Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Forgive us our student loan debt (Is forgiving debt a moral issue?)
Washington Post ^ | 04/28/2012 | By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Posted on 04/28/2012 6:42:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

We need to start taking student loan debt seriously, both as a troubling moral issue and as a ticking economic time bomb. By some reports, student loan debt will exceed 1 trillion dollars this year, more than the credit card debt of all Americans.

A whole generation of young Americans is at risk in this excessive borrowing. They fall further and further behind in “servicing their debt” because they have no way to keep up with the payments as many of them are unemployed or underemployed. They will delay starting marriage and families; they dare not take the risk of quitting a paying job (if they have one!) and starting their own business to create jobs, and they certainly cannot save to buy a home. They are trapped.

Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) Forgiving debt is a moral issue. Forgiving some of the worst of this student debt is crucial literally to save this American generation.

President Obama has recently taken steps to ease student loan debt burdens. But the problem is too big. Some of this student debt needs actual legislation to deal with the whole system of the debt as Robert Applebaum calls for on his Web site, ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com.

Applebaum contends that executive orders can only do so much. It will take legislation that covers predatory practices as well as other changes to the way student loans are structured such as how interest is compounded. Applebaum also argues persuasively that forgiving student loan debt will stimulate the economy.

The kind of moral equality that Jesus asks us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer can be seen in Applebaum’s argument. Jesus calls on us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: academia; cap; college; debt; debtforgiveness; education; forgiveness; leftuniverse; liberationtheology; marxistcoup; obamanomics; religiousleft; robertapplebaum; studentloandebt; studentloans; theft; thievery; thistlethwaite; tuition; wapo
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-106 next last
Author argues:

"Forgive and be forgiven. Americans are tied together in this student debt debacle, and debt forgiveness will help the forgivers as well as those forgiven."

.......

"Currently, I’m advocating debt forgiveness. It is the moral thing to do and it is the right civic thing to do. This is what Jesus actually meant; real debts, real debtors, forgiving and forgiven. This is what government is actually about—of the people, by the people, for the people. We still have a chance to show young people that democracy can work for the common good.

Forgiveness. It’s the right thing to do."

1 posted on 04/28/2012 6:42:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary

Former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008), Thistlethwaite is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Here are a list of her articles for the WaPo:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/susan-brooks-thistlethwaite/2011/03/16/ABkdESf_page.html


2 posted on 04/28/2012 6:44:24 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Kinda reminds me of “forgive us our trespasses” but in a different moral universe.
3 posted on 04/28/2012 6:46:42 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Except opheilēma, the Greek word translated as "debt" here, has a much broader sense of "moral fault" or "to fail in duty." It's not strictly an economic term.
4 posted on 04/28/2012 6:48:42 PM PDT by sthguard (The DNC theme song: "All You Need is Guv")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Forgiveness is one thing. Suicidal business practices is another.


5 posted on 04/28/2012 6:51:11 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

There is no such thing as ‘debt forgiveness’ when it comes to the government and business, someone has to pay it. Is it moral to take money from someone else to pay for another person’s debt?

They may try to make the analogy of you loaning something to a friend and wiping the debt clean, but the analogy is flawed.


6 posted on 04/28/2012 6:53:17 PM PDT by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Election hype intended to create a “narrative” for the indefensible. This makes as much sense as claiming that requiring ID for voting “discriminates against” the poor and minorities.


7 posted on 04/28/2012 6:54:43 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

It was an immoral act to allow government funding of student loans in the first place. Because of government funding, the banks never had to consider a student’s ability to pay and schools didn’t have to figure out how to give a quality education inexpensively.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost.


8 posted on 04/28/2012 6:57:19 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: achilles2000

Please hold off for a few years until my daughter starts (and finishes) college. Then she can run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that will then be forgiven and she nor her parents will have to pay a penny!

Please wait.


9 posted on 04/28/2012 6:57:37 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Yeah well, is this fair democracy to all the past generations who have paid their student loan debt as they agreed to do? The only difference between students now and in the past is Barack Obama is a desperate president wanting to be a hero and be re-elected at the taxpayers expense. This is not biblical, it is generational and class warfare being waged against the citizens of ths country by a socialist. Life is full of hardships, get over it.


10 posted on 04/28/2012 6:57:37 PM PDT by Toespi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

Amen! Excellent post.


11 posted on 04/28/2012 7:01:10 PM PDT by crghill (Silly Mormons, God is triune.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Wow Susan! Way to misquote the Bible to advance your own progressive agenda!

How about the verse where Jesus says to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”? How about we stop trying to buy votes for the Democratic machine by offering to give stuff to people who vote the “right” way?

Maybe it’s time to start preaching personal responsibility and stop telling the next generation that they get to do/buy anything they want and someone else will pick up the tab! And pitching a hissy fit doesn’t change that fact! If you were dumb enough to go 50K in debt to get a useless “Women’s Studies” degree, then I have no sympathy for you and I do hope that you put off having children forever!

The whole student loan industry is what has led to the massive increase in tuition - if we stopped the whole program tomorrow, colleges would have to get out of their little liberal bubbles and offer a better product at a reasonable price.


12 posted on 04/28/2012 7:01:21 PM PDT by VikingMom (I may not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
The author writes of this as a moral issue, but nowhere is it addressed the moral obligation to stop increasing tuition rates well above rates of inflation, and well above any realistic income for the degree offered.

I hear “for profit universities” being blamed for this, and they may have their share of fault, but I don't see the University of Phoenix’s football team getting a new football stadium every few years. Not enough students go to "for profit universities" to drive up student loan debt higher than all credit card debt anyway, that is a diversion from the main villan, state governments, and state run universities.

State universities are just as complicit in driving up costs, and it is a moral issue to require reforms to bring the costs down before just bailing out students. If you bail out the students, you let the schools off the hook for reform.

Bailing out students can't really be done, because all that would do is transfer the individual’s debt to the government, and then they will still be paying off the government debt the rest of their lives.

13 posted on 04/28/2012 7:02:54 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind; xzins; blue-duncan; wmfights; Alamo-Girl
90% of the undergraduate classes that these idiots pay thousands of dollars a unit for could be offered online for tens of dollars a unit and the students would not learn any less.

A University undergraduate education is a total waste of money. I didn't learn a d@mn thing in almost all my undergraduate classes. They were just a rehash of the stuff I learned in high school.

Of course my proposal would put hundreds of thousands of left wing college professors into the unemployment line.

What could be better?

14 posted on 04/28/2012 7:04:53 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The only thing I will “forgive” is the author’s STUPIDITY!


15 posted on 04/28/2012 7:04:58 PM PDT by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Call for a Year of Jubilee, forgive all debt, then start over. :)


16 posted on 04/28/2012 7:09:12 PM PDT by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe

Besides, since the left owns the universities, online education is one way to cheaply take back the educating of our young. EVERY Christian College/University should be pushing or creating online extensions of their campus.

Online education could be a great equalizer.


17 posted on 04/28/2012 7:10:24 PM PDT by xzins (Vote Goode Not Evil! (the lesser of 2 evils is still evil))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Toespi

Heaven help us if this is the teaching of a theological professor. Exactly, this is not biblical! She has not researched the stories of those who work a job in high school and during their college years, imagine a summer job.., and pay as they go!

Maybe since many are unemployed we need to have them volunteer a year or three to serve our country in the armed forces and pay them nothing. Adding that to the student loan application might help our situation.


18 posted on 04/28/2012 7:12:18 PM PDT by YouGoTexasGirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
President Obama has recently taken steps to ease student loan debt burdens. But the problem is too big

Poor imPOTUS wants to help, but darn, it's too haaard for him .... what a crock!

He conveniently tries to deflect the responsibility to a "do-nothing" Congress or prior Administrations when he's hip-deep in the problem. To paraphrase another scripture, it's time to "Render unto Caesar" all the blame that belongs to him.

19 posted on 04/28/2012 7:15:29 PM PDT by mikrofon (Liberal "Theology")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins

The Michigan house just voted to raise the cap on cyber schools. There are thousands on the waiting list. I realize you’re talking about college but this is good too.

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16825


20 posted on 04/28/2012 7:17:51 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Well, SHOOT, I paid for college. I want HER to pay me back. I should have to pay some lunkhead’s college tuition? So all the universities are supported by the taxpayers?

What kind of idiocy? Oh, I forgot — she’s an academic.


21 posted on 04/28/2012 7:18:50 PM PDT by bboop (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? St. Augustine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

AND...what about the really smart people who either paid as they went to school (by...working!)....or chose not to go to college, and went to work? So, now THEY should all help the college students.....????


22 posted on 04/28/2012 7:19:28 PM PDT by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Forgiving any debt is immoral!!!

It’s flat out theft from responsible people!


23 posted on 04/28/2012 7:20:06 PM PDT by dalereed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Well, we once ‘forgave’ student loans. It was could bankruptcy, something that happens every day to a business or person. But, that was changed a few years ago.


24 posted on 04/28/2012 7:20:57 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
I paid my loans.

She misuses a Biblical quote.

The only candidate with a real solution for the exceedingly high cost of college is Newt.

25 posted on 04/28/2012 7:21:13 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Newt says, "A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat Barack Obama.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I have realized that the whole student loan movement was merely a massive transfer of wealth to the post secondary education establishment.

They, not the students, were the beneficiaries.


26 posted on 04/28/2012 7:21:42 PM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. Be Andrew Breitbart.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Theoria

err...could = called.


27 posted on 04/28/2012 7:21:56 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

bullshit! They took the money willingly, they can pay it back. the government is already broke from too goddam many give away programs and you want to add more to the list??


28 posted on 04/28/2012 7:24:25 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stars & stripes forever

We have bankruptcy (in Australia)- it is based on the Jubilee concept. Here your debts are forgiven after 3 years if you go bankrupt (used to be 7) but don’t expect anyone to jump at giving you another loan in a hurry. Why should they? Trouble is people want there debt forgiven and still live the high flyin lifestyle that their study bought them. The Jubilee concept was a do-over thing and was for people who were flat out poor and unable to pay their debt.

I am unsure how your system is financed but our student loans are paid back through the tax system - once you have completed your study and earn over a certain amount the tax man cometh and taketh a percentage. There is no interest charged as far as I know. It seems to work ok.

Mel


29 posted on 04/28/2012 7:25:59 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins

Why on earth would you forgive that??


30 posted on 04/28/2012 7:27:03 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

I thought it was the “honorable and most Christian like” thing to do....


31 posted on 04/28/2012 7:29:00 PM PDT by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: exit82
They, not the students, were the beneficiaries.

Education has become a scam. Why do you think teachers need to keep going back for more certifications? They make more money for doing so and the teachers who teach the teachers get paid again and again.

I had it out with a history teacher a while back when she said that she needed to be paid more to go to college for new certifications. I asked why she needed new certifications and she said it was to keep up with all the changes. When I asked what had changed in history, her brain seized up and she wouldn't talk to me any more.
32 posted on 04/28/2012 7:30:48 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins

Yeah ok. Christians like to say “its not our place to judge”. Well whatever. I say its not our place to forgive. That’s god’s business not ours.


33 posted on 04/28/2012 7:34:46 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
When I asked what had changed in history, her brain seized up and she wouldn't talk to me any more.

You short circuited both her brain cells!

34 posted on 04/28/2012 7:36:58 PM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. Be Andrew Breitbart.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Notice how atheists always want to tell non-atheists the right way to be Christians?

Straight out of Alinsky's RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

35 posted on 04/28/2012 7:37:53 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mnehring
There is no such thing as ‘debt forgiveness’ when it comes to the government and business, someone has to pay it. Is it moral to take money from someone else to pay for another person’s debt?

They may try to make the analogy of you loaning something to a friend and wiping the debt clean, but the analogy is flawed.

Yes, the analogy is flawed. This silly Liberal twit isn't holding the loans is she? God forgives me because Jesus paid my debt. It's not her place to use the governments guns to stiff the banks or taxpayers.

36 posted on 04/28/2012 7:38:22 PM PDT by Lysandru
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: xzins; Dr. Eckleburg; blue-duncan; wmfights; Gamecock
EVERY Christian College/University should be pushing or creating online extensions of their campus. Online education could be a great equalizer.

I think I earned the equivalent of a Masters in Theology during the Cal/Arm wars.

I should go print myself a degree.

You too.

37 posted on 04/28/2012 7:43:45 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

Yeah...well I just forgive her stupidity...NOT HER ACTIONS!


38 posted on 04/28/2012 7:49:46 PM PDT by goodnesswins (2012..."We mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: melsec
I am unsure how your system is financed but our student loans are paid back through the tax system - once you have completed your study and earn over a certain amount the tax man cometh and taketh a percentage. There is no interest charged as far as I know. It seems to work ok.

When I went to school in the US (a while ago now), we just paid the loan off in installments just like any loan. Most of the loans were from private lenders. Recently, early in the Obama administration, the federal government basically took over the student loan industry.

This was a perfectly workable system for a very long time, but a lot of rot and corruption came into the education system over the years, and recent attempts to fix it just makes it worse. They have been playing the game of raising their tuition at a much higher rate than inflation for at least two decades now, but they always cry poverty, so the states and federal governments step in with even more money.

The students are the genuine victims, but bailing them out also bails out the people that caused this mess. The education industry is trying to keep the bailouts coming, but without admitting they are the cause of the problems or undertaking any real reform.

39 posted on 04/28/2012 7:52:30 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: YouGoTexasGirl

The Air Force had a program that (if I understood it right) paid off the student loan of new enlistees who had a bachelor’s degree. It made them inelligible for certain education benefits (tuition assistance? GI Bill? I don’t remember exactly) but I guess the rationale was they got their benefit in advance.


40 posted on 04/28/2012 8:00:48 PM PDT by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
and the millions of us that paid ours back? i didn't go out much, drove used cars, scrimped and saved, took care of a family and paid my student loans... and now i get to pay theirs too???
41 posted on 04/28/2012 8:02:07 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mnehring
"There is no such thing as ‘debt forgiveness’ when it comes to the government and business, someone has to pay it."

Exactly. The lending institution writes off the debt as a business expense and issues a 1099 in the amount of the debt forgiven to the student. The IRS becomes the worst nightmare of a debt collector that the student could ever imagine.

42 posted on 04/28/2012 8:04:01 PM PDT by shove_it (just undo it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer

You left out the part about student loans have special interest rates and delayed payment schedules and they were subsidized by the federal government.


43 posted on 04/28/2012 8:04:24 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

” - - - - Forgiving debt is a moral issue.”

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CREATING debt is a moral issue.


44 posted on 04/28/2012 8:08:12 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Dictator Baby-Doc Barack's obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND U.S. Constitution.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Soooo....let's get this straight. Obama goes to UNC-CH, and the student crowd goes wild when he goes into full campaign mode talking about helping them with their student debt, etc., etc., etc.

Meanwhile, the workers in the cafeteria at UNC-CH, the janitors, the grounds people, the hardworking farmers in NC, any remaining textile workers who haven't already lost their jobs in the past 3 years, and all the other laborers are paying increasing tax rates to subsidize these students, many of whom drive fancy cars, live off mom and dad, and will hope to have great jobs with high salaries--that is, if America elects a President with some real-world job creation experience.

Does that about begin to sum it up?

The reality is that their awe and joy may be over soon, when they leave the campus and move in their unemployed parents' basement, waiting to find a job that's not out there because of government spending, deficit, debt, and taxation policies which have driven employers out of business or overseas.

45 posted on 04/28/2012 8:20:01 PM PDT by loveliberty2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre; melsec

I should also write that in the US, education is constitutionally the realm of the states. There is no constitutional duties for education at the federal level. All states have state university systems, with large campuses and land often set aside by the state constitutions, along with subsidies at the state level. Having student loans at the federal level should be unconstitutional in the first place, but in practice also gives a green light for states to get as much federal money flowing into their states as they can, using the students as intermediaries.


46 posted on 04/28/2012 8:23:38 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The first moral factor is to not borrow more than you can repay. Yes, forgiveness is a moral factor, but we must realize that when debts are between private parties, it is the lender who bears the burden alone. The financial costs are isolated and contained. However, what is being advocated here is the forgiveness of a debt that government insured, so the costs will be socialized.

The net result will be the same as if government printed the same amount of money— the wealth that money represents will be taken from all holders of the money by proportionate dilution. There is no free lunch, no matter how many socialist college students may occupy otherwise.


47 posted on 04/28/2012 8:27:13 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

FYI.


48 posted on 04/28/2012 8:46:15 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Repaying your debts is a moral issue.

I repaid my student loans. They were proportionately large to me given earnings back then.


49 posted on 04/28/2012 9:15:13 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I think that’s what I’ll tell the IRS next year. See how that works out.

Maybe that’s how Obama plans to deal with our national debt. Just force the rest of the world to just forgive our debt to them. See how that pans out.


50 posted on 04/28/2012 9:16:38 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-106 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson