By Robert Applebaum (Contact)
To be delivered to: Rep. John Kline (MN-2), The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama
Since 1980, average tuition for a 4-year college education has increased an astounding 827%. Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%.
In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 Trillion.
In short, student loan debt has become the latest financial crisis in America and, if we do absolutely nothing, the entire economy will eventually come crashing down again, just as it did when the housing bubble popped. Reasonable minds can disagree as to the solutions, they cannot, however, disagree on the existence of this ever-growing crisis, as well as the unsustainable course we're on towards financial oblivion.
As a result of more than 30 years of treating higher education as an individual commodity, rather than a public good and an investment in our collective future, those buried under the weight of their student loan debt are not buying homes or cars, not starting businesses or families, and they're not investing, inventing, innovating or otherwise engaged in any of the economically stimulative activities that we need all Americans to be engaged in if we're ever to dig ourselves out of the giant hole created by the greed of those at the very top.
Now for the good news: there's finally hope on the horizon! Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, in the House of Representatives - legislation designed to lend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.
For a brief summary of H.R. 4170's main provisions, as well as Frequently Asked Questions, please copy & paste this URL into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/crbu64d
To read the full version of the actual bill itself, please go here: http://tinyurl.com/6txure8
Student loan debt has an undeniable and significant suppressive effect on economic growth. The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 directly addresses this enormous boot on the neck of the middle class and represents a glimmer of hope for millions of Americans who, with each passing day, find that the American Dream is more and more out of reach.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that Congress bring H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, up for consideration and commit to holding a straight, up-or-down vote on it this year. Thereafter, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that President Obama sign this legislation into law.
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