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A student loan bailout is a dreadful idea–one that would cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

An estimated 5.3 million people are enrolled in repayment plans, with about $353 billion in outstanding student loans, according to the General Accounting Office. The GAO estimates that $215 billion, or only 61 percent of the debt, will be paid in full. Another $108 billion will be forgiven altogether, with the remaining $29 billion discharged because of death or disability.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump said he would make it even easier for students to let their payments slide. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/13/trump-just-laid-out-a-pretty-radical-student-debt-plan/

As a college professor for more than 20 years, I understand that student debt is a serious issue. But it doesn’t make sense to let borrowers off the hook. Students and their parents signed a contract for a loan to get money. If they borrowed money to buy a car or a house, they would have to repay the loan.

As Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith put it: “Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt. Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt….That mistake is increasingly being encouraged, aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”

Individuals have an option if they cannot pay their loans: bankruptcy. That’s a difficult lesson, but it may get people to think twice about meeting their commitments in the future.

It is also important to look at the underlying causes of student debt, such as the government regulations that create bloated administrative staffs.  Since I started in higher education in 1994, I have seen the expansion of administrative personnel to meet, in part, state and federal guidelines. For example, there were three administrative jobs at the first school I worked at. The second one had seven. My current school has more than 30 administrative staff members, including a dean, a senior associate dean, an associate dean, four assistant deans, a senior vice dean, a compliance officer and myriad other positions. Throughout the university, I have seen the addition of hundreds of people to fill administrative posts. It seems as though everyone has an assistant who also has an assistant.

Trump and his new secretary of education. Betsy DeVos, need to tighten the requirements to get loans and cut the federal regulations that result in colleges and universities expanding their administrative staff. Both of these actions would go a long way to reducing the cost of higher education and make students responsible for their financial decisions.


Christopher Harper worked as a journalist for more than 20 years. He teaches media law.

OK given that we are now arresting people over their student loans:

Believe it or not, the US Marshals Service in Houston is arresting people for not paying their outstanding federal student loans.

Paul Aker says he was arrested at his home last week for a $1500 federal student loan he received in 1987.

He says seven deputy US Marshals showed up at his home with guns and took him to federal court where he had to sign a payment plan for the 29-year-old school loan.

Congressman Gene Green says the federal government is now using private debt collectors to go after those who owe student loans.

Green says as a result, those attorneys and debt collectors are getting judgements in federal court and asking judges to use the US Marshals Service to arrest those who have failed to pay their federal student loans.

This story makes an awful lot of sense

A Florida teen was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license after he allegedly performed a physical exam on an undercover agent on Tuesday.

Do you know how much medical school costs?

Love-Robinson opened a medical office in West Palm Beach and was presenting himself as a doctor, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A Facebook page for Dr. Malachi A. Love listed a medical office at the same address — 4700 N. Congress Ave. — as the one given by the Sheriff’s Office, calling the business “New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center & Urgent Care.” A website and Facebook page were also set up for the center.

Hey if you are going to be pinched by the cops might as well be pinched without owing a bunch of money

Update: Maybe the kid was just a Monty Python fan

When I’m not posting here I”m still writing at Watchdog.org.  Here are two pieces that went up recently:

The first is on Student Debt:

The cost trend is the same and the number of students with debt continues to rise, particularly since the 2008 election.

Bankrate.com suggests the income-to-debt ratio for buying a house should be no more than 28 percent of your annual income.  How long will it take college students to manage to afford their first house when the average student debt out of college is equal to 50 percent of per capita income?

That’s the iceberg that our national ship is steaming toward. But if your children have not yet reached college age, there are things that can be done.

I have three suggestions to avoid this bomb as a parent but you’ll have to click here to read them.

Meanwhile states are having trouble retaining tech workers:

“Young people always go for the money,” Sowerbutts said. “It happens in the private sector, even in the private sector they tend to stay a few years and go because the driving force is money.  Just not doable.”

There is a reason why engineering is such a good college major to choose.

And money is not the only reason why the young do not find state employment attractive. I spoke to a retired state manager who worked in Massachusetts.

He talked about systems still running Windows 2000 in the second decade of the 21st century, he mentioned patronage hires in management positions who were promoted based on family and political connections, and he mentioned there were people who have different priorities

Both however had a solution to the problem, but again to read it you’ll have to go here.

 

 

 

Gerald R. Ford HwyBy John Ruberry

“Whether we like it or not, the American wage earner and the American housewife are a lot better economists than most economists care to admit. They know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Gerald R. Ford, August 12, 1974.

Forty years later, a woman from Plainfield, Illinois, Kelly Alsip, is proving that Ford was a wise sage in regards to the acumen of the average American in regards to federal spending.

The Chicago Tribune’s Jon Yates writes a consumer affairs column, What’s Your Problem, that attempts to solve purchasers’ issues, things along the lines of “I got in a car accident and my insurer won’t pay my claim.”

Two years ago Kelly Alsip accidently made a $500 federal student loan payment–but she had already completely paid off that debt. Alsip promptly called the US Department of Education–and six weeks later she received a refund from the Treasury Department.

But last month out-of-the-blue Alsip received another $500 Treasury Department check. She suspects that it was a second refund from her 2012 error. Alsip tried to get an answer as to why she received that check, ignoring advice from her friends to just simply cash it.

And not surprisingly, she got nowhere, so she emailed the Trib’s Yates.

The Problem Solver called a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education, who said she has no idea why Alsip received the check and her agency would have no way to find out. The spokeswoman suggested Alsip call the department’s National Payment Center or the Direct Loans Service Center.

Alsip tried both. She gave up on the first number after waiting more than 10 minutes without getting connected to a customer service agent. The second number was no longer in service, she said.

The Problem Solver also called a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department. That spokesman said he, too, had no idea and directed Alsip to call the Treasury Department’s Fiscal Management Service office in Kansas City.

After making another round of calls, she finally got a human being on the phone. That person instructed her to call another person in a different office.

The telephone number she was given was a general number, so she used the dial-by-name directory to find that individual. But that person’s name was not listed and there was no operator available to speak with.

“And the mystery of the $500 check remains,” Yates added.

Yeah, $500 is not a lot of money to the federal government. But it’s a lot to me. And how many more errant $500 checks have been sent by our leviathan of a government? Or $5,000 checks?

Or even $5 million checks?

Does anyone know?

Of course not.

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Olimometer 2.52

A new week has come with a new $350 goal to be made to pay DaMagnificent Seven and the less than magnificent mortgage.

Yesterday was a great imitation of Gave 6 of the 1976 world series. With less that two hours to go a single tip jar hitter made up the shortfall and gave us a full payweek in the last three.

It just goes to show you that the game isn’t over, until the last out is made.

The day has already started with a few hits of DaTipjar and if we can get another dozen tip jar hitter at $25 we can have the goal made at the beginning of the week rather than in the closing hours.

It will be much easier on my hairline and I don’t have all that much to spare.

Olimometer 2.52

Just click on DaTipJar below

Now there is another reason to kick in on a more permanent way

DaGuy low rez copy-psd

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