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May 27th, 2014
12:43 PM ET

Student debt doesn't just hurt students

We have a trillion-dollar student debt problem. Crossfire's Van Jones wants to get that anvil off the economy's neck.

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Filed under: economy • Reloaded • Van Jones
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Scott

    If it is OK to bail out the banks, the car makers, and whom ever else I missed then why is wrong to bail out the people who are at the very least trying to improve their lives?
    Of the bail outs if the people are paying for the companies to exist then it is not Capitalism, and cannot be Capitalism in any form by the mere definition of Capitalism. Therefore, in a society where the people pay the government to pay the business to exist is by definition socialism.
    So, by definition, we are a socialist society... welcome to the Capitalist society of The Socialist United States of America

    June 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  2. Ed Schotanus

    I'm not willing to allow the use of my tax dollars to pay for everyone's education. Period. I paid for mine and expect others to live up to their responsibilities by paying their own debts.

    June 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  3. Bob

    A couple of points ... 1) Nobody held a gun to anybody's head and forced them to take out loans. (2) How is somebody else's student loan MY problem? (3) If Johnny wants to go to school to study Jamaican folk dancing, what kind of an idiot lends him money in the first place? Hopefully you get the idea, Van Jones needs to piss off and let the little creeps pay off their own debts. It is called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Gawd, no wonder this country is in such a mess.

    June 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  4. Robert Walters

    Why don't the students all drop out for a few semesters and voice strongly on costs reductions, tuition,salaries. You known a boycott, sit in or old fashion protest. Make themselves heard. Let Congress shut down the Department of education which increases the debt of our Nation.

    May 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  5. drake mallard

    'Nearly half of working Americans with college degrees are in jobs for which they're overqualified

    the College degree scam

    Two-thirds of American students go into debt in order to get a college degree, and some estimates have put the national student loan debt at $1 trillion.The Education Complex has created this stigma that somehow you are lacking if you don't have a college degree. If everyone has a college degree, then by definition that degree is devalued and not worth the paper it is written on. This is evident by the fact the many organizations are requiring a master degree to be eligible for management. I find this offensive. It is obviously in their own self interest to perpetuate this myth.Now that everyone believes this myth, they tell you that if you take out a $50,000 easy government loan and be a slave to the payments for the rest of your life you will have a good job and be fulfilled.Right, while you end up living with your parents because you can't find a job. If you were poor you are now poor and in debt up to your neck. Many will be in debt for most of their lives with no value from their worthless degree

    May 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  6. Paul Anderson

    The only real way to deal with this is to learn how to pay them off faster. lauralexco

    May 28, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
  7. The Entire GOP Platform In A Single Paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    May 28, 2014 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Your Entire Platform In A Single Sentence

      Dear obama, help me to continue copying and pasting hate and blasphemous rhetoric.

      June 4, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
  8. Jeff b

    Nobody is forcing these kids to go to schools they can't afford. The whole discussion is ridiculous. If Norte dame is too expensive, don't go. And if enough kids stop paying these absurd prices, they will come down.

    Another example of the left making an argument that shirks personal responsibility.

    May 28, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • pennydreadful

      Funny you say this, because any job with decent pay requires a college degree now. So you can't have your cake and it to. Which means when they can't get a decent job,can only work for minimum wage and can't afford a life, don't complain when they have to utilize the system.

      May 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  9. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Yeah – It hurts the parents too, because many of the parents (myself included) foot the bulk of the bills by taking out education loans and or home equity loans and our kids are responsible for the smaller Stafford loans.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  10. Chuck

    Van Jones is a glib Marxist who in a rational world would not be taken seriously. The fact that he is taken seriously by many is an indication of the ascendency of the extreme left. This is a terrible and destructive idea but its acceptance would not surprise me. The pace of this nation's decline is accelerating.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Reply
    • Chuck, you're a moron

      Chuck, you're a moron. Get a job and get off of comment sections. It'll be good for you

      May 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  11. kurt

    The inability to refinance is stupid. If you pay off a loan early, what business is it of the lender how you get the money? You could borrow it or have won the lottery or gotten a great paying job... but all that should matter is that the loan is paid off.

    But what Jones doesn't cover is the main problem... the escalating cost of college education.

    I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2000. Since 2000, inflation has caused the average price of an item to be 37% higher today then back then. So 100 dollars then will give you 137 dollars worth of stuff in today's dollars. The cost of tuition at UGA? It's gone up from 2400 dollars a year in 2000 to 10800 dollars a year in 2014. That's 4.5 times as much as it was 15 years ago.

    THAT'S the problem. The debt wouldn't be a big deal if the cost of college were increasing with inflation. But it's WAY above inflation. 1.4 times compared to 4.5 times.

    Those in my graduating class didn't have a huge problem paying off student loans.

    State schools need to get a benchmark of 10-15 years ago (or more) for a price and limit their increase to an index that matches the level of inflation. Private schools can do what they want, but if they have to compete with the public schools they'll follow suit.

    Financing isn't the problem... the cost of education is.

    May 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      For those of us who graduated in the past five years, the ability to refinance is hella important!

      May 27, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
      • kurt

        Well, that's what I was trying to say with the first statement. Of course anyone should be allowed to refinance any loan. Why should the lender care how you get the money to pay off their loan. If you get another loan (with better rates) to do it... it's none of their business.

        I'm just saying that fix is just taking care of a symptom. The real problem is the five-fold increase in the cost of an education over the last 15 years (WAY above inflation). If your schooling cost you 1/3rd of what it actually did... that student loan debt might not be that big of an issue to start with.

        May 28, 2014 at 8:57 am |
  12. George W. Mouchette

    The circumstances that created this "financially crippling and enslaving" debt was progressively and systematically architected since 1989.

    The next major financially deadly architecture being put into place is the elimination of pensions; combined with salaries too small to save, stock market "profit takings", short term jobs...

    May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  13. Hector Slagg

    Humm,
    Cancel all student debt. now! Do you have some money in savings? Do you want it to all disappear? OK., so you have no money in savings so it won't affect you. Everybody is beginning to think everything is free. Do you get free gas at the gas station? Do you get free groceries at the grocery store? Do you get free electricity from the power company? So why do you thing you should get free tuition from College? And if you get a degree are you going to provide free service to everybody. I didn't think so. Pay your tuition !!! It's part of your education.

    May 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • kurt

      I would have agreed with you in 2000.

      But since then incomes have gone up 30-40% while tuition at colleges has risen 400-500%.

      That makes the math unworkable for most college students. When tuition was 2400 dollars a year at UGA back in 2000, I could work part time at a minimum wage job and pay for that without taking out a loan. At nearly 11 grand a year (in state), that's not nearly as possible. At 20 hours a week, 10 dollars an hour, you only earn 10 grand a year before taxes.

      Many of the people commenting who say "work your way through college" don't realize how much the price of college tuition has risen over the last 20 years compared to wage increases.

      May 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  14. hardrockfootballfanatic

    I don't always agree with this gentlemen but he is spot on concerning student loan debt. I hate to tell the government but they aren't going to ever get most of this back. The government needs to be out of the student loan business. In my case, I took out student loans to get through college and I valued my time there. However, I could not find a job in my major and struggled for a few years. Eventually I was able to get a career (which had little to do with my college education) and I have a satisfying life, but I live paycheck to paycheck. I make a monthly payment on my student loans but it still isn't good enough. I still get threatened with "We are going to take your income tax refund or garnishee your wages." My family and I have a right to live too and we are doing the best we can. This man is right.

    May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply

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