I Am The 100%… 100% Paid In Full

In College Education, Loan Forgiveness, Obama Administration, Occupy Wall Street Protests, Student Loans on October 27, 2011 at 12:41 am

University of Chicago Quadrangle, photo by author

I am the 100%.   100% paid in full.

About $100,000 of college loans have been repaid between my wife and me.  A small portion of the loans still remain, which absolutely will be paid in full.

Loan forgiveness?  Thanks, but no thanks.

I am hardly unique; millions of us quietly repay our student loans.  We are not asking for a bailout.

Is repaying the education debt a burden?  Yes, paying it back was the “burden” President Obama and many pundits call student loans these days.  At times, things have been very tight financially.  Even in better times, that money would have been useful for many other things.  A hypothetical $100,000 of forgiveness might have meant a bigger house, a car better than a Corolla or fewer “staycations”. 

But I see no reason whatsoever, as a gainfully employed middle class person, to even consider foisting the loans off on other taxpayers (many of whom lack a college degree and, on average, earn a lot less than we the 28% who are college educated [see]).

In fact, like many of us, one of my degrees is from a public university.  I thank Illinois taxpayers for having made available an excellent, low cost education.  I will not complain about the comparatively small loan. 

Even my degree from an expensive private institution is a reason for thankfulness, not resentment.  Yes, I took on significant student loan debt.  But the benefit of the education is mine.  Many philanthropists have given generously to America’s private universities.  Without their support, private university tuition would be even more expensive.  Thank you John D. Rockefeller, Joe Mansueto, Dennis Keller, David G. Booth and countless others for your generous donations that have helped keep education costs down for folks like me. 

Mr. and Ms. Taxpayer, you do not owe me anything.  In fact, I owe you until I have finished the last dime of student loan repayment.  It is my pleasure to uphold my part of the student loan contract with you the American taxpayer.  Instead of an unecessary bail-out of the college educated, why don’t you lower the federal budget deficit instead?


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