Tag Archives: Student Loans

Under Obama’s socialist policies, youth “Misery Index” reaches record high

Young people usually only get one side of every issue - because we don't tell them the other side
Young people usually only get one side of every issue – because we don’t tell them the other side

Obama added $10 trillion to the national debt in his 8 years, doubling it from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. That will be placed on the backs of the next generation of younger Americans. But it turns out that they have many other problems as well.

This is from the College Fix.

Excerpt:

In the last two presidential elections, young voters served as a key demographic that helped catapult Barack Obama to the White House. What has he done for millennials in return? According to a new analysis, made them more miserable than ever.

Young America’s Foundation on Wednesday released its annual Youth Misery Index, calculated by adding youth unemployment, student loan debt, and national debt (per capita) numbers.

Today the youth unemployment rate exceeds 16 percent, and the average student in the class of 2015 graduated with a record $35,000 in student loan debt; national debt per capita, “a remarkable burden that will fall squarely on the shoulders of millennials,” is just under $59,000, the foundation reports.

With that, the index has spiked to a record high of 109.9 this year, up from 106.5 last January, and 83.5 in 2009 when President Obama took office, the foundation reports.

What about entitlement programs?

Business Daily reports on a Social Security problem:

The Social Security Trust Fund just suffered its first annual decline since Congress shored up the retirement program in 1983.

The unexpected $3 billion decline is an indication of the precarious state of Social Security’s finances. Since 2010, the program has been paying out more in benefits than it gets in tax revenue, but the trust fund, which earns about $95 billion a year in interest, had kept growing, though a little less each year.

[…]Under current policies, the CBO says the trust fund will be gone by 2029.

If nothing were done before that point, it would take an across-the-board 29% benefit cut — including on the oldest retirees and the disabled — to bring program costs in line with revenues.

Since we aborted the next generation of workers, we can’t afford to keep paying out benefits at the current rate. There are more people retiring than entering the work force. I hope they start to invest early, but what I am seeing is that they want to take out loans and travel the world for fun and thrills.

Obama doubled the national debt in 8 years
Obama doubled the national debt in 8 years

Anyway, on to the next problem, trillion dollar deficits. They’re back!

Investors Business Daily explains:

The federal budget deficit is back on the rise — by an expected $105 billion this year — the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, the first increase since fiscal 2009. Deficits topping $1 trillion will be back before you know it — three years sooner than expected.

[…]The CBO said the rise was primarily due to the year-end budget deal that extended, and in some cases expanded, corporate and individual tax cuts, as well as busting spending caps. The deficit-to-GDP ratio is expected to grow to 2.9% in fiscal 2016 from 2.5% last year. That would also be the first increase since 2009, with the trend getting worse in the years ahead.

From 2016 to 2025, the CBO expects cumulative deficits of $8.5 trillion — $1.5 trillion more than it predicted in August.

This is the budget deal that establishment Republicans like Paul Ryan supported. Rubio didn’t show up to vote against the Ryan deal. I assume that Rubio was OK with the spending bill passing, and these trillion dollar deficits returning. Cruz showed up to vote against the deal, of course.

And finally, the last problem – Obamacare is making health care more expensive than ever for the middle class.

Investors Business Daily again:

People making just $36,000 a year can easily end up spending 22% of it on health costs, even if they are enrolled in a subsidized ObamaCare insurance plan, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

[…]Individuals earning between 300% and 400% of the poverty level — which works out to roughly between $35,000 and $47,000 — will pay close to a median of 10% of their income on insurance premiums. (This group is eligible for ObamaCare insurance subsidies but at far lower levels than poorer people.)

And because ObamaCare plans typically come with high deductibles and copays, they’ll spend another 5% on out-of-pocket costs. For a worker making $36,000, the combined costs add up to $5,220.

The report found, however, that these costs could easily double. One in 10 people in this income group will end up devoting 22% of their incomes to insurance and out-of-pocket costs.

Even those in the lowest income group could get hit with big bills. One in 10 of those who make less than 200% of the poverty level will face health costs that eat up 18.5% of their income.

Obama likes to paint a rosy picture of the economy in his state of the union, but the real truth is not so rosy. Young people shouldn’t have voted for him, they are not going to live as prosperously as their elders did under Reagan and George W. Bush.

Can you learn anything useful in a non-STEM program at a secular university?

College students puking in toilet
College students puking in toilet

I’m really beginning to wonder. I subscribe to The College Fix and Campus Reform in my news reader. I get lots of news about how secular leftist political correctness has brainwashed the students to be very angry and self-indulgent. But whenever I read these stories, what I find is that they are almost never happening in STEM classrooms (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). It always seems to non-STEM professors (often feminists).

Here’s the first story from The College Fix:

The Muslim Student Association at San Diego State University is demanding that administrators combat Islamophobia by developing a “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions.”

[…]They demanded that the university adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward “Islamophobic speech,” mandatory bystander training, develop more courses on Islam, and increase funding for The Center for Intercultural Relations. Moreover, they demanded that “the SDSU administration address, alleviate, and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target students of color, womyn, and all marginalized students on campus.”

Beth Chee, a representative for the university, told The College Fix in an email that the university has not issued a formal response to the demands, but members of the administration have reviewed the list and are currently “meeting internally and with the students to discuss their concerns.”

No word on whether these Muslim students want bystander training for Muslims in Muslim countries so they know to intervene in the frequent murdering, torturing and raping that goes on there. That’s what they are learning on college campuses – how to be offended and demanding, not how to battle real evil in countries where it really exists.

Here’s another from The College Fix – this time native Americans:

The latest example of an alleged “microaggression” hails from Syracuse University, where a student suggested her music scholar was guilty of one for not knowing the latest cultural music trends relevant to her heritage.

“One student said a music faculty member was unaware of the latest musical trends in this student’s culture. The student felt this was a micro-aggression against her,” recalls Dr. David Rubin on Syracuse.com. Rubin, a longtime distinguished professor and dean, attended the workshop and reported his observations.

[…]Reached for comment by The College Fix on Sunday, Rubin said he believes the female student in question was Native American.

Yes, this student actually thought that it was the job of others to learn the things that she liked, rather than learning the best music. And if you didn’t learn what she liked, then you were offending her, and she could call you out on it in public. I wonder if she will be able to get a job when she graduates with that attitude? I would not hire her.

Another from The College Fix, this time black students:

Saying that black women are “not hot” got a Colorado College student suspended for six months – appealed down from 21.

[…]His friend Lou Henriques was expelled.

Their jokes took place on a night where the Yik Yak conversation on campus was centered around the theme #BlackLivesMatter.

[…]“Some people screenshotted the most racial things said [from Yik Yak that night], and they blew them up onto banners and hung them up in the student center in front of the dean’s office,” Pryor said.

One of the screenshots was his six-word post. A Student Life disciplinary panel brought Pryor in for questioning, where he learned that someone had reported him as the poster for almost all of the offensive posts.

Senior Associate Dean of Students Rochelle Mason, Dean of Students Mike Edmonds and Assistant Dean of Students Cesar Cervantes decided in less than 24 hours that Pryor should be suspended for 21 months – the exact time it would take him to finish his degree – and prohibited from being on campus.

In addition, Pryor was forbidden from taking courses for credit at other universities because of his crass remark. Because Henriques had a prior disciplinary record, he was expelled for a similar post, Pryor said.

Where do the students learn to get obsessed with things that have nothing to do with finding work in a competitive private sector economy? They learn it from non-STEM professors. Here’s a professor of political science threatening students about global warming, and here’s a professor of racial issues telling all the white people that they’re racists. Can these non-STEM professors get real jobs in a competitive free market with skills like that? Of course not. They have jobs because the government hands stupid students free money, and tells them that a college degree in drinking and hooking up is the same as a college degree in biomedical engineering.

Most of these professors and college administrators that make the news seem to be people who would have nothing of value to offer customers in the private sector. And, unfortunately, they are teaching the students to have the same deluded, spoiled, entitled views that they have. I really think that we need to solve this problem by moving student loans back to the private sector. Instead of letting government officials buy votes with student loan generosity, we should let banks and private companies make the loans. Then there would be some expectation that the loans would be paid back. This would also reduce the cost of college, since the money would not just be a handout to the already extravagant colleges and universities.

We are $20 trillion in debt, thanks to Obama, and $1 trillion of that is outstanding student loans. We cannot afford to continue shoveling money to universities where spoiled brats are teaching the next generation of students to be spoiled brats.

Neil Cavuto explains basic economics to college student who wants free tuition

She has $280,000 in student loan debt for "Chinese medicine"
She has $280,000 in student loan debt for “Chinese medicine”

The video, which goes about 10 minutes. This is a must watch.

The description of the video explains the contents:

Keely Mullen, an organizer for the Million Student March movement, joined Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto on the air Thursday to discuss the movement’s demands for free public college, student debt cancelation and a $15-an-hour minimum wage for student workers. In the awkward 9-minute interview, Cavuto repeatedly cited facts and figures that seemed to fluster the student.

When asked who would pick up the tab for the demands she listed, Mullen said, “The 1 percent of people who are hoarding the wealth and causing a catastrophe students are facing.”

“If the 1 percent just had their taxes raised a few years ago back to almost 40 percent then to pay for the healthcare law, they had them raised another few percentage points, then they had their deductions limited to raise another couple points — depending on the state or locality — they’re pushing over about 50 percent in taxes,” Cavuto told Mullen. “How much more do you think they should pay?”

Cavuto’s question, asked within the first two minutes of the interview, became the centerpiece of the entire discussion, as Mullen was unable to provide a clear answer.Mullen did say the rate should be raised to “enough until we have a system where not one in two families are threatened with poverty.” And when asked if she and her friends and family would pay more in taxes for her demands, she said “we already are.” However, according to Forbes, 45 percent of households pay no federal income taxes.

Cavuto asked Mullen where the money would come from should “these 1 percent hoarders” leave the country, and Mullen insisted there would always be wealthy people in the U.S. However, later in the interview, Cavuto told his guest that countries around the world, using Greece as an example, have run out of money because the top earners are fleeing.

When Cavuto asked her if she think the 1 percent could actually fund all her demands, Mullen said, “Absolutely.” However, Cavuot claimed taxing the 1 percent at 100 percent wouldn’t even fund Medicare for three years — let alone all of her demands for free services.

“They’ve done studies on this, Keeley, I don’t want to get boring here, but even if you were to take the 1 percent and take all of their money — tax it 100 percent — do you know that couldn’t keep Medicare, just Medicare, in this country going for three years?” Cavuto asked. “Did you know that?”

“Yeah, I don’t believe that,” Mullen said in response. “Yeah, I’m sorry, that just sounds completely ludicrous to me.”

Toward the end of the interview, Cavuto told Mullen taxing the 1 percent on 100 percent of their income would only yield “about one trillion” toward any entitlement program.

I took a look and found out that her father owns a million-dollar home. Also, she is studying two non-STEM subjects – political science and sociology. Both of these have some value, but they are also not the STEM areas that are in demand by employers.

By the way, Cavuto is not joking about how much money you can get by taking everything the 1% make.

The radically leftist New York Times explains how much you can get from “the rich” with a reasonably high tax rate:

To get the most accurate picture possible, throw in all the scraps of income, from the most obvious (like wages, interest and dividends) to the least (like employer contributions to health plans, overseas earnings and growth in retirement accounts). According to that measure — used by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution — the top 1 percent includes about 1.13 million households earning an average income of $2.1 million.

Raising their total tax burden to, say, 40 percent would generate about $157 billion in revenue the first year. Increasing it to 45 percent brings in a whopping $276 billion.

The Wall Street Journal has computed the costs of Bernie Sanders’ spending plan, and it came out to $18 trillion. Getting rid of all the current outstanding student loan balances would cost $1.2 trillion alone. I’ve already talked about the consequences of raising the minimum wage for young, minority workers – they won’t be able to find the entry level jobs they need to get their careers started, so they can move up.

The real question that needs to be asked is the one that Cavuto asked – do you expect the wealthy to continue producing at the same level when you take half or all of what they make. On the student’s view, the rich would work just as hard even if you took all their money and gave it to students taking underwater basket weaving, medieval pottery and puppetry. This is the question that people on the left never ask – what are the consequences of these policies for ALL of the parties who will be affected. That’s a simple question, but apparently not something that leftist professors teach their students to ask. College is generally little narcissists learning from big narcissists, at least in non-STEM programs. It certainly is not the place to learn basic economics and basic civics.

How to go to college without going into debt for the rest of your life

Choosing the right major
Choosing the right major: study one of these, or learn a trade that pays well

First, watch this this 5-minute video that explains why college is so expensive:

This video clearly makes two points:

  1. College costs more because of government subsidies
  2. Only STEM degrees are worth taking out loans for, because there is a demand for STEM-degree holders

Now, in a previous post, I explained more about what’s in the video, and linked to appropriate sources (the New York Times) for support.

But this time, I want to get some advice from a friend of mine, the famous Lindsay. She has a BS and MS in biology, was admitted to a PhD program in biology, but then decided to become a stay-at-home wife, and the best homeschooling mom in the whole world.

She writes:

It is possible to go to college and get a degree that will prepare you for a job and to do it without drowning yourself in debt. I did it. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Biology, with a 4.0 GPA throughout, with no debt, and got a job right out of college. But I’m the exception. You can’t just do what everyone else is doing and expect things to work out well for you. You have to be smart and informed or you’re likely to end up an unhappy statistic, paying down enormous debt on a degree you never use.

She has 5 pieces of advice for you young people.

Here’s my favorite:

5) Remember that the proper amount of student loans is zero and any non-zero amount must be justified by careful study and number-crunching to make sure it is worth it. Your future is at stake. In my experience, the only time student loans are an acceptable investment is when you’re going into a high paying field (think doctor, lawyer, or engineer), have very high graduation and employment potential (good grades and some work experience), and your realistic (not idealistic) future income will be sufficient to pay for your total student loans in less than 10 years while also allowing you to cover all your living expenses. You have to crunch the numbers and make sure the investment, including the interest you will pay, is worth it in better job prospects and pay than you could achieve without the degree. You can’t rely on the system to check this for you. They are all too happy to mortgage your future for a degree you can’t afford and that won’t get you a job.

Straight talk from the Lindsay.

I guess I should say something about me. It’s hard for me to remember the numbers exactly, but I think I finished my Bachelor of Computer Science with $9,000 in the black, and then graduated with a Masters of Computer Science with $16,000 in the black. As Lindsay advises in her point #4, I worked in the summers and took two semesters off (in my BS) to work full time. I went to a very ordinary school in my home town for both degrees, and chose all programming courses as much as I could. I stayed away from anything theoretical, and even niche courses. (At least until graduate school – then I went crazy and audited 5 theoretical courses in addition to my programming courses and thesis). I do recommend working in some work related to your degree, at least in the summer, even if you don’t get paid. However, if you can’t find paid work in the summer related to your degree, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re not in a program that is going to pay for itself.

I mentor a lot of young Christian men and women about their educations and careers. Of all the other young Christians I mentor, everyone is in a STEM program, except for these two girls in California who just started working on. One got a job on Monday night, and the other one (who is shy) is investigating getting a promotion at her current job, as well as adjusting the courses she is taking now. Parents really need to be on top of the education and career situation of their children. And older Christians like me, well we need to be taking an interest in young Christians… making sure they study apologetics, apply themselves in school, study for jobs that pay – either in vocational training or in a STEM college program. Something where they  can find a job that pays. This is especially important for men, because they are tasked with the role of primary provider.

By the way, college is not for everyone. Previously, I blogged about the specialty welder who has struck it rich. There are many advantages to being in a field like that where you get to work as much or as little as you want, instead of working 40 hours a week regardless of money requirements. If you don’t like welding, here’s a list of blue-collar jobs that pay well.

New study: Average student loan balance at graduation hits record high under Obama

President Obama's student loan bubble
President Obama’s student loan bubble

The new study is discussed in The Federalist.

Excerpt:

Graduates from the class of 2014 can thank President Obama that they’re exiting college with the highest student loan burden ever. They graduated with an average of $28,950 in student loans, according to a new study by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

[…]A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York examining how student loans rose between 2001-2012 concluded that the more government subsidizes education, the more colleges raise their prices.

The study explains:

Yearly student loan originations grew from $53 billion to $120 billion between 2001 and 2012, with about 90% of originations in recent years occurring through federal student aid programs. Against this backdrop of increased borrowing, average sticker tuition rose 46% in constant 2012 dollars between 2001 and 2012, from $6,950 to $10,200.

In the years examined, tuition increased about 55 to 65 cents for every dollar the federal government gave out in student loans or Pell Grants.

Surprise! A government program designed to lower the cost of education actually did the opposite. Once colleges saw they could rake in money from helpless taxpayers, they figured: “Why stop now?” Consequently, tuition has skyrocketed due to government involvement.

Under Obama’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Education has increased the maximum Pell Grant award from $1,000 in 2008 to $5,730 for 2014-15. Additionally, it has doubled the number of students slated to receive these funds. If history is any indication, this expansion won’t lower the cost of higher education. In fact, it will probably do the opposite.

What’s more, increasing numbers of these loans aren’t getting repaid. Currently, about 40 million people owe about $1.2 trillion in student debt. Last year, 11.8 percent of student loans subsidized by the government fell into default, which is bad news for taxpayers, who are left holding the bag.

Well, if the rate of defaults is increasing, then how come bankers are still giving out these loans. Glad you asked. It’s not bankers who is giving out these loans with bank money. It’s Obama giving out these loans with taxpayer money. You see, Obama nationalized the student loan system in 2010, so that anyone can now get a loan no matter what they study, and no one has any requirement that they study something that allows them to pay the money back.

Investors Business Daily explains:

In 2010, Obama eliminated the federal guaranteed loan program, which let private lenders offer student loans at low interest rates. Now, the Department of Education is the only place to go for such loans.

Obama sold this government takeover as a way to save money — why bear the costs of guaranteeing private loans, he said, when the government could cut out the middleman and lend the money itself?

The cost savings didn’t happen. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office just increased its 10-year forecast for the loan program’s costs by $27 billion, or 30%.

What did happen was an explosive growth in the amount of federal student loan debt… The result of Obama’s action is striking. In each of the past six years, federal direct student loan debt has climbed by more than $100 billion.

And since Obama keeps making it easier and easier to avoid repaying those loans, it’s a problem that taxpayers will eventually have to shoulder.

The radically leftist New York Times, of all places, supports this view that big government is behind the rise in the cost of higher education (student loan bubble), just like big government was behind the housing bubble.

This is by Paul F. Campos, law professor at the radically leftist UC Boulder.

He writes:

[P]ublic investment in higher education in America is vastly larger today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was during the supposed golden age of public funding in the 1960s. Such spending has increased at a much faster rate than government spending in general. For example, the military’s budget is about 1.8 times higher today than it was in 1960, while legislative appropriations to higher education are more than 10 times higher.

[…][F]ar from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. 

[…]As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.

[…]State appropriations reached a record inflation-adjusted high of $86.6 billion in 2009. They declined as a consequence of the Great Recession, but have since risen to $81 billion. And these totals do not include the enormous expansion of the federal Pell Grant program, which has grown, in today’s dollars, to $34.3 billion per year from $10.3 billion in 2000.

The more money that is attached to students, the more money universities charge – simple. Taxpayers are on the hook for all these defaulted loans, as well as state funding of higher education, as well as the increase in Pell grants. And what is Hillary Clinton’s response to all this? Why, to make taxpayers pay for college for everyone. Who do you think is going to pay for that?

Maybe we should be electing someone who actually knows how to make the costs of higher education go down so that students don’t have to be stuck with these huge student loan balances.