemployment. Subject to the provisions of grievance five, the tax code will be amended so that employers will receive a student loan repayment tax deduction for paying off the loans of their employees.

Outright federal grants should be provided to those students who pursue and obtain degrees in the sciences, green energy, sustainability, mathematics, technology and engineering.  Moreover, to reduce the principal on all outstanding student loans, a financial transaction surcharge, similar to those fees charged by banks on consumers, will be introduced to banks and securities firms.

The current economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression, resulted in the $1.5 trillion dollar bail out of Wall Street, secret Federal Reserve loans, and unknown losses of trillions of dollars to the economy. Work study programs should be expanded to increase access to higher education; universities and colleges that do not reduce tuition to affordable levels shall lose federal funding; and non-citizens who obtain their education in the United States should be provided an accelerated path to citizenship so the investments made in these students remain in the United States.

“Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to ; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson, December 20, 1787  (to James Madison)

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Lawrence Fehrenbacher commented 2012-02-20 22:38:50 -0500 · Flag
Also, immediate student loans forgiveness for students who have sufferred long term or permanent disabilities.
John Lockette commented 2012-02-19 21:28:15 -0500 · Flag
@ chuck gregory – I disagree that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were merely stating what was unacceptable and they did not propose or state any solutions. In fact, they advanced two major solutions – elevating the colonies to the level of free and independent states and dissolving all ties to the British monarchy. At the same time, however, I agree with your sentiment that getting too specific in advancing too many solutions could create roadblocks in terms of gaining support for the cause.

Therefore, I suggest that we should stick to two or three paramount issues. I would argue that eliminating the influence of money in politics, instituting terms limits, and reforming some of our election practices are the bare minimum. All the other areas can be fixed if we the 99% can regain control of our democracy and our government through the enactment of new rules in those three areas. Essentially, that means going with #’s 2, 4, and 17.
Crystal Macmillan commented 2012-02-19 14:25:39 -0500 · Flag
One thing they left out was bankruptcy protection. Others would say to have a plan to eliminate consumer student loan debt loads while at the same time changing the paradigms which cause such unfair debt loads, like tuition prices.
chuck gregory commented 2012-02-19 06:33:32 -0500 · Flag
When the revolutionaries drafted the Declaration of Independence, they did not propose specific solutions; using a radical philosophical framework, they stated what was unacceptable . If they had demanded a federal system of government, the United States would never have happened; they would have been abandoned by the public as they sank into a quagmire of quibbling over details. While the goal is admirable, to propose solutions instead of defining the problem (as the Declaration of Independence did) is to undercut the purpose of the movement. They

If you want people to rally to your side, do as was done in the Declaration of Independence and clearly state the problem rather than offer the solution. Solutions are much better after people deal first with defining the problem.
chuck gregory followed this page 2012-02-19 06:33:25 -0500
Maria Cadwallader commented 2012-02-17 19:30:19 -0500 · Flag
Back in the old days (the 60s), I went to graduate school on an NDEA fellowship, combined with government insured student loans which (1) did not begin to accrue interest until 6 months AFTER I graduated, (2) accrued interest at 3%, (3) could be repaid, up to 50%, at 10% per year, and with all interest deferred for each such year, by working as a teacher at any level. Those loans and grants made it possible for folks like me, who came from poor families and had absolutely no financial resources, to complete school. But they weren’t available to everyone who was capable of finish college, so many were left out back then, too.

It’s time to not leave out ANYONE who is capable of getting an education. As long as one can do the work, education should be free for everyone. If we want to make sure someone “earns” their degrees with sweat as well as studying, why not make the payback in public service for a couple of years?
John Martin commented 2012-02-17 18:47:31 -0500 · Flag
Again Thomas Jefferson had it right, and I agree with the 2% on student loans, as long as the student gets a Degree or Certificate, and doesn’t abuse the loan. Semper Fidelis!
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