Student Loan Debt Persuasive Speech

 

Transcript:

Senator from Massachusetts Thank You
Madam President I want to thank Senator
Durbin and Senator Reid for their
extraordinary leadership on this
important issue I also rise today to
talk about the crushing burden that
student debt places on our college
students and on our economy and call on
Congress to address it the core facts
are well known to every family in
America in recent decades college costs
have skyrocketed adjusted for inflation
a young person today pays 300 percent of
what her parents paid just 30 years ago
millions of young people the only way to
cover this tuition cost is to take on
huge debt the average student loan
balance among 25 year-olds who borrow
has grown by 91% in just 10 years total
outstanding student loan debt stands at
a staggering 1.2 trillion dollars and
it’s getting bigger every single day
the problem is made worse by a federal
student loan program with high interest
rates that will produce obscene profits
for the government the GAO recently
projected that the government will bring
in 66 billion dollars in profits on its
federal student loans made between 2007
and 2012 profits that would make a
fortune 500 CEO proud this exploding
debt is crushing our young people more
than a third of borrowers under the age
of 30 have been delinquent for more than
90 days this exploding debt is also
dragging down our economy tying students
to a lifetime of financial service as a
condition of getting an education does
not reflect our values these students
didn’t go to the mall to run up charges
on a credit card they worked hard and
they learn new skills that will benefit
this country help us build a stronger
middle class and help us build a
stronger America
they deserve our support they don’t
deserve to be buried in debt to reverse
this trend of student borrowing we need
to bring down the cost of college that
will not be easy and it will require
everyone the government higher education
institutions and the students themselves
to do far more than they do now but our
need to reduce the cost of college must
not blind us to the urgency of
addressing the massive debt that’s
already crushing our young people the
the pressure is building and we must act
to provide real relief to our students
and young graduates now in the coming
weeks I will join with my colleagues to
introduce legislation to do just that
legislation that will allow eligible
borrowers with high interest loans to
refinance at interest rates that are at
least as low as those currently being
offered to new borrowers in the federal
student loan program the idea is pretty
simple when interest rates are low
homeowners can refinance their mortgages
big corporations can swap more expensive
debt for cheaper debt even state and
local governments have refinanced their
debts but a graduate who took out an
unsubsidized loan before July 1st of
this year is locked into an interest
rate of nearly 7 percent older loans run
8% 9% and even more last year Congress
agreed that those interest rates were
much too high so they lowered them
significantly for this year’s borrowers
but that change does nothing for the
millions who are trapped under the old
high interest rate loans refinancing
those old loans would lower interest
rates to 3.8 6% for undergraduate loans
the savings would vary of course for a
recent graduate who borrowed the maximum
payments would drop by as much as a
thousand dollars a year and total
interest could be cut nearly in half we
don’t need to
a single dime to our deficit to pay for
this plan right now this country
essentially taxes students by charging
high interest rates that bring money
into the government while at the same
time we give away far more money through
a tax code riddled with loopholes and
let the wealthiest individuals and
corporations avoid paying a fair share
we can close those loopholes and put the
money directly into refinancing student
loans we can start with the Buffett Rule
a rule that would limit tax loopholes
for the wealthy and ensure that
billionaires pay at least as much as
their secretaries for every new dollar
that we bring in by stitching up this
loophole it can go directly into
reducing the cost of student loans for
our students dollar for dollar we can
invest in billionaires or we can invest
in our students refinancing student
loans won’t fix everything that’s broken
in the higher education system but it’s
a huge step forward I was the first
person in my family to graduate from
college I went to a commuter College
where the tuition was $50 a semester I
went to a public law school where I got
a great education I was able to do that
because I grew up in a country that
chose investing in kids over investing
in billionaires I believe in that
America and I believe in what we can do
when we work together to build
opportunities for everyone who busted
their tail to get an education

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