Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Grandma, Grandpa will pay off kids’ loans

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By Ray Hanania

President Biden announced that he will provide college tuition relief estimated to be between $300 billion and $985 billion, depending on how many people apply.

Why only waive debt for students? Why not waive mortgage debt for homeowners? Why not waive credit card debt? Why not waive hospital healthcare debt for people who fought or are fighting cancer?

Why not waive debt for seniors who are struggling to make ends meet on Social Security? How about waive parochial school tuition debt?

There are a lot of debts that can be waived, so why just student tuition?

Part of the reason is the election. A lot of students who borrowed money haven’t repaid their debt, either because they didn’t have the money or they just didn’t want to pay. Many more students have, in fact, paid their tuition debts or are paying off their debt while working in jobs their educations helped them obtain.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

In many cases, students who came from poor families received grants, in addition to borrowing money for college. Many students dropped out after borrowing money and just didn’t complete their education.

So why is Biden only targeting student debt? Biden believes he can build his popularity among young voters. Almost 95% of college students are 18 years of age or older and qualify to register to vote.

I know people whose children borrowed money, got their degrees and found great jobs. The debt actually prompted them to strive for the best possible jobs to repay the debts.

One of the biggest problems for students, though, are the banks that exploited them. Many college students borrowed money from many different sources. When they completed their education, graduating or not, they found themselves with having to make several payments on several debts.

So, many banks in the Great Lakes area, for example, swooped in to mislead them into thinking they could consolidate their debts and reduce their payments. In fact, what the banks did was to consolidate the old loans into one loan under terms that required the students to repay the interest on the loan first before the actual principal was paid.

I know several college graduates who have been paying off those combined loans that have been financially worse than home mortgages.

What Biden should do to help students is to punish banks and impose regulations that protect the students from being preyed upon by the bankers.

But Biden is beholden to the banking lobby, which has donated heavily to his campaign fund. He’s not going to punish them. He’s going to “waive” the debt and repay the loans that in many cases the banks were unable to collect.

The people who least need the help are young people who graduated from college with fresh degrees. They have a future ahead of them to exploit their educations and secure jobs that could make some millionaires.

But the people who need the help the most are the seniors, who actually vote more than young people. Seniors have been loyal not only to the Democrats but to Republicans, too, voting and helping to decide the nation’s future. They are ignored and abandoned by both parties.

Instead of being rewarded for their loyalty, seniors are abused and patronized, like in the so-called legislation that allegedly reduces prescription drug costs. It doesn’t address the real problem, the prescription punishment seniors must pay under Medicare called the “Donut Hole.” The Donut Hole is a fancy phrase for “coverage gap,” which forces seniors to pay full costs for months before the Medicare prescription “discounts” return.

Whoever came up with the Donut Hole or Medicare coverage gap is truly evil. You can bet it’s the robber barons in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries who get more attention than seniors.

In 2020, nearly two-thirds of Congress received pharmaceutical campaign donations.

In the first six months of 2021, pharmaceutical companies gave $1.6 million to candidates; half to Republicans and half to Democrats.

Someone has to pay the tuition debt. The banks will get paid. It won’t be Biden. It will be you and me. The biggest burden of repaying that $300 million to $985 million will fall on seniors, victims of political pandering.

Seniors are already victims of a confusing and complex Medicare system that cares more for health providers and pharmaceutical companies than for seniors.

You want to do some good? Simplify the Medicare system. Limit what hospitals can charge. Remove taxes on Social Security income and seniors. Force the super wealthy, like members of Congress (more than half are millionaires), to pay more taxes.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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