We Shouldn’t Cure Cancer Because It Would be Unfair to Everyone Who Fought Cancer and Won

Adding to Betty’s post, if there is anything that more perfectly encapsulates the wingnut mindset of “I got mine, fuck you,” I don’t know what it is. As someone who JUST a few months ago paid off my student loans, which were much less than your average millennials because I had the GI Bill, several jobs, and was a GA during grad school, I can tell you that I don’t for one minute think it would be unfair to me if other people had this burden removed from them. As Warren notes, society inflicted these loans on these kids because the boomers* and others didn’t want to pay the taxes previous generations paid to educate them. I am all for student loan forgiveness- I can think of nothing better than to let these kids have the financial freedom to move to careers they want rather than taking multiple gig jobs they have to have to pay their student loans. And then they can do all sorts of other shit like buy houses and go to Applebee’s and all the other shit they haven’t been able to do and are accused of “killing.”

Fuck Phil Klein.

*- I am talking generationally not about you I am sure you are a very fine boomer with the noblest of intentions you whiny fuck.






166 replies
  1. 1
    Ruckus says:

    John, how do you really feel?
    On the actual subject at hand we should remember as well that an educated population improves the whole while a subservient population improves the bank balance of the rich. And after all what is more important than making the rich, richer? Isn’t that our niche in life?

  2. 2
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Up until now, I was blissfully unaware of who Phil Klein was. I am still blissfully unaware of who Phil Klein is since I did not click on the linked article.

  3. 3
    NonyNony says:

    *- I am talking generationally not about you I am sure you are a very fine boomer with the noblest of intentions you whiny fuck.

    I love you John Cole – don’t ever change!

  4. 4
    Another Scott says:

    More ragging on Boomers!!11 Grr!!!11

    Reagan wasn’t a Boomer.

    Grr11!!11ONE

    ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  5. 5
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    Perfect headline.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    If you went by that moron’s logic, it would be unfair to all the people who died of smallpox if you got the vaccine.

  7. 7
    SenyorDave says:

    My brother is a 62 year old doctor. When he graduated med school in 1983 he had about $60k in student loans, which may not seem huge, but bear in mind this was 36 years ago, so it was probably equivalent to $150k in today’s money. . He did a residency and fellowship for five years total, during which he might have averaged $30k per year in salary so he saved very little since he was in NYC and had to pay rent and expenses. For him the clock started ticking in 1988 in terms of paying off the loans. But within five years in private practice he was making over $250k.
    Every case is different and should be looked at separately in terms of forgiving student loans. I don’t buy the fairness argument the way Klein frames it all. But the bottom line is that forgiveness of student loans will ultimately come out of the taxpayer’s pockets, and if those student loans went to someone who will be making $500k a year, they can afford to repay them. If it is for a teacher making $50k a year that is a different situation.
    This can’t be a one size fits all program.

  8. 8
    Josie says:

    I’m not really a boomer (a little too old), but I don’t recall having a choice or a vote on taxes that helped pay for college tuition. Was this a thing? Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention when it happened.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Adding to Betty’s post, if there is anything that more perfectly encapsulates the wingnut mindset of “I got mine, fuck you,” I don’t know what it is.

    You are on point, Cole.
    Absolutely on point.

  10. 10

    @SenyorDave:

    But the bottom line is that forgiveness of student loans will ultimately come out of the taxpayer’s pockets, and if those student loans went to someon who will be making $500k a year, they can afford to repay them. If it is for a teacher making $50k a year that is a different situation.
    This can’t be a one size fits all program.

    From downstairs:

    Warren laid out in a Medium post her plan to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for everyone who makes under $100,000 per year. Those making between $100,000 and $250,000 would see that $50,000 cancellation figure decrease by $1 for every $3 the person makes above $100,000

  11. 11
    justawriter says:

    Atrios at 8:45 a.m. “Cue people saying “what about mah college that I paid for?” “

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SenyorDave: Warren addresses that in the Medium post where she lays out how it would work. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing — income is taken into account.

  13. 13
    Nicole says:

    @SenyorDave: It’s not a one-size fits all program. It’s $50,000 coming off the initial debt for people making less than $100,000 a year. It gradually deducts until, for someone making $250,000 a year or more, there is no debt forgiveness. So your friend would have received an initial break during the years he was making $30k, but the remaining debt would still have been his to pay.

    Would he need it less, over the course of his life, than someone who tops out at $65k a year? Of course. But virtually all seniors receive Medicare and virtually all seniors receive Social Security, despite the fact that some seniors don’t need those programs the way others do. But what makes those programs so popular is that they are, in a way, one size fits all. Everyone benefits from them. A loan forgiveness program that benefits just about everyone will be much more popular than one that only benefits the working poor (see the hatred towards food stamps).

  14. 14
    justawriter says:

    This can’t be a one size fits all program.

    Why the hell not? The number of people making more than $250,000 a year in this country is so small that the incremental cost to the program would be dwarfed by the amount spent on compliance checking. And once you have compliance checking there is a creeping tendency especially on the the right wing to make sure only “the deserving” get benefits (which is never applied to tax cuts somehow) and leads to cruel stupidities like work requirements for Medicaid.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    My only quibble is at this point, the $50k figure is probably too low. For people with graduate degrees, it’s very difficult to come out less than 6-figures in debt.

  16. 16
    Ohio Mom says:

    Boomer here. The effort to make higher education a soul-crushing expense started in the 1970s. There were some free colleges before then — the ones I know about were the NY City College system, the Unversity of Cincinnati, and the California system. That era was midway through the Boomer college years.

    I have long suspected that the ultimate reason for college to be so expensive was thought up by the forces who eventually developed ALEC, and it is to quash rebellions. It was in response to the Vietnam protests. Obviously there were too many young people who weren’t afraid enough and had lots of free time.

    If you are worried about paying back your loans, you want to make sure you get a good job; you sure as anything don’t want a record of arrests from participating in demonstrations. Once you have a job, you are going to be a “good” worker because you need to make those payments.

    Anyway, I’m all for forgiving student loans and making college affordable from here on out. Even if I put the blame on the Koch brothers et al and not Boomers in general.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    Why do you think we haven’t cured cancer yet?

  18. 18
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    From someone who borrowed and through interest now have over $400 k in loans, (I didn’t borrow even close to that much) but 6% compound interest is a killer, I’m angry that I can’t discharge my debt. I got sick and never was able to get a job that even allowed me to pay for the loans-I now am working a program that is income sensitive.

    I guestion the efficiency of the whole program first of all. I had to borrow for everything without any guarantee that it was enough to cover my expenses after graduation. I had to borrow just to live on my own, eat, attend classes. Barely adequate health insurance-which is why I was sick. Think too of the costs of administration-collections, disbursement, et cetera, interest.
    Can we has single-payer college instead?

  19. 19
    Nicole says:

    It makes me think about how I often think of parents as falling into one of two groups- those that want better for their kids than they themselves had, and those that angrily announce that what was good enough for them is good enough for their kids. I find the second group incredibly depressing.

  20. 20
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Ohio Mom: I agree with you. In the late 1970’s I was able to get some college through an experimental Job Corps program. Unfortunately, when the money ran out, I couldn’t stay. But at least I got something without crushing debt. Maybe if they had funded another 2 years, I could have at least gotten close to a bachelor’s.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    Mexico will cure cancer. //

  22. 22

    @Cacti:

    For people with graduate degrees, it’s very difficult to come out less than 6-figures in debt.

    That really depends on whether we’re talking about business school or, like, an in-state engineering master’s.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    I agree, and I paid my student loans, although they were small and reasonable, because I was lucky enough to go to a public college when public colleges were still publicly-supported.

    So I got a GIANT, UNEARNED subsidy, thanks to the people who came before me and paid my way, which I prefer not to kid myself about. I got a good deal. They got a bad deal, and I want someone to even that up. It’s just not fair to them.

  24. 24

    My experience teaching at a public university was that tuition rose sharply after some financial crisis in the late 90s. States experienced budget short falls and R state legislatures cut funding. At Iowa State, tuition rose by double digit percentages to make up for the cuts, which sometimes came in the middle of the year when it was hard to do anything about them. I’m guessing that’s when loans started getting bigger too.

    Someone surely has better data than my personal recollection.

  25. 25
    Puddinhead says:

    The idea needs to be extended to trade schools and other non 4-year programs. Market it as college=career training, so are trade schools, etc. and it would be far more broadly popular. As is, it will be poo-pooed as “taxpayer funded art majors.”

    Companies have been complaining about the readiness of people entering the workforce since dirt was in kindergarten, so this should be a relatively easy sell.

  26. 26
    Tim C. says:

    @NonyNony: So say we all!

  27. 27

    @Another Scott: As a generational cohort, the Boomers where the only group that voted against Reagan in 1980.

  28. 28
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Nicole:

    I find the second group incredibly depressing.

    You misspelled “nauseating,” I think.

  29. 29
    Scot says:

    I would be happy to see college costs and minimum wage raised back to levels in the 70s where my $2/hour minimum wage job was sufficient to pay the $400/semester tuition cost. That’s 200 hours of labor or about 10 hours/week. At $3500/sem today at $8/hr, it takes over 400 hours of labor. I could also pay my 12.95 chemistry book with about 7 hours of labor versus the 20 hours it would take to buy a $160 Chem book. So screw these guys

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    From someone who borrowed and through interest now have over $400 k in loans, (I didn’t borrow even close to that much) but 6% compound interest is a killer, I’m angry that I can’t discharge my debt.

    Thank Joe Biden for that.

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    @Nicole:

    It makes me think about how I often think of parents as falling into one of two groups- those that want better for their kids than they themselves had, and those that angrily announce that what was good enough for them is good enough for their kids. I find the second group incredibly depressing.

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

  32. 32
    Nicole says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    You misspelled “nauseating,” I think.

    Ha! You are probably right. When I’m focusing on being all compassionate and shit, I try to tell myself some of them have been so beaten down by life they can’t find the will to want more for their kids, but, in truth, most of them are likely just selfish assholes.

  33. 33
    Juju says:

    I received my university education at a state school 27 years ago, for an annual in state tuition fee of $1500 plus school and book fees. I graduated without debt. If I were to attend the same school in state now, my annual tuition and fees would be around $15,000, with tuition listed at $7,500. To end up being $30,000-60,000 in debt to graduate from the school I paid $6000 to for my education seems very unfair. I have no problem with forgiving student loans, and a state university education should be free or as reasonable as mine was way back when. People who begrudge that sort of assistance are petty small minded greed bags.

  34. 34
    Another Scott says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yeah! That too!!11

    :-)

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  35. 35
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Josie: You never had a direct vote on the matter. What happened to the NYC college system was a result of the city going broke. As part of the bail out, the city system became part of the NY state system, which did charge tuition. That was the first increase.

    Over time, as budgets tightened, all the states cut back on how much they underwrote their college systems. The colleges balanced the books by raising tuition.

    There’s more to the rising costs of higher ed than that —for one, there is lots of money to be made on loans and that is also a force — but trickle-down economics, starving the government until it fits down tne drain, is where it started.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    FWIW, I think we’re going to have to look at retroactive loan forgiveness for people like you, and I suspect that may be the next step. I remember seeing the documentary that Warren was in and she was livid that parents whose daughter had died in college were still required to pay off her student loans.

    Also, I would be okay with doing more forgiveness for people going into lower-paid fields like teaching, nursing, or primary-care medicine. Someone who plans to be a plastic surgeon or an orthopedist doesn’t need the extra help, but someone who wants to go into internal medicine or family practice might need it, especially if they’re willing to set up their practice in underserved areas.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Puddinhead:

    Apprenticeship programs with unionized electrical contracting companies are coordinated through Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs), which have multiple offices in every state to cover virtually every major city and surrounding area in the nation. JATCs are sponsored through a partnership between local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). This partnership is known as the Electrical Training Alliance.

    JACT’s are huge. They train thousands of people every year, and it’s better than “free”, it’s paid. I think no one talks about them because Republicans and media hate unions, but they have trained millions and millions of people and they’ve been doing it quietly and without fanfare for decades. My middle son is in one, the IBEW JATC. It’s 5 years and his pay rate goes up every year until he qualifies as a journeyman. He’ll be licensed in Ohio and Michigan, because the two states have reciprocity.

  38. 38
    Luthe says:

    @CarolDuhart2: I want the fucking ridiculous interest rates on student loans to be cut ASAP. I could have bought a house at a lower interest rate than I am paying on my loans and gotten a lot more out of it. Why the fuck are loan rates six or seven percent when the current Fed rate is three?

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Juju:

    for an annual in state tuition fee of $1500 plus school and book fees.

    That’s what my first two years were, then it went up, but not by much. It’s just a completely different thing. The loans were never a big deal, even when I was working in restaurants. I paid them easily.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Puddinhead:

    The one problem with trade schools is that they’re often for-profit, which is one of the reasons people end up with crushing debt after attending them. We need more and better nonprofit alternatives (like community colleges) that don’t have the same incentive to get their students to take out loans they’ll never be able to pay back.

  41. 41
    Dan B says:

    Boomers… I’m a Boomer and was involved in Civil Rights, protesting war(s), Gay Liberation, and now climate justice. People like me were a minority if Boomers. If anything our idealism seemed to blind us to strategy and implementation of systemic change. The centrists and conservatives went to business school and learned organization, branding, marketing, political influence, and how to make money by honest and borderline illegal means. Us idealists were reluctant to compromise ideals for the greater good. I see this being reborn in purity politics and to some extent in identity politics. I hope that Trump/Pence/McConnell’s unholy alliance of xenoohobia, authoritarianism, dominionism, and racism reminds us that we must work together and learn to make some compromises on the way. This ship of unruly progressives turns with patience, slowly and hopefully before the rapids.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yes, but how many of them voted for Prop 13? 🤔

    (I don’t actually know, so it’s a genuine question.)

  43. 43
    Aleta says:

    Reminds me of ‘why should we pay local school taxes if we don’t have kids / don’t use those schools.’

    How about self-interest? Your welfare is linked to theirs. Even if the specifics of how one individual will benefit are unpredictable or too complex to see.

    Maybe a good elementary school inspires a kid to love green spaces and she’ll grow up to stop your city’s plan to pave over the park where you walk after a stroke.

    Maybe debt-free undergrads = more medical school applicants and you’ll encounter a better doctor, and she’s got more time for you because she’s working at what she’s best at instead of what pays the most.

    Odds are that a person who’s not working three jobs in despair will make your life better even if you don’t know how it happened.

  44. 44
    Luthe says:

    Also, I would be okay with doing more forgiveness for people going into lower-paid fields like teaching, nursing, or primary-care medicine. Someone who plans to be a plastic surgeon or an orthopedist doesn’t need the extra help, but someone who wants to go into internal medicine or family practice might need it, especially if they’re willing to set up their practice in underserved areas.

    @Mnemosyne: That’s what the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is theoretically supposed to be encouraging, but the DeVos Education Department and FedLoan (the loan servicer) are going above and beyond to fuck it up. It should not be that hard to determine who is eligible for forgiveness, and yet.

  45. 45
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Paid off my student loans and now I’m helping my kids pay off theirs. And forgiving them won’t cost me a dime. WTF are people thinking? This is how bad ideas get cemented into our way of life.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    Okay, so a lower end Ohio public college is 20k a year (including room and board). Should they finish undergrad with 80k in debt? That seems unreasonable. In this area that means we’ve basically saddled them with a mortgage at 22, except they get no house, so also have to pay housing.

    It’s just a huge step back for them to start out with. And that’s just undergrad. If they go further it might be 4x that.

  47. 47
    Raven says:

    I still owe about 6k on my loans from my doc program. I’m happy to keep paying mine but these young’s need to be cut loose.

  48. 48
    Radiumgirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: States have been slashing funding to higher education going back more than 10 years, pushing up the cost of tuition and forcing more students to borrow to attend school. There is a direct correlation between the Tea Party tax cut fever and the rising student loan debt burden. https://www.cbpp.org/blog/higher-ed-funding-down-in-nearly-every-state-over-past-decade

  49. 49
    JaneE says:

    As someone who had cervical cancer in 1976, I would recommend that everyone get the vaccine. It may not prevent all incidence of cancer, but it is still better to lower the risk as much as you can.

    My student loans were small, and quickly paid off. That was 50 years ago. Many of my HS peers went to public colleges and universities because they could do that without loans, either working part time and living at home and/or with their parents’ help. Making public education including college almost free for most students would be a good thing to bring back.

  50. 50

    IMHO, the reasons why college costs and student debts went up are two-fold

    1) States looking to cut spending did so with colleges because they were/are viewed as optional and something to pay for anyway. When I went in the 1980s it was about $3000 for a school year (four classes each semester, eight classes total, and if you took summer maybe two or three classes then, figure about $272 per class). Today it’s $9000 for a school year, maybe $820 per class, but overall inflation didn’t jump that high across the economy did it? I’m thinking the boost in costs is due to cuts from state leges. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/how-much-college-tuition-has-increased-from-1988-to-2018.html

    2) Student loans turned into a billion-dollar industry, didn’t it? Something else for banks to squeeze money out of the rest of us.

  51. 51

    Right now, Elizabeth Warren has set up 90 percent of the Democratic platform.

  52. 52
    Ohio Mom says:

    I think I’ve told this story before. My older cousin, who was able to get through City College while it was still free, lived at home, and brown bagged lunch.

    She jokes that since she majored in English, she never had up buy a textbook — “all we did was read novels and I could take them out of the public library” — and as a result, her only expense was subway fare (which was proportionally less money back then as well).

    The @CarolDuhart2: Holey Moley! What happened to you is criminal. You have paid so much in interest, they have made back the loan several times by now.

    But this is one of the things this country does, take from the least and hand it over to the most. The housing crash decimated African-American wealth; you are living another version of that horror. I’m sorry.

  53. 53

    "We are completely rebuilding our military. It was very depleted as you know. A lot of the military folks can tell you…"- Trump to a group of children at the White House Easter Egg Roll.Appropriate to the end. pic.twitter.com/ugIIF5own6— Greg Sarafan, Esq (@GSarafan) April 22, 2019

  54. 54
    Juju says:

    @Kay: My parents said they would pay for state tuition and they did. I paid other expenses by dog sitting and catering. I don’t even recall being concerned about student loans and debt when I was in college.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    I would also add that this causes high school students huge stress. For middle and working class kids there’s a kind of sticker shock that completely freaks them out, if they’re at all on the ball and know that what we’re talking about here could be as much as one parent makes IN A YEAR, in tuition for just one kid, every year. Come on. We can’t ask them to take that. It’ll set them back years, before they even start working.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    As Warren notes, society inflicted these loans on these kids because the boomers* and others didn’t want to pay the taxes previous generations paid to educate them.

    This is some fucking horse shit. This is even more stupid that the crap that oozes out of Bernie Sanders and his nutcase acolytes.

    The notion of student loan forgiveness may have merit independent of the dumb ass finger pointing. But I would link it to some form of community service, or for people going into certain fields.

  57. 57
    gene108 says:

    I think colleges need to account for themselves, as to why their costs have gone up so much over the last 25 years.

    Some of it is a cut to state funding, relative to the size of the school’s budget, but that can’t be the only thing causing the increase.

    I know some of it is increasing student body size and the need to expand housing and build more buildings to accommodate more students, as well as upgrading the campuses to have WiFi, etc., which are needed now.

    But construction and WiFi can’t be the only thing driving up costs.

    Basically, higher education is broken on a lot of levels. I really think, if Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time, they need to call in higher education people to testify what’s driving cost increases.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @Juju:

    We paid for ours, but just undergrad. My daughter is paying student loans for grad school. The deal was we would pay where they got in, but just undergrad. We saved some on my son who chose a trade, so I feel like we could have fudged the rule for my daughter, who needed an advanced degree, but we didn’t. Yet :)

    It gets compounded if they marry someone with student loans, which then can end up where one set of parents paid, the other did not, and both spouses are paying the loan. This can get ugly.

  59. 59
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kay: I read somewhere that the rule of thumb is that you should only borrow for college what you expect to make your first year working.

    That probably went the way of Only spend a quarter of your monthly income on housing.

  60. 60
    Kent says:

    @SenyorDave:

    My brother is a 62 year old doctor. When he graduated med school in 1983 he had about $60k in student loans, which may not seem huge, but bear in mind this was 36 years ago, so it was probably equivalent to $150k in today’s money. . He did a residency and fellowship for five years total, during which he might have averaged $30k per year in salary so he saved very little since he was in NYC and had to pay rent and expenses. For him the clock started ticking in 1988 in terms of paying off the loans. But within five years in private practice he was making over $250k.
    Every case is different and should be looked at separately in terms of forgiving student loans. I don’t buy the fairness argument the way Klein frames it all. But the bottom line is that forgiveness of student loans will ultimately come out of the taxpayer’s pockets, and if those student loans went to someone who will be making $500k a year, they can afford to repay them. If it is for a teacher making $50k a year that is a different situation.
    This can’t be a one size fits all program.

    I don’t see the problem. Sure it can be a one-size-fits-all program.

    In today’s reality your brother makes a ton of money and can afford to pay his own student loans. No big deal

    Under Warren’s proposal, your brother would have gotten his loans wiped out and will pay for it through higher taxes for the rest of his life. All comes out in the wash.

    I don’t give a flying fuck if Ivanka Trump or Paris Hilton or the daughters of Lori Loughlin get free tuition as long as they are funding the program through higher taxes. Under Warren, they would pay a LOT more in additional taxes than they would ever get back in tuition waivers or loan forgiveness.

    Trying to means test this sort of thing always makes the programs much more difficult and cumbersome to administer and operate within. Just do the right thing and pay for it with general tax revenues.

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The only time parents have to pay off a student loan for a deceased child or a child have to pay off a parent loan is if they are private. Federal student loan are written off if the student passes away. Federal Parent PLUS loans are forgiven if the borrower parent or the student the parent borrowed for passes away. In my twenty years administering financial aid, I’ve had all those things happen at least once and know for sure that is true.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It works out okay for engineers and others who start higher, but it won’t work for teachers and liberal arts. They’re not paying any first year teachers 80k. It won’t work for an RN.

  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    @Luthe:

    Federal loan interest rates are set by the auction of 10-year treasury bond rates plus or minus a few points.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @Luthe:
    I believe the answer to your question was answered in #30.
    Joe Biden.
    I have often wondered if President Obama asked Joe to be VP so that he wouldn’t be in the senate and screwing up the money issue for the ACA, by say adding that medical costs would be seen the same as educational costs, a set interest rate and not dischargable.

  65. 65
    But her emails!!! says:

    I’m going to chip in here. Making the program as wide as possible is the best way to maintain support for the program. The moment you start cutting people out, you start losing support. It’s best to make sure even graduates with high future incomes in fields you deem unworthy get a cut. Just take it back from them on the other side with higher taxes.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @geg6:
    My sister passed away at 66 with student loans and they all went away.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It can change what they want to do. My youngest son’s GF is a senior in high school, she’s really bright, but she closed off med school because she needs a marketable skill in 4-5 years because her family is working class. She’s entering a 5 year pharmacy program at University of Findlay, which isn’t where she wants to go but they made her an offer and it makes the most financial sense. She can only put off earning for 5 years. That’s a shame. She’d be a bang up doctor. It limits them, even the really ambitious and bright ones.

  68. 68
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kay: That’s what I mean, it went the way of “only spend 25% of your income on housing.”

    Housing is another area where costs are approaching criminal for most folks. But that is another thread.

  69. 69
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    But I would link it to some form of community service, or for people going into certain fields.

    We are trying that with people going into education and other public sector and non-profit jobs.

    George W. Bush passed this program to forgive student loans for people going into certain sectors.

    But the rules allow a lot of leeway for the government to deny forgiveness, if you don’t follow every single rule the government has. Trump’s admin has been rejecting loan forgiveness applicants left and right. I think about 1% of people in the loan forgiveness program have had their loans forgiven under Trump.

  70. 70
    James E Powell says:

    As Warren notes, society inflicted these loans on these kids because the boomers* and others didn’t want to pay the taxes previous generations paid to educate them.

    The disease that destroyed America.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @Brachiator

    Agree. It’s painting with a very broad brush. If going to state “and others” then why single out and corral boomers for identification.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @But her emails!!!:

    I agree and that was always the Democrats play- bring in the middle class so the programs have broad support, but that idea has lost currency in the last 20 years. They should bring it back. The best way to protect a program for poor people is to include the middle class. Then it’s bulletproof, see: Medicare and Social Security. BIG groups, with mass political power, not smaller vulnerable groups.

  73. 73
    khead says:

    I really like Warren. Unfortunately, she has as much chance as I do.

  74. 74
    MomSense says:

    I was in college during the Reagan years and we had already lost consumer protections for student loans as well as some of the grants. It took forever to pay off my loans. I don’t wish that on anyone! Especially for those graduates who go on to helping professions, loans are a terrible burden.

    Now, I also want some regulation on higher education. I think some of the salaries for athletic directors, coaches, and some administrators are completely outrageous.

  75. 75
    Aleta says:

    College without debt doesn’t mean people don’t work or take out loans to get through. It means they might get work study jobs (drive less, get experience (you know, job training) instead of work fast food).

    Without off-campus jobs, they can spend more time on classwork, make it to a prof’s office hours, stay after class to keep talking. They still might borrow to pay rent and food. They still have day care to pay for, but not as much. Kids get more time.

    Is the problem that debt-free college would take guaranteed long term profit away from the loan industry?

  76. 76
    gene108 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Believe Warren’s program is income based, with regards to how much of your loan is forgiven.

  77. 77
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kay: Once Ohio Son had a fabulous, fabulous speech/language pathologist “student teacher.” He had a lot of beginners throughout his special ed career and she was something else.

    When her time with us was up because she was ready to graduate, I congratulated her and told her how lucky the school was that she would be working for.

    She replied she was off to work in a nursing home, they paid the most and she had loans to pay back.

    Some academic somewhere should be doing research on the loss of talent we are experiencing when all these bright young things get railroaded into lesser careers because of financial limitations.

  78. 78

    Okay, I think I can do this. Let’s see-

    We Shouldn’t Make Marijuana Legal Because It’s Unfair To Everybody Who Went To Jail For Possession!

    I can haz pundit job naow?

  79. 79
    trollhattan says:

    to all those who struggled to pay off their loans

    You know who else wrote a book about their struggle?

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    Yep. Housing is now about 40% of the income of most of us, with the expensive areas at closer to 50% for a lot of people. I work with 2 guys 19 and 20 who could not afford a place of their own, have to live with their folks. I know someone else, 21 who could not afford a place with 2 room mates. Granted she has a job that pays shit but still, could not afford a dump apt with 3 incomes.

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    Warren has just been such a uniformly positive thing in this primary, it will be a shame if Bernie knocks her out in New Hampshire. She puts forth a weekly idea and doesn’t trash her opponents or Trump-sympathize.

    Not that she’ll stop working – she seems to be a fan of “working” :)

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @MomSense:
    Once Reagan took his whacks at the California system of public and higher education, he went national. Thanks, Dutch.

  83. 83
    Ruckus says:

    @Aleta:

    Is the problem that debt-free college would take guaranteed long term profit away from the loan industry?

    Bingo! We have a winner!

  84. 84

    @Mnemosyne: I voted against it(my first vote), my Greatest Gen(mom might have been a Silent) parents voted for it.

  85. 85
    randy khan says:

    @Kay:

    I would also add that this causes high school students huge stress.

    Indeed. Probably the major cause of stress throughout my post-high school education was making sure I had enough money to pay for it and then managing that money. Even with work study and some non-work study jobs, and with significant grants and loans, there were times when I had no money in my pockets, and then, of course, I had to pay the loans back when I graduated. The day I wrote that last check, a real weight was lifted.

    And I know that my stress was pretty low compared to what a lot of students experience today. Anything that would get rid of that sounds like a great idea to me.

  86. 86
    trollhattan says:

    @Kay:
    Have known about her since the crash and Great Recession, when she so ably described what was occurring, why and what we could do about it. After that was her leading formation of the CFPB while enduring the shrieks of “Burn the witch!” from every Republican and banker in the solar system, only to be denied running the very agency she helped craft by those same Republicans and bankers.

    Senator is great but should their shenanigans lead to President Warren then I want those same Republicans and bankers to choke on their own bile, because they will have helped make it happen.

  87. 87
    Ohio Mom says:

    @MomSense: Another thing that happened during the Regan administration was cutting back on Social Security for college age kids. If your parent died, you used to get benefits until I think it was 21; Regan cut it to age 18. That must have made a huge difference for a lot of kids and their families.

    Sometimes I have an occasion to tell a young person around here that the University of Cincinnati used to be free before the 1970s. Of course that was way before they were born, it sounds both like ancient history and totally unbelievable to them.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    “We are completely rebuilding our military. It was very depleted as you know. A lot of the military folks can tell you…”- Trump to a group of children at the White House Easter Egg Roll.Appropriate to the end.

    This was a recent gaffe?

    When I first read it, I thought that someone was revisiting some past verbal nonsense from Our Dope President. Did he also remind the kids that there ain’t no Santa Claus?

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    That is our entire financial system in a nutshell.
    Take from those with the least and reward it to those who need it the least.

  90. 90
    trollhattan says:

    @randy khan:
    Graduating with a high debt load ironically takes away a lot of professional flexibility and even geographic flexibility, due to the rush required for finding the first possible job in order to start paying them off.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @trollhattan:

    They will do whatever they can, and I mean “whatever” to stop Elizabeth Warren. We will see nastiness the likes of which we have never seen, and given what we’ve seen that saying something. That’s if she gets that far.

  92. 92
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    *- I am talking generationally not about you I am sure you are a very fine boomer with the noblest of intentions you whiny fuck.

    Thank you. Thank you very little.

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @Aleta:
    The good for all against only the good for me.
    Selfishness will kill the human race and will take most everything else with it. And the most selfish people keep doubling down that it will do the exact opposite.

  94. 94

    @Brachiator: Today. The WH Easter Egg Hunt.

  95. 95
    Hoodie says:

    @Kent: This. Democrats are still trapped in the PAYGO framework, while Republicans offer tax cuts out the wazoo. If you want to give a big subsidy to higher ed, find some way to tax the millionaires and billionaires or simply let the deficit increase. Maybe the bill will have to be paid but who knows when that will happen. It’s all a matter of relative position in the world, perceived security, long term assets, etc. That gets enhanced by an educated population. If you haven’t noticed, the only people worried about deficits are rich people because they’re afraid they may have to eventually foot the bill.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    FWIW, I think we’re going to have to look at retroactive loan forgiveness for people like you, and I suspect that may be the next step.

    Don’t forget….the Public Sector forgiveness program that just would have had their first group of recepients..

    that heifer DeVos only approved LESS THAN 1% of the people who applied.

    That’s right..

    LESS THAN 1%

    Whomever is over the Education Department in the House needs to haul her evil azz in and get an explanation about that.
    Can you imagine, making 10 years of payments…and that heifer only approved LESS THAN 1% OF THE APPLICANTS?

    PHUCK THAT TRICK.

  97. 97

    @trollhattan: I went to a UC post Reagan, and we didn’t have tuition, fees were about $1500/year when I graduated.

  98. 98
    Kent says:

    Understand there are two separate policy options here that have very different consequences.

    Free college: This is mainly going to be accomplished through increased funding of public education and belt-tightening and cutting of fluff and nonsense like multi-million coaches salaries and lazy river waterparks at student rec centers. This is only going to really affect public education because no one is proposing government subsidies to Harvard to make their tution free. Basically you’d be making higher-education more like K-12 education where you have free public options and expensive private options.

    Loan forgiveness. Student loans go students of all types of colleges, public, private, and scammy for-profit schools. So a student loan forgiveness program would have a much wider sweep than a program to subdize or eliminate tuition at public schools. Loans also don’t really force economizing or budgeting by schools as they can just keep increasing costs and the loans keep going up. So taking this approach would result in less economizing than the first approach.

    I’m not saying that one approach is necessarily better than the other. But there are huge consequences to the approach taken. Personally I’d rather see my tax dollars go to support students at reputable state schools rather than fund places like Liberty Baptist through loan subsidies. But that’s just me.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    She’s a horrible manager, like her boss. This is what we get when we hire a lifetime Right wing lobbyist with no practical experience running anything. She isn’t qualified for that job. The idea that she was going to learn how to do it on the fly was ridiculous. Another bad hire. LOW quality.

  100. 100

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I should add, the economic incentives to vote for Prop 13 where heavily tilted to older voters(especially retirees on a fixed income like my dad). Not many Boomers(max age 32 at the time) would have been effected by property tax increases or benefited from Prop. 13.

  101. 101
    Philbert says:

    @Scot: I’m not sure how to link here yet, but google Denny Westneat paid tuition with summer job.
    He is (was?) a Seattle Times columnist who worked his way through UW in the 1980’s and kept the receipts. Low tuition, higher low-wages, summer jobs that paid, the state paid a lot more of the colleges’ costs. Varies by state but I think it is widespread.

  102. 102
    gene108 says:

    @rikyrah:

    Thank Joe Biden for that.

    Biden gets a pass, because he’s an elder statesmen of the Party right now, and worked well with Obama. In the VP debates he distinguished himself versus the chowder heads he was up against, as a guy who had a pretty good grasp of the facts.

    I’d like to think his baggage – bankruptcy bill, Thomas hearings, Iraq war vote, etc. – would drag him down, but I think there’s a contingent of people, espeically in the media, who really want a white man to replace Trump, he may still get a pass.

  103. 103
    Geeno says:

    Don’t underestimate MBA spreadsheet management and administrative bloat. They can’t afford professors because the president is making 7 digits, and he has a scores of direct reports getting 6 digits each, etc, etc.
    Higher education got monetized and hollowed out by the same people who did it to the rest of the economy.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108:

    But the rules allow a lot of leeway for the government to deny forgiveness, if you don’t follow every single rule the government has.

    I would hope that a more competent administration could streamline these procedures.

    Trump’s admin has been rejecting loan forgiveness applicants left and right. I think about 1% of people in the loan forgiveness program have had their loans forgiven under Trump.

    Especially under DeVos, I just assume that everything the Trump administration does in this area is wrong.

    @NotMax:

    Agree. It’s painting with a very broad brush. If going to state “and others” then why single out and corral boomers for identification.

    I think that this kind of thing pointlessly alienates people who might otherwise approve of some of the proposals being put forward. It also makes it easy for opponents to attack the lazy lie that “greedy group X” is standing in the way of progress and divert attention from the issue of student loans altogether.

  105. 105
    Rommie says:

    I’ve been waiting for this line of argument to pop up, as it is a standard rebuttal of loan forgiveness. I paid MY loans, why should others get off the hook? It’s not FAIR! Or WHY am I, A. Tax Payer, paying off the loans taken out by those people? No Welfare Education on my watch!

    Just wait until the Disser-in-Chief chimes in to pour some more poison in the well.

  106. 106
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    Forgiveness for public service has been around a long time. I got it years ago on my grad loan. Many of my colleagues did, too. However, it’s true that DeVos has been strangling the program ever since she was approved.

  107. 107

    @Ohio Mom:

    I have long suspected that the ultimate reason for college to be so expensive was thought up by the forces who eventually developed ALEC, and it is to quash rebellions. It was in response to the Vietnam protests. Obviously there were too many young people who weren’t afraid enough and had lots of free time.

    Egg-zackly. I’ve long felt that this country’s ruling class looked around them in 1968 and concluded “these people have way too much time on their hands.” A silent consensus emerged. And here we are.

    If it lay within my power, I would forgive this comment’s student loan debt.

  108. 108
    The Moar You Know says:

    Right now, Elizabeth Warren has set up 90 percent of the Democratic platform.

    @PaulWartenberg: Could not help but notice this recently. And they’re largely good proposals.

  109. 109
    Bobby Thomson says:

    It’s only the very olds and maybe a few DINKs who won’t benefit. I still have yet to repay my own loans and I’ve had to co-sign for the next generation.

  110. 110
    CliosFanBoy says:

    how about forgiving those paying off loans now, and giving tax credits to those who paid them off earlier. (I had only $2,000 in loans and paid them off decades ago)

  111. 111
    Capri says:

    @Cacti: Most people at my institution who get graduate degrees have stipends that pay for pretty much everything except around $500 in fees each year. I think you’re referring to professional schools such as medical, law, etc.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The King of boomer whiny fucks is Donald Trump.

    And Phillip Klein needs to be, at cutlass point, forced to take a long walk off a short pier.

  113. 113
    cckids says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Another thing that happened during the Regan administration was cutting back on Social Security for college age kids. If your parent died, you used to get benefits until I think it was 21; Regan cut it to age 18. That must have made a huge difference for a lot of kids and their families.

    Yes, this happened to me, and yes, it was a devastating blow to my ability to pay for college. Every time Paul Ryan referenced using his dad’s SS benefits to pay for college I spent time raging at the TV. In my family, my stepmother & dad used our SS survivor benefits checks to help out with the family budget. The year I started college & would have had the use of the money, Reagan’s administration cut it off. Fuckers.

  114. 114
    James E Powell says:

    @trollhattan:

    White boomers blame Reagan for the stuff that they really wanted somebody, anybody to do. The mixture of selfishness & bigotry was already there. It’s still there, dominating the white culture.

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I should add, the economic incentives to vote for Prop 13 where heavily tilted to older voters(especially retirees on a fixed income like my dad). Not many Boomers(max age 32 at the time) would have been effected by property tax increases or benefited from Prop. 13.

    Prop 13 was sloppy and duplicitous (big benefits for corporations hiding in relief for homeowners), but some of the problems it addressed were real.

    Retirees weren’t the only ones taking a hit. And the state legislature ignored the problem for years, letting inflation impose a de facto tax increase on people through higher assessments on their homes, without politicians having to explicitly vote for an increase.

  116. 116
    Capri says:

    @Kay: There are a fair number of RNs and other professionals that go on to medical school. Just because her first job is to be a pharmacist, it doesn’t preclude her eventually becoming a MD. I know this isn’t the sunny ’50’s, but there are still opportunities out there.

    It’s interesting that Purdue has managed to keep its tuition the same for over 4 years. It’s being done primarily by getting the administrative side in order. Harvard is basically a huge hedge fund with a little university store front – they could afford to let all their students go for free today, but why would they when folks are killing themselves to get in at the current cost. The Universities got their state funding cut, but the amount of $$ that go to stuff that doesn’t pertain to teaching and other central missions is quite high in the majority I’d wager.

  117. 117
    Ruviana says:

    @Kay: Depending on where it CAN work for an RN. I am in upstate NY and Nursing is our biggest program (I’m at a small college.) Our students get 80 and 90 K offers and signing bonuses. There’s a real demand for nurses and salaries are rising accordingly.

  118. 118
    Josie says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    You are correct about this. Under Reagan it was age 18 or when they started college. I know because it happened to my two younger sons. Makes a lot of sense, right? Take the money away as soon as they need it for college. Also, because I had teacher retirement, I could not receive my late husband’s social security. Obviously my teacher’s pension made me too rich to need anything from his account. I’m still bitter about that.

  119. 119

    Another Boomer in good standing here. I’ll add that when I started college in 1970 (University of California), I was able to make it through, sans help from home—my father felt that in providing food and shelter for eighteen years he had done all that conscience required—by washing dishes on-campus (the only marketable skill I actually picked up in those years) about twenty hours each week at minimum wage, which, together with such summer jobs as I was able to scare up, paid my quarterly fees and my share of the monthly rent. I graduated with about a hundred dollars in my checking account, but not a penny of student or, come to that, any other kind of debt.

    That would be simply impossible today. For example, the cost to live in my old freshman dorm for a month today exceeds what I used to pay for an entire school year. I don’t imagine that dishwashing wages have kept up.

  120. 120
    chopper says:

    as somebody who already paid off his loans, i also don’t want my kids living in my fucking basement because student loan debt won’t let them afford rent. warren’s idea is such a no-brainer i’m surprised the hot takes aren’t even dumber. give it time i guess.

  121. 121
    cckids says:

    Because I wasn’t allowed to edit my own comment above, I’m putting this here:

    ETA: and the interest rates on my loans, taken at the height of the Reagan Recession, were 9% and 11%. I look back at the entire lack of counseling from high school (guidance counselor quit and wasn’t replaced) and parents (never went to college & were clueless) and am just amazed and infuriated.

  122. 122
    chopper says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    “Sir, this is an easter egg hunt.”

  123. 123
    lee says:

    As someone else who has paid off my wife’s and my students loans.

    I agree that guy can go fuck himself.

  124. 124
    Jeffro says:

    @Ruckus:

    And after all what is more important than making the rich, richer? Isn’t that our niche in life?

    ‘Rich’?

    Ohhhhhh…you mean, “JOB CREATORS”! I got ya now…;)

  125. 125
    Redshift says:

    @justawriter:

    Why the hell not? The number of people making more than $250,000 a year in this country is so small that the incremental cost to the program would be dwarfed by the amount spent on compliance checking. And once you have compliance checking there is a creeping tendency especially on the the right wing to make sure only “the deserving” get benefits (which is never applied to tax cuts somehow) and leads to cruel stupidities like work requirements for Medicaid.

    THIS!

    I had arguments in ’08 with fellow Hillary supporters echoing campaign surrogates attaching Bernie’s free college proposal with “millionaires’ kids shouldn’t get free tuition!”

    If millionaires’ kids want to go to a state school, is it really worth making all non-millionaires prove their status just to deny millionaires a benefit they “don’t deserve”?

    I understand the logic in controlling a new program’s cost, but even at $100K, I’d really want to see some numbers on how many go to state schools to justify whether that burden is worth it.

  126. 126
    trollhattan says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    It was incremental–Reagan didn’t get the tuition he wanted but started the ball rolling with fees and budget cuts. Prop 13 accelerated things considerably.

    1960: The Master Plan for Higher Education in California maintains that tuition at University of California and state colleges should be free, but that fees are necessary to help cover non-instructional costs. “The two governing boards reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be free to all residents of the state.”

    1966: Ronald Reagan assumed office of Governor of California and changed the course of the state’s higher education system. In his eight years, he cut state funding for college and universities and laid the foundation for a tuition-based system.

    According to a New York Times article from 1982, during his eight years as governor, “Reagan fought hard in the legislature to impose tuition at four-year colleges. He lost the battle to lobbyists for the university, … However, the Legislature agreed to increase student registration fees.”

    1975: Students at University of California schools are now paying $600 in fees and tuition—a number that would soon skyrocket.

    1985: Annual tuition at UC schools reach nearly $5,200 for non-residential students and $1,326 for California residents. California state colleges near $500 in tuition, and community colleges begin to charge tuition for the first time—$5 per unit.

    Source

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    @Geeno:
    This is a part of the whole picture that should be included in every discussion of business, and let’s face it college is now a business of today’s business culture. Which is exactly as you describe. I worked at a company which has been hollowed out in the fashion you describe and I just found out less than a month ago that no one that worked there in 2005 is left. No one out of 90 people, except the person who is at the top. No pensions, no severance pay for them, but his salary is about 3-4 times what the CEO used to make. When it fails completely he will walk away and probably get hired to do it again.

  128. 128
    chopper says:

    @Scot:

    yep. i just checked and the tuition, adjusted for inflation, at my alma mater has more than doubled since i graduated. minimum wage, again adjusted, is basically the same. and i went to a meh-level public university, and in spite of washing dishes and waiting tables about 40 hrs a week, i still had to take out loans to cover tuition, fees and books. i can’t imagine how a kid could cover any significant portion of all that with a low-end job today.

  129. 129
    Kent says:

    Warren has proposed both free tuition at public universities and loan forgiveness for all. These are two very different policies with very different consequences.

    Free tuition would mean tens of billions of new tax dollars flowing to public universities, and a lot of new infrastructure spending to increase campuses in fast-growing sububan areas where the students are.

    Loan forgiveness would mean billions of public dollars flowing straight into the pockets of Liberty University, Bob Jones University, Oral Roberts University and hundreds others of their ilk, as well as scammy for-profit schools like University of Phoenix.

    They are not the same policy proposal at all.

  130. 130

    @Brachiator: Retirees were more impacted by the increases in property taxes, remember that inflation was pretty high in the late 70’s and COLA’s were common in retiree packages as it was in wage hikes. Yeah, it was poorly written law and that’s one of the reasons I voted NO.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    Yep.
    Those that need it the most will pay to those who need it the least, or more likely, need it not at all.

  132. 132
    VeniceRiley says:

    I wonder if there will be an age cap or a limit on 2nd and 3rd degrees? And this will throw the employee benefits edges of many companies out the window, which may be good: Free the employee from chains to a job they don’t like just because they’re paying for school.
    I wonder if there will be an age cap? I only took 2 years college because I could not afford four. By the time I could afford it, I couldn’t see giving up a high paying job to go back.

  133. 133

    @trollhattan: Your source is incorrect, there was no tuition in the UC’s until the mid-80’s. There were “Fees” as I noted, trust me on this I saw the bills.

  134. 134

    @Ruviana: When the kid graduated with a BSN 3 years ago, they said the average offer for graduates was 70k. Now the average for nursing is much lower because it usually lumps RN’s with LVN’s.

  135. 135
    Kent says:

    @Redshift: Exactly. The extra taxes paid by those making over $250,000 (or whatever) will more than make up for the free undeserved tuition that one of their kids gets should they chose to go to Southern State University of X…. instead of Vanderbilt or USC.

  136. 136
    Kent says:

    @VeniceRiley: More likely if there is a loan forgiveness cap it would just be a cap on the total amount. $25,000 or $50,000 or whatever. Rather than try to parse through all those scenarios.

  137. 137

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That should read, “COLA’s were uncommon”.

  138. 138
    Kay says:

    @Capri:

    it doesn’t preclude her eventually becoming a MD

    It doesn’t, but it would mean her putting off the other things you do as an adult- children, accumulating other debt, settling somewhere. There isn’t an endless window.

    You have to do certain things at certain times for this intricate financial balancing act they’re engaged in to work, and, turns out, “college-age” is the most practical time to go to college :)

    Too, then she’ll have med school debt and 5 or 10 years less of career earnings with which to pay it off. Middle class people don’t have upfront money, so they need time + money, either to accrue gains on investments or pay off debt. Timing matters much more for them than for wealthier people. They have a narrower window.

  139. 139
    KithKanan says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I went to a CSU that still has no “tuition” for in-state residents. “Fees” are up to nearly $10K/year though, about 3X in real dollars what they were when I enrolled in 1999.

  140. 140
    JustRuss says:

    @PaulWartenberg: That’s part of the problem. Another factor is overhead that didn’t exist 40 years ago: Retrofitting old buildings to meet ADA requirements is expensive. Building state-of-the-art rec centers is expensive. Providing services and facilities for disadvantaged students is expensive. Building and maintaining IT infrastructure and services is expensive. Not to say those shouldn’t be done, but there is a cost.

    Then there’s administrative bloat, which is a very real thing.

  141. 141
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Aleta: “I’ve never had to call the police – why should I have to pay for them”

  142. 142
    Van Buren says:

    @Kay: Speaking of sticker shock for middle class kids reminds me of the horror of completing the FAFSA form and finding that the feds thought I could/should pay 29% of my net income to my son’s college.

  143. 143

    @KithKanan: The CSU’s have tuition, the difference between tuition and “fees” is that tuition pays for instruction, fees do not. Currently the UC’s have tuition for in-state residents(they didn’t prior to 1985) and still have reg fees. It’s a minor quibble, you’re still paying, but it was major change in the mid 80’s

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @Just One More Canuck:
    Because you might need them biggly tomorrow is the correct answer. It even works for olds paying for schools. You might need someone to help you that learned how to do that at your expense when you were younger.

  145. 145
    Jeffro says:

    @JustRuss:

    Then there’s administrative bloat, which is a very real thing.

    Opinons (and research) on that differ. Students today definitely receive more services of all kinds, which means there are definitely more staff per student than there used to be. But actual administrators? Probably not so much.

  146. 146
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @SenyorDave: I think it should be one-size-fits-all and that there should be no cap on income. Your doctor brother’s story doesn’t change this for me. One of the problems with healthcare today is that many doctors gravitate towards higher paying specialties because they know they’ll have the equivalent of a 30-year-mortgage in student loan payments otherwise. Yes, there are loan forgiveness programs for people who serve in rural areas but it’s not enough to address the shortage of physicians. Cuba has health outcomes that are better in many areas than the US because of a focus on preventative and primary care. The ratio of Cuban doctors to the country’s population is 81.9 doctors for every 10,000 people (WHO stats). The ratio of US doctors to the population of the US is 25.9 doctors for every 10,000 people. Cuba has way more primary care physicians per capita than the US and partly because of this is better equipped to provide preventative care. In the US, it is getting more and more difficult to entice doctors to go into primary care – why make $190,000 per year as a family medicine doctor or pediatrician when you can make over $500,000 as a cardiologist or orthopedic surgeon? Especially when you are coming out of medical school with the same debt. I think it is short-sighted the way many politicians fail to make the link between investments in education and the affordability of education and health and other societal outcomes. I love that Elizabeth Warren is proposing something to address this. There are many parts of the US that have health outcomes similar to developing countries, but as long as we can point to cutting edge advances at Mass General or Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in JAMA, we forget that maybe 1% of the US population has access to these advances. When UN officials pointed out that Alabama had the worst poverty (and associated diseases) in the developed world, some politicians were offended but most ignored the findings. It is heartbreaking.

  147. 147
    sralloway says:

    @Scot: I thought of this, too, as I recalled my $100 a year tuition at a state school in New England in 1968-70, raised to $200 the next two years. Our generation was subsidized.

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    @Van Buren:

    I feel like it’s kind of a cartel and they all got together and decided we would pay 20k a year, so they all pegged their pricing accordingly :)

    My oldest son and a friend’s son were both applying to fancier colleges in 2007. We make about the same and the financial aid packages as a reduction off their fucking outrageous tuition kept coming back as “25,000”. We were suspicious – why is it always this same number?

    Secret meetings, that’s why.

  149. 149
    japa21 says:

    This attitude reminds of my time in college. In 1968, I was one of the officers of my fraternity. We voted to outlaw Hell Week for pledges. There was a definite contingent who argued that, since they had to go through Hell Week, so should all future pledges. We were the first fraternity to take this action and many still have not done so. Should note, it was only the local chapter, not the national.

  150. 150

    I graduated high school in 1988. Went to a small public university in Northwest PA. I worked a variety of jobs all the way through high school so I could pay cash for the first few semesters. I also had some partial, small scholarships. Between working as an RA from my second semester as a Freshman all the way through to the end and plus some loans (which my dad refused to cosign so my interest was higher) I was able to make it through my last two years to get my bachelors. I also went through as quickly as possible, finishing in 3 1/2 years. For graduate school, I had a fellowship in the Dean’s office that paid decent and was married–the hubby had a full time job that didn’t pay much but we didn’t starve. Again, I rushed through it and finished in 1 1/2 years. The loans took forever to pay off. Finally paid it off at age 35.

    What I did is no longer possible. My kids, if they even go to college, are going to have to either get a full ride or they are going to have to do all their gen eds at a community college while living at home and working. Then we’ll have to figure out the last two years for their major, by hook or by crook. I would give my right arm if Warren could implement her plan. It’s monstrous to think that others should suffer just because I did.

  151. 151
    geg6 says:

    @Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ:

    Edinboro? Clarion? My John graduated from Clarion.

  152. 152
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Aleta: I love this response. I may have to steal it and squirrel it away for future use.

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    JustRuss says:

    @Jeffro: OK, so who do you think “administers” those programs that are delivering services for students?

  154. 154
    tobie says:

    @Kent: Good point. Debt-free college would have covered both scenarios but been simpler to institute than both free public university and debt forgiveness for all university, public or private. I will need to read Warren’s Medium posting when I get home. (Am on my phone in an airport right now.) If it is like Warren’s other proposals on Medium, it will be more a position statement than a genuine policy document. Color me skeptical about massive changes being introduced in pieces the length of op eds.

  155. 155

    I am all for student loan forgiveness- I can think of nothing better than to let these kids have the financial freedom to move to careers they want rather than taking multiple gig jobs they have to have to pay their student loans. And then they can do all sorts of other shit like buy houses and go to Applebee’s and all the other shit they haven’t been able to do and are accused of “killing.”

    Fuck Phil Klein.

    Having done the same (take on debt to finish a degree, then pay it off over years) all I can say is this, this, this.

  156. 156
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Kay:
    Boston public schools provide free breakfast and lunch to students. All students. It’s a smart way to do it.
    1. Everyone has access to the benefit even if they opt not to take it. It helps to minimize resentment.
    2. The money actually goes to providing food for students. You start putting in conditions and soon your spending big chunks of cash checking everyone’s countertops to verify they are both poor and deserving enough.
    3. Ideally it reduces stigma. When I was in school, everyone knew who received reduced or free lunch. Now nobody can tell whether you are poor or just have lame parents like my daughter.

  157. 157

    Philip Klein is the executive editor of the Washington Examiner. He formerly served as the Examiner’s managing editor and commentary editor. … He is the author of Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care.

    Oh Gaia, what the hell are you even paying attention to this asshole for? Fuck this guy.

  158. 158
    Procopius says:

    @justawriter:

    The number of people making more than $250,000 a year in this country is so small that the incremental cost to the program would be dwarfed by the amount spent on compliance checking.

    Boy, am I glad to see you make this point. The people who claim to be worried about “fairness” usually seem to be pretty prosperous. The fact is means testing is counter-productive, inefficient, and often a barrier to people who have real needs.

  159. 159
    Procopius says:

    @Puddinhead: @Kay: That’s great news about JACTs. I thought they were all gone already. There certainly are many fewer than there were forty years ago, because union membership has been beaten down so much. One of the many things we need to do is reverse government policies that discourage unions Of course guys like Richard Trumska don’t seem to help.

  160. 160
    Procopius says:

    @Luthe: Arne Duncan was, essentially, no better than Betsy DeVos.

  161. 161
    2liberal says:

    wasn’t the boomers goddam it, it was REPUBLICANS

  162. 162
    Darkrose says:

    @Mnemosyne: Warren has proposed making community colleges and 4-year public colleges tuition-free.

  163. 163
    matt says:

    @SenyorDave: And that’s why loan forgiveness caps out at 50K. Care to try again?

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  165. 165
    Avi says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    This. My father died when I was 17 and applying to college, reducing our household income by half even taking survivor benefits into account. Those survivor benefits ended when I graduated from high school a few months later; had they continued a further 2+ years (edit: the way Paul Ryan’s did), I might not have had to borrow as an undergraduate (still necessary to get buy even with a full scholarship).

  166. 166
    Panurge says:

    @Rand Careaga:

    And who gets blamed for it? The very generation it fell on first. OF COURSE Boomers are sensitive.

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