In a radio interview today, North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx recounted the way she worked her way through college and said “there’s no reason” for students to graduate with $80,000 or $200,000 in student-loan debt.
ThinkProgress flagged the interview as though it somehow reflected poorly on Foxx, but I really fail to see how she’s not offering a hopeful message. She’s essentially just saying, “Hey kids, you don’t have to take on the crushing burden of student-loan debt! You have options.” Who doesn’t want to hear that?
True, college tuition is higher than ever — but that’s largely because the government pumps so much money into higher education, through loans and other programs. Hate to break it to future college students, but college tuition prices are likely to continue to go up. Through Obamacare, the administration completely took over the student loan industry. That’s a recipe for the creation of the same kind of bubble that eventually burst into the housing crisis.
Admittedly, it takes a delayed-gratification mindset to work through school. Alternatively, it might take humility to choose a school you can afford over the dream school you can’t afford. It’ll be worth it, though, when you graduate debt-free or with a debt you’ll actually be able to repay.
Occasionally, you’ll hear a person talk about student-loan debt as though the borrower had no choice but to take out the loan. Maybe life didn’t turn out the way the borrower expected. Maybe he entered the workforce when the economy was poor and doesn’t have a job with the kind of salary he expected. Those circumstances cause the borrower to look back on the decision he made to take out the loan and to try to avoid responsibility for it. Just because he thought he’d be able to pay it off when he took it out and now finds it’s not as easy as he thought, though, doesn’t mean he still didn’t decide to take out the loan. When you take out a loan, you are responsible to pay it back. That is the nature of a loan.
Nothing is more empowering in life than the realization that you can take responsibility for your own decisions — and change your decisions in the future if you don’t like the consequences of the decisions you’ve made up to this point! Why don’t liberals want individuals to experience that kind of liberation and empowerment?