Politics, Student Loans

Is Writing A Best Seller The Only Way To Pay For Law School?

Marco Rubio

Man, I need to write a book. At this point, it could be about anything. Law. Debt. Raising a baby who can take a punch. It doesn’t matter. I’ve known for some time that selling a book is the only way I’m ever going to pay off my massive law school debts.

What I didn’t know was that becoming a best seller was the only idea our nation’s political leaders have for paying off their own law school debts. Seriously, you’d think my book idea was a fanciful plan that is the cause of terrible financial planning. And it is. But I’ve written before about how our president, Barack Obama, didn’t pay off his law school debts and until he published a best-seller. It’s not exactly a sound financial plan, even though it does work out in some cases.

But this “just write a book” approach to law school debt knows no party lines. Today I found out that Republican Senator (and likely presidential candidate unless Republicans figure out that “Cubans from Miami” are not the same as “Mexicans living in Colorado”) Marco Rubio took the same path to paying off his law school debts.

So, I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t feel bad about still having this much debt, and instead get busy writing, “How to Write a Successful Blog When Your Readers Kind of Hate You.” Because apparently, that’s how a leader approaches the vexing problem of educational debt….

Obama and Rubio wrote books, Romney asked his Dad. Are there any top politicians who paid for law school the old fashioned way: working in a job that they hate for ten years while they slowly died inside only to wake up one day “debt-free,” yet owing so much in alimony and child support that they have to keep being the lawyer they never really wanted to be until they die? Doesn’t that still happen anymore?

Or is it all, “I parlayed my quintessential American experience into a tome that everybody buys and nobody reads because who reads things that are longer than 1,000 words these days”?

The story sucking up air time not already devoted to the fact that nothing is happening on the fiscal cliff is that Marco Rubio just finished paying off his loans. From Yahoo! News:

Rubio was honored Tuesday night at the Jack Kemp Foundation Awards dinner, where he made a case for broad policy reform, including changes to the nation’s education system.

“We need to reform our federal college grant and loan programs. To me college affordability is an issue that is very personal. Because the only reason why I was able to go to college–the only reason–was because of federal grants and loans. But when I graduated from law school, I had close to $150,000 in student debt,” Rubio said after accepting the award. “That’s a debt I just paid off just last year with the proceeds of my book ‘An American Son,’ the perfect holiday gift and available on Amazon for only $11.99.”

Okay, that’s a nice little joke and I agree with the fundamental good intention that loan money is key in giving kids an opportunity to go to college and law school.

But the point that I think gets lost when Obama, or now Rubio, talk about this, is needing to write a book to pay off your loans doesn’t mean the government made education affordable. Making education affordable would involve bringing the price point down to a level where people could afford it without going into debt that even U.S. Senators struggle to pay back.

I mean, we don’t say, “I can afford this poker game because the mob has loaned me enough money to play.”

But I guess paying off the law school loan shark without having a book to hawk is a problem for somebody else. Me, I’m going to call up Elizabeth Wurtzel and ask her how it’s done. Instead of Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (affiliate link), maybe my book could be called “Black: Conversations With Fictitious White People That End In Violence.”

Sen. Marco Rubio just finished paying off student loan debt [Yahoo! News]

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