“Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:
Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.
I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.”
– “Cancel All Student Debt” – The Petitions Begin (ZeroHedge, March 14, 2015):
With global moral hazard having long ago become institutionalized, and codified as “monetary policy”, catering almost exclusively to the TBTF entities in the financial sector, we were surprised it took as long as it did for Obama to announce (as he did last week), that the administration is now studying “new bankruptcy options” for student loan borrowers: code word for an across the board student debt moratorium, or forgiveness.
The President is directing his Cabinet and White House advisers, working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to study whether consumer protections recently applied to mortgages and credit cards, such as notice and grace periods after loans are transferred among lenders and a requirement that lenders confirm balances to allow borrowers to pay off the loan, should also be afforded to student loan borrowers and improve the quality of servicing for all types of student loans. The agencies will develop recommendations for regulatory and legislative changes for all student loan borrowers, including possible changes to the treatment of loans in bankruptcy proceedings and when they were borrowed under fraudulent circumstances.
Well, it didn’t take long for virtually every leftist group: from the Daily Kos, to Democracy for America, to Campaign for America’s Future and many more, to jump on this bandwagon, and demand – you guessed it – that the administration “cancel all student debt.”
Sure, why not: leaving aside the very touchy topic of personal responsibility and accountability, in a world in which record debt is merely “replaced” by even more debt, and in which profits are privatized but losses are always socialized with taxpayers and future generations bearing the brunt in the form of a record $18.2 trillion in public debt (and some $7 trillion more if one adds the government-backed GSEs which one should), why not go ahead and “cancel” the debt. And don’t bother trying to explain the simple math that debt is never cancelled, as every liability is someone’s asset, and that asset holder will demand to be made whole in the form of more debt elsewhere or else, like Hank Paulson in 2008, it will scream mutual assured destruction and threaten to blow up the world unless bailed out.
In short, what all the concerned entities listed above are saying is not “cancel all student debt”, which is impossible, but share the burden of the 43.2 million “student debtors” shown in the chart below, with everyone.
After all, “it’s only fair.”
Finally, since nobody, anywhere is harboring any doubt that any of the record debt the world is burdened with will ever be repaid, and instead will eventually be hyperinflated away even it means paradropping bags of cash, this proposal actually has a good chance of passing (sorry future generations not only in the US but around the globe).
Once it does, and once colleges know they can charge anything for tuition, room and board – because the debt funding it will be socialized and ultimately “forgiven” – prepare for the green line below, already exponential, to go… vertical.