For whatever reason, I’m on MoveOn.Org’s e-mail distribution list. Last week, I received an e-mail from MoveOn.Org that seemed a bit far afield from that organziations usual concerns: A petition calling for the federal government to forgive student loans as a way to stimulate the economy. The e-mail, titled “Sick of your student loans?” reads:
Dear MoveOn member,
Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President’s pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month to spend on ailing sectors of the economy.
As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created, and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats—forgiving student loan debt, rather than tax cuts for corporations, millionaires and billionaires, has a MUCH greater chance of helping to raise that tide in a MUCH shorter time-frame.
The future economic success of this country is wholly dependent upon a well-educated, prosperous middle class. Instead of saddling entire generations with debt from which there is no escape, let’s empower the American people to grow this economy on their own!
That’s why I created a petition on SignOn.org, calling on President Obama and Congress to support legislation seeking student loan forgiveness as a means of economic stimulus.
I accept that the dramatic growth of student-loan debt is a problem, but I am unconvinced that blanket loan forgiveness is the right response, or that such a policy would be a cost-effective way to stimulate the economy.