Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is getting attacked by neo-liberals and conservatives over a tweet asking why families are paying up to 10% on student loan debts, but can refinance their homes at 3% — because these people completely missed the simple point the senator was making.
You have families out there paying 6, 8, 10 percent on student debt but you can refinance your homes at 3 percent. What sense is that?
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 26, 2015
Yes, there are different kinds of debt — many people jumped in to remind Sanders of collateral, and how homes have “actual value,” but that right there is the problem. Why aren’t we considering our citizens educations to be valuable investments?
To be leaders in innovation, something necessary for a thriving nation — people need to have access to proper education to acquire skills.
“In a highly competitive global economy, we need the best-educated workforce in the world. It is insane and counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. That shortsighted path to the future must end,” Sanders stated on his website.
Many argued that a bank can repossess a home, “but not your brain.”
A bank can repossess a house. They can't repossess your brain if you quit paying student loans. Though, you make me wonder.
— Smittie™ GED (Hons), BS (D-) (@smittie61984) December 26, 2015
If the fact that an educated population being a good investment in all of our futures (because a skilled and educated workforce is necessary to achieve economic growth) doesn’t move you — the argument that student loans are actually safer than mortgages is pretty sound.
The problem with the “banks can repossess a house, but not your brain” logic is the fact that you can declare bankruptcy on a mortgage, but a student loan debt will stay with you for life. There is no way out of it.
Despite the salacious headline from the right-wing outlet the Blaze, this non-Sanders supporter also jumped in to explain why student loans are a safer bet than home or auto loans.
“Economically illiterate? Hmmm….typical unsecured loans are 3.99 to 6.99, and they are not govt guaranteed nor are they defined as long term debt. Not unreasonable to question why other long term debt with similar benchmarks are so dramatically different, regardless of security. By the way, govt guaranteed debt is more secure than home collaterized debt. Fact,” a Blaze reader with the handle Ratiocinative explained. “Not a Bernie fan, but his is a very economically logical question. The fact that he’s criticized for it says a lot about the critics economic understanding. Funny…sad, but funny.”
Sanders’ plan to make college free is not a radical idea, despite what you may hear from the GOP and neo-liberals. Many other countries around the world have successfully eliminated tuition and are thriving, such as Germany, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
His plan to achieve this is by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators “who nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago,” Sanders notes. More than 1,000 economists have endorsed such a tax.
While Sanders’ tweet was certainly not “economically illiterate,” or “bad economics,” Sanders will tell you what actually is:
“Over the next decade, it has been estimated that the federal government will make a profit of over $110 billion on student loan programs. This is morally wrong and it is bad economics.”
nytpolitics: Bernie Sanders touched on education and incarceration in his opening statement. … pic.twitter.com/bhJRsX3wg2
— SwarTz Mooha (@CyberAnonymous) October 14, 2015
Featured image via Twitter