Dear President Obama, First Lady Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Education Secretary Duncan:
Hello all. I am writing on behalf of the massive amount of educational debt that I am no longer able to pay. Like so many young Americans, I got into a much better and more expensive school than my family could afford. After being told approximately 5,000,000 times that education was the “silver bullet” that was necessary to live the “American Dream,” I decided to fund my education through various loan programs. At the time, it seemed reasonable.
After I completed my four year degree program, I sadly learned that I wasn’t qualified to do anything particularly interesting. I’m not really good with computers, so creating the web application that simulates blow jobs or farts wasn’t an option for me. Based in part on the advice of nearly every intelligent person I’ve ever met, I decided to double down on the “education” gambit and get a post-graduate degree.
Mind you, I did eventually want to do real work and earn real money for a living, so I didn’t pursue a Ph.D. Instead I opted for a professional degree. A J.D. if you must know.
Once again, I decided to go to the best school that I could get into, instead of the cheapest school I could find. Once again, I received a significant amount of federal aid to accomplish this. At the time, I knew that I was signing myself up for years in a grueling job that I wouldn’t really enjoy, but I understood that there was “no such thing as a free lunch.” I was willing to sacrifice.
But, it looks like America is not holding up her end of the bargain. Please continue reading.
President Obama, I’ve learned that you did not fully pay back your student debt until you received the royalties from your first best-seller, Dreams from my Father. Good work. Unfortunately, the American publishing industry is almost dead. I can’t even get anyone to look at my book How I Massively Disappointed my Mother.
Mrs. Obama, I understand that you used your salary from Sidley Austin to help support your young family while your husband was helping poor people. I’d be willing to work at Sidley Austin. Are they hiring? (Please see attached cover letter and resume.)
Mr. Geithner, I pay my taxes, so we don’t have a lot in common. But, I’m sure you can empathize with a person who wants to pay what they owe, but can’t because they received some bad advice.
Mr. Duncan, I don’t know a lot about you, but you graduated with a sociology degree, which tells me that it took you a very long time to find gainful employment of any kind. Can you imagine if somebody actually expected you to earn money?
With all the bailout money flying around, you should all be able to see that students with loans are getting killed in this market. Since so many of us owe money directly to the federal government anyway, you wouldn’t even have to write us a check. Just forgive the student debts owed to you. Here’s an opinion piece from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators:
“The banking and auto industries received bailout money, so why not bail out students and recent grads who are shouldered with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt?” writes Tim Goral, Editor-in-Chief at University Business. “Just wipe it off the books, give everyone a fresh start, and all will be fine. … Robert Applebaum, a 35-year-old attorney, who is … struggling under loan debt, formed a Facebook group called ‘Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy’ dedicated to the cause. He believes forgiving loan debt for those making under $150,000 annually would help boost the economy from the bottom up. ‘Forgiving student loan debt would have an immediate stimulating effect on the economy,’ [Applebaum] writes. ‘Responsible people who did nothing other than pursue a higher education would have hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars per month to spend, fueling the economy now.’”
That’s the carrot.
The stick is this: nobody is really going to pay you back anyway. Where do you think loan payments rank on a priority list that includes: food, shelter, anti-depressants, and résumé paper? I mean, at this point, what is the government going to do? “Ruin” my credit rating? Nobody is lending money anyway, and it won’t be too long before I can get a house for free by agreeing to do the yard work. You can’t garnish my wages because my wages do not exist.
So really, forgiving student debts is not only appropriate, it also the only practicable option you have right now. Please look into it.
The young, educated, elites that put you into office.
Opinion: An Idea Just Crazy Enough to Work? (University Business) [National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators]
An Idea Just Crazy Enough to Work? [University Business]