Comments about ‘How will students pay for soaring debt? Tax the rich, Senator Warren says’

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Published: Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:15 p.m. MDT

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Burley, ID

Hey! Here's an idea why doesn't the government LOWER everyone's tax rates to the same as the millionaire/billionaire club members? That way I get to pay the same rate that they do.

Next idea, don't get into debt to go to college. The government didn't pay my way when I attended the UofU. Why should others have to be forced to pay for yours?


It's not just colleges scamming degrees. Remember when a kid could earn money bay sitting? Now we have licensed daycare that requires degrees and pays nothing -- yet costs like crazy due to bureaucratic overhead.

Salt lake City, UT

I have my fair share of student loan debt, and I am paying it back myself because I don't buy frivolous things and I live within my means. Rather than forcing others to suffer the consequences of our actions, can't we just learn financial management skills? I never took a class in finance but I figured out how much I need to earn each month to cover necessities. I really don't think it's that difficult, it's just a matter of financial priorities, and a huge tv and a brand new car just isn't in that equation for me.

I do think it's a nice thought that Senator Warren would like to help students, but taking the responsibility away from us is just going to teach a bad lesson - don't prepare yourself fully and the government will step in and force the rich to pay for it.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

So colleges and universities charge an arm and a leg for tuition, fees, housing and on-campus food (often required for freshmen who are also often mandated to live on campus) and it's the millionaires' fault?

Got it.

I'd comment more but my car is broken so to fix it I'm going to call my plumber. It's HIS fault, after all....

Salt Lake City, UT

"How about a flat tax? It is the only fair way to tax everyone with the same percentage of their income. Close all loopholes. End all deductions. "

No, that'd help the rich and hurt the poor even more. (Contrary to popular belief it's actually the poor that benefit more from loopholes/deductions than the rich, after all 47% of people have so much in those deductions that they aren't paying income taxes).

Salt Lake City, UT

"The New Deal was such a disaster and it almost completely destroyed our country. Thank goodness the Supreme Court saved the nation by declaring it unconstitutional."

The New Deal was pulling America out of the ditch you conservatives drove it into under Coolidge->Hoover policies. Then in FDRs second term a lot of it was gotten rid of by the courts or scaled back and we lost a good chunk of the employment gains.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

How many students who use financial aid go and spend on spring break?

Cut out Spring Break and go straight through the semester. Let students out earlier in Spring to Work longer during the summer and not spend frivolously on extravagant vacations.

Financial aid should be available ONLY to pay for Tuition, books and fees and paid directly to the school. Everything else should be the responsibility of the student or his family.

Schools should be prohibited from charging fees to raise more money for athletics such has been done at USU or the U.

Murray, UT

Give the money to the responsible people who knew they could not afford to pay back a student loan, so they never took one out.

They knew it was just a loan when they took the money.

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA

Some commenters are expanding the scope of the discussion to include overhaul of the tax code (i.e. flat tax). Others are blaming the kids for poor decision making and them or their parents for poor planning. Let's regain our focus and examine how we (this is, after all, a societal issue). More importantly, if you're critical of Sen. Warren's solution...come up with a better one.

How did we get here? An economy that can't absorb graduates at both a rate and level that will permit them to service their debt. The jobs available to undergrads now are the same types of jobs I held in high school. At least the cost of the high school education was borne by the taxpayer (private schools excepted). Let's examine the roles now. As an example, a little north of my neck of the woods is a facility is an operation run by Bayer. A $15 an hour production floor position requires a degree in biology or biochem. The "foreman" may need a degree in industrial engineering and X number of years in pharma. (continued)

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA


An ICP chemist with a masters degree may get $20 an hour. The cost of a public undergrad education is perhaps $50K with a graduate degree costing perhaps another $50K. That's a 6-10 year sunk cost with a break even probably about another 10 years out.

As rapidly as economies are changing the "projected" staring salary of $45K a year in 2005 now commands a salary of $30K in 2014. The cost of living has gone up and what was a viable, perhaps even attractive, option in 2005 can not justify the investment of time or money. Now the student is addled with debt and even jobs in their field are hard to come by. The "economic rules" of 2014 are challenging if you can secure work. If you can't then it's impossible.

You did everything right. You took a risk, ostensibly jointly shared by "Sallie Mae". But that's a lie. You bear the full cost of time and money. The "business" that said you need this education before I'll hire you? "It's not my fault!" It's the market (continued)

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA


Fairly simplistic solutions, but at least it's a start. First would be if the education is indeed required to play in the "job market", then reduce the cost of education. MIT started the open courseware initiative a few years ago. At one time (maybe they still are) USU was a participant. The drawback with OCI is no degree is conferred even though a substantial part of the curriculum is provided at only the cost of a computer and possibly a text. So, the time is invested by the student in gaining knowledge, but without a degree, that knowledge has no market value. The private sector ... perhaps the Princeton Review ... or the professions governing the discipline (ex: CILA) could administer and exam to certify knowledge competency. If the student still can't afford, a government grant is given to cover the cost of the exam.

What to do about the existing debt: The repayment is indexed off the jobs available (in your neck of the woods ~ 10%) with the debt retired at seven years. Who pays the outstanding principle? If society in general benefits from education, then they should collectively share in the cost of that benefit.

Mont Pugmire
Fairview, UT

Social Security? Solution: Tax ALL income instead of having a ceiling on the amount earned. That way, for example, people in entertainment, sports and investment houses who make enormous amounts of money would pay the same percent of income as I do on all their income. Income taxes? I don't care how much the wealthy earn. I just want them to pay the same percent on their income that I pay. Fairness, equity and simplicity. The entire tax code is a conglomeration of special exemptions made at one time or another for rich, influential citizens who could afford to buy the influence necessary to get such a special exemption. Then they hire smart CPAs to figure out how to apply those special exemptions to their clients.

North Logan, UT

I am a college student. It's expensive. I'm working paying for it myself and graduating debt free this fall. That being said, monetary help would be wonderful but there is something that people need to understand.. The "1%" don't just hold on to their money. They don't pile it up and use it in consumption spending (a terrible habit that keeps many from making money), they use it in INVESTMENT spending. The money that Senator Warren wants to be taken for taxation means that same money won't be used for investment. The money they invest does more for the economy than money taken in taxes. Letting people invest is in our best interest! I would love the government to give me money but students CAN make it without it! It means so much more to me that I worked for it too!

Chad S
Lorton, VA

Hey look everybody! A free lunch!

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Mont Pugmire" but then how do you tax the CEO who has a salary of $1 and earns most of his income off of dividends and exercising their stock options? Since SS is a payroll tax, you will never touch those CEOs.

Heber City, UT

Student debt has become a huge problem in this country. The only students that are even able to pay up are those who go to Ivy League Universities and major in Law or Medicine. For the rest its a spotty business. My wife and I recently toured the Baltic Countries and Germany. All of them educate their young people THROUGH COLLEGE as an investment by the public in the future of their countries. We, on the other hand, have the attitude that public eduction K thru 12 is "normal" and K thru 16 is socialism. Instead we burden students with student debt so they start life way below ground. I think the country (and the state) need to start with a blank sheet of paper and work it out from scratch. Meanwhile, we need to notice that foreign students studying abroad are coming out more educated than their debt-ridden domestic students.

Cedar Hills, UT

re:Frustrated Mom

A Flat Tax is essentially the law of tithing as least as far as the economic side is concerned. Yes a Flat Tax is the answer where EVERY CITIZEN pays the same percent. This would have the wonderful effects of lowering the income tax percent substantially for everyone now paying and also increasing the amount of revenue collected. The problem with the Flat Tax is that it CAN'T exist in a Socialist country and that is where the USA is fast approaching. The flat is the ONLY fair tax but Socialism isn't about fairness - it is about rewarding the lazy and dysfunctional while punishing the worker bees.

West Jordan, UT

Forget income tax. Tax total property. And start above 10 million. If we tax 10% of property over 10 million we would really tax Buffet. His taxes would be $2 billion a year instead of $200,000. That would be just. That's why Buffet said go ahead and tax my income. Because for rich people income is phony. His phony income is only $467,000 a year.

Provo, UT

Why don't we rein in government spending and stop placing the burden of the National Debt on the backs of future generations? Stop borrowing from our children and grandchildren!!

Plano, TX

If investing in student debt had good returns, millionaires would already be funding it.

That obvious point is totally overlooked by everyone in all of these discussions.

Why anyone would tie up nearly $200,000 in student debt to get a degree from a high end university for a degree in something like library science (yes, I know someone who did this) is totally beyond me. The percentage of kids who go to expensive schools, tie up tens of thousands in debt and then quit is astounding and generally that money will hinder their progress for decades.

Don't invest in things that don't provide a commensurate return. Encourage local CC and then fund the loans when someone is certain of their field, and not before.

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