There seems to be no end to the horrible things President Trump is doing to groups of people. If you asked folks to identify the groups of people President Trump wishes to harm, common answers might include African-Americans, Muslims, or immigrants. You also might add most women to the list, too. However, if this isn’t a long enough list for you, President Trump’s recent budget proposal is going to extend that list to include young teachers, young lawyers, and more. How is President Trump doing this? It’s through student loan debt.
In 2007, Congress understood that America’s young people were graduating from college with enormous amounts of debt. To make matters even worse, the job market looked bleak during those years. This inspired Congress to come up with a solution. With support from both political parties, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
The Public Loan Forgiveness Program is simple. The program promises young people that their federal student loans will be forgiven after ten years of monthly payments. The key requirement for the program was that you needed to be employed in a job that benefited the public.
Plenty of jobs were identified as counting towards the program. For example, teachers and lawyers serving the poor qualified. You could also work as a doctor in a rural area to help make medical care more accessible. It was understood these jobs probably paid less than other jobs. However, the benefit was that you wouldn’t need to worry about your students loans. In return, the government found a large and motivated talent pool to fill sorely needed job vacancies around the country.
Appallingly, this incredible program is now in jeopardy. President Trump’s budget proposal ends loan forgiveness for public service. This proposal essentially kills the program. With student loan debt reaching record heights, few people will want to enter these important professions. Critical jobs for the health and safety of our nation will remain unfilled. Even worse, the people currently enrolled in this program are about to be irreparably harmed. Half a million young people decided to forfeit higher paying jobs to take advantage of this program. Now, all of those people have lost a decade of potential earnings and will still be stuck with mountains of student debt. It’s horrible!
The math behind this proposal is even more appalling. Striking the program will reportedly save only $859 million. That may sound like a lot to some folks, but it is only 7% of what the government spends in a single day! Cutting the program is tantamount to removing a raindrop from a swimming pool. It’s insane!
Encouragingly, top officials in both parties are saying President Trump’s budget is dead on arrival. This means Congress will be making drastic changes to the budget. It is very possible the program could be reinstated in the budget. However, this isn’t a cause to rejoice. President Trump may have put such a cruel item in the budget simply expecting to jettison it later as a bargaining trip. However, this just means that other horrible things may remain in the budget in exchange for keeping the program funded. Also, the mere fact that President Trump is willing to terrify the younger generation by suggesting to eliminate the program speaks volumes to his character.
Thankfully, people aren’t taking this lying down. For example, many people are already suing the Education Department for retroactively rejecting people from the program after their jobs had previously been deemed acceptable. Hopefully, this lawsuit will help bring about change.
Will this draconian budget cut harm you? Let us know below!