Dear Mr. President,
First, let me say that I was going to vote for Ralph Nader, but the last time I did that George W. Bush got re-elected and I felt guilty. So guilty that in 2008 I caved and decided to vote for you so that the old guy didn’t become president. Plus, I was more afraid he’d die in office and the VP would run the country.
On to the point of this letter. I know that you’re doing all you can to change our image in the international arena and to make things better at home. I applaud the fact that you’re tackling healthcare reform, but sadly, I can’t say that I’ve been keeping up with the details of how a national plan would be implemented and funded. I’d really just like to wait until everyone can play nice and stop providing political sound bites and quotes to garner support for mid-term elections to sway the voting power. And I’m sure plenty of people who don’t look like you can’t wait to say you and the Democratic party failed and put the Republicans, who instituted the biggest corporate bailout in American history, back in power to ‘make it right’.
I digressed again. In all honesty, I want you to consider another radical idea: student loan forgiveness. Since we took the major work tests in 1982, it was a known fact that my brother and I would go to college and ‘invest in ourselves’. Against the odds, we made it through the public school system and attended state colleges in Ohio. Unfortunately, we didn’t know some things at 18 that we probably should have learned before we left home. The first one being credit card companies were predators and we should have had jobs before we got American Express, Discover and Chase MasterCards. The second was that we didn’t have to accept all the student loan money allocated to us. Like the credit card companies, that promissory note didn’t make much sense to my brother or me back in 1990 and 1993, respectively. Fortunately, my brother just decided college wasn’t for him, but I invested in myself twice and for the amount of student loans I’ve borrowed, I really should sign this letter as ‘Dr. Deauna Hale’.
My novel idea for all of us who invested in our futures is that you forgive a portion of our student loan debt. I mean, if you really think about it, Baby Boomers are probably going to bankrupt the Social Security system, so by the time us Generation Xers retire, there won’t be anything for us to use and we’ll essentially stick our kids with the bill, they way you’ll probably do to us. Add to that the fact that most of you will be retired, dead, living with or being supported by us in the next 20 years, I can only imagine we’ll be stretched to the limit.
Mr. POTUS, if you can’t forgive a portion of the loans, how about at least canceling the interest? Last time I checked my statement, the interest was a considerable amount of the total balance. If you could knock that off, maybe I’d be more inclined to not vociferously oppose bail-out plans that give under-performing bank presidents and CEOs multi-million dollar performance bonuses as part of their corporate restructuring plans. Because quite honestly, I didn’t support the plan and my Congressional representatives provided an unsatisfactory explanation of why they allowed such a plan to go forward without more stringent checks and balances. Consider it a way to make up to the American public for a poorly executed excuse to increase our national debt.
I know you’re busy making sure I can get my annual exam every year even if I don’t have an employer-sponsored health plan, but consider this idea for the millions of Americans who are trying valiantly to stay off social programs and help support the populations that can afford to do more (the rich) and who want to do more, but can’t or simply don’t want to (the poor). Every time I see someone using an Ohio Direction card to buy pricey foods like prime rib and seafood while I calculate the organic beans and rice in my cart, I ask myself ‘what’s in this deal for me?’ Every time I come up with ‘not much’.
Give it some thought, Sir, and let me know. In the meantime, I’ll continue to cry a little inside with every statement I receive from Direct Loans and pray that one day, middle America gets a real break.