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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 13, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Student debt: Debt forgiveness disincentives individuals

I am writing in outrage at President Obama’s proposal to give “free” money to voluntary debtors [“Prodding Congress, Obama acts to ease student debt,” Nation and World, June 9].

Just like the prior student loan-forgiveness program, it would unilaterally modify contracts between private parties, who have voluntarily agreed to a loan-and-repayment contract.

It applies retroactively to all existing contracts, much like President Clinton’s executive order that retroactively gave greatly expanded copyright terms to his friends in the entertainment industry — there was no legal or moral rationale for it, just a plum for his financial supporters, and a hidden tax on the rest of us.

The debt deal is simply pandering for votes from those families that will benefit from this. It is a free gift, devoid of incentives to perform or maximize productivity.

Who will pay for it? All of society, in the form of inflation and increased interest rates on the rest of us — particularly the most productive among us (those who pay income taxes).

This is just the next step toward declaring that higher education for all is a “right,” to be paid for by “rich people”.

Rick Peterson, Seattle

Comments | More in Student debt | Topics: college, President Obama, Rick Peterson

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