March 24, 2015

Ending Ivory Tower Welfare

Arnold Ahlert: “It is the American taxpayer who is ultimately responsible for any and all defaults on student loans. And the amount of outstanding debt is staggering, currently amounting to $1.6 trillion and projected to reach the $2 trillion mark by 2022. … More importantly, the current student loan default rate is 13.7 percent. Even worse, there is a student loan forgiveness program that allows much of that debt to be discharged by the debtors themselves – meaning the rest of us get stuck with the tab. … How much of that debt is borne by the universities where the cost of a college degree has increased by an unconscionable 1120 percent over the last three decades, four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index? Not one dime. … It’s time to take some taxpayer-backed ivory out of those ivory towers, and put some market-driven economics in. If a former student can’t pay his or her loans, send their former university a bill for part, or all, of the difference. A taxpayer backstop amounts to nothing more than an academic welfare program. Every other business has to make their product affordable or they go bankrupt. Colleges should face the same choice, or be forced to come before Congress and tell the American public why they should remain exempt from such realities. For the ‘high-minded’ doyens of higher education, it might be their first brush with reality in quite some time.”

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