As a recently graduated student with student loans currently totaling $60,452, it may come as a surprise that I find no reasonable backing for bailing out student loans. Oh, and did I mention I’m currently unemployed with enough money in the bank to cover less than this month’s round of payments?
When I assess my situation even I sometimes wonder why on earth I would be arguing that the federal government should not pay MY student loans. Quickly, I recall the list of reasons which provide support for my case.
First, one must consider the idea of fiscal responsibility. It’s very understandable that confusion exists in society surrounding debt and money. Our government spends more money than it has on a daily basis; often wastefully. As everyone’s mother or father at one point noted, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Society has forgotten this proverb as the government has decided to ignore this simple fact.
Second, debt has become an acceptable means for getting something one cannot afford. Rather than working hard before-hand and saving money to reach our goals, we have come to yearn for instant gratification. Now more than ever Americans ignore the risks and losses that are associated with every type of debt to have something NOW.
Third, asking for money the government doesn’t have is completely and utterly socially irresponsible. Everyone loves free stuff. But, to call on another proverb, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Asking for money for our student loans means the money would have to be siphoned from elsewhere. Tell the soldiers in Iraq that their body armor won’t be stopping a potato gun anymore because some people are having financial issues. Not a supporter of the war? Stop the research in the laboratories that will send men back to the moon or identify the gene and conditions that causes Alzheimer’s. Is science not really your thing? Cut the funding for programs developing future Picassos, Mozarts, and Shakespeares. The point being, there are tens of thousands of reasons (if not hundreds of thousands) to not bail out former students.
On the other hand, the only thing alleviated through such a bail out is personal discomfort (and maybe a few saved credit scores – which are an over-emphasized tool in financing today). Yes, student loan debt sucks. Sure, I worry…a lot…about how I’m going to come up with $269.17 by Thursday. Am I comfortable with the situation? No. But I put myself here and I will shout with joy when I earn the money to pay off MY student loans rather than having someone save me with a bail out.