Today in America, an entire generation is burdened with a lifetime of student debt that makes them less likely to buy a home, start a new business, or even start a family.
There are many thousands of young people who are graduating college with $50,000, $100,000, or more in debt and some of them, for financial reasons, weren't even able to finish their degree.
And if you go to graduate school or want to attend medical school, law school, or nursing school we’re talking about young people who have assumed up to $400,000 or even $500,000 worth of debt.
Further, sadly, hundreds of thousands of working-class high school students no longer see college as an option because of their fear of leaving school with massive debt.
It is time to hit the reset button.
There is $1.8 trillion in student debt owed by more than 46 million Americans — a number that has tripled since 2008, and the overwhelming majority of which is owed to the federal government.
I am urging President Biden to do the right thing.
To cancel it.
All of it.
Because here is the truth:
In the richest country in the history of the world, it is absurd, to say the least, that we have sentenced an entire generation to a lifetime of debt simply for doing what was expected of them — getting a college education.
In the richest country in the history of the world, it is a national disgrace that we lead the world in the amount of student debt owed by our people.
In the richest country in the history of the world, hundreds of thousands of young people should not be giving up their dreams because paying off their student loans is too expensive.
In the richest country in the history of the world, we should understand that investing in our young people’s education is investing in the future of our nation. It’s not only good for the individual student, but for our entire economy.
No, that is not what America is supposed to be about.
We have adopted a very warped sense of priorities when we can bail out Wall Street for their criminal activity that crashed the economy, but we can’t cancel student debt in this country.
We have adopted a warped sense of priorities when some of the wealthiest people and largest corporations in our country pay little or nothing in federal taxes, but we can't cancel student debt in this country.
We have adopted a very warped sense of priorities when we give billions of dollars to Jeff Bezos' space company, but we can’t cancel student debt in this country.
We have adopted a warped sense of priorities when we can always find enough money for war and the military — even more than President Biden asked for — but we can’t cancel student debt in this country.
So I believe it is time for President Biden to do the right thing.
It’s time for him to cancel student debt in this country.
Right now, the president is hearing from a lot of people on this issue. It’s important he hear from all of us as well.
Every day it becomes more obvious that having 46 million people drowning in $1.8 trillion of student debt is not sustainable.
The right thing to do for those people, and for our country, is to cancel it.
This article was originally published on Common Dreams.