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Thursday morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and others held a press conference reintroducing a resolution that calls on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of federal student loan debt.

Consider the following: “On an annual basis, bachelor’s degree holders earn about $32,000 more than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma. The earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. Millennials with a high school diploma earn 62 percent of what the typical college graduate earns. In 2019, median income for recent graduates reached $44,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings are $30,000 a year.” (Association of Public and Land Grant Universities)

“Men with bachelor's degrees earn $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates; women earn $630,000 more. Men with graduate degrees earn $1.5 million more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates; women earn $1.1 million more.” (Social Security Administration)

According to Sen. Warren, “Canceling student loan debt is good for you whether you have student loan debt or not because it is good for our economy.” A strange twist on trickle-down economics. Ask the young professionals, and their parents, who worked, saved, borrowed, and repaid their college expenses whether they concur. Ask the vocationally trained and educated tradesperson or technician, whose taxes will ultimately be needed to pay for such loan forgiveness, whether they concur.

Given the above earnings information, it’s difficult to understand why the lender (the federal government) and the borrower (student) believe it is right to transfer the consequences of their agreement (the loan) onto an unrelated third party, the taxpayer.

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Dane Gamble

Bozeman