The Big Student Loan Lie

Source: The American Prospect
by John R Brooks

“Much of the debate about student loans is framed in terms of financial statistics. We hear that we have $1.6 trillion of debt outstanding, or that the income-driven repayment programs might cost taxpayers $100 billion or more, or that there’s a $500 billion ‘hole’ in the system, or that canceling $50,000 of debt per person might cost $1 trillion. Estimates like these purport to frame contested policy choices in terms of hard dollars, with the clear inference that policies like one-time student loan cancellation or expanded income-driven repayment programs are simply unaffordable. There’s only one problem: These numbers are made up. They are mere artifacts of a series of policy and modeling choices, with little basis in the reality of personal or public finance, or the costs and benefits of higher education.” (01/05/22)