What About the other 80 Percent of Missourians?
About 30 percent of Missourians, age 25 and older, have a bachelor’s degree or higher. It’s estimated that about 60 percent of Missouri students graduate from college with student loan debt. So per a very rough calculation, about 18 percent of Missourians have student loan debt. That lines up pretty well with the national average of around 22 percent.
While starting your career with $25,000 plus in student loan debt can create challenges, these are somewhat offset by the higher earnings a college degree holder can expect. Yet, once again, student loan debt forgiveness is being floated as an economic policy. Let’s be clear: This relief is directed at the one in five Missourians who can expect significantly higher earnings over their lifetimes. Everyone else is left with nothing except picking up the tab. What about car loans? What about credit card debt?
This is a textbook example of a regressive tax; relief for higher earners at the expense of lower earners. Expensive government giveaways create bad precedent. They incentivize bad behaviors. And, like it or not, they have to be paid for at some point. Sorry to be a Grinch, but don’t ask Santa to forgive your student loans.
For more on this topic, click here to listen to our podcast with the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey: