Loan forgiveness facts​​​

Today’s​ ​editorial – Dec. 15, 2017 – addresses the issue of debt forgiveness for student loans. The essence of the argument is that the student loan forgiveness process under Obama was too lenient on students who were defrauded. But as usual there is no evidence to support the statement that “…requests (for debt forgiveness) ‘reportedly’ were approved with few, if any, questions asked.” ​Who’s reporting this? Ms. DeVos? Donald Trump? Steve Bannon? Lobbyists for the “for-profit” educational institutions​? ​Where is the credible, ​independent ​source?​

Let’s look at the facts:

The Federal Family Education Loans student loan program guarantees that the loan servicers ​(the banks) ​get paid by the government if the student defaults on his/her loan. It’s not the bank that takes the loss as implied by the editorial: “Understandably, the bank wants its money. The car buyer, not it, made a mistake.”

The editor and Ms. Devos want to blame the victim for being duped or the government for allowing them to be duped. But where is the outrage for the institutions committing the fraud? Yes,​ this costs us taxpayers real money. But why are we blaming the victim when scammers abound, including Trump’s so called “University” and Corinthian Colleges?

The Education Department released a statement saying that it was going to create new committees to rewrite rules covering borrower defense to repaying and gainful employment. BDR relieves students of all federal loans if a school used illegal or deceptive tactics to persuade students to borrow money to attend. Gainful employment requires that action be taken – including possible expulsion from the federal student aid program – against vocational programs whose graduates leave with heavy student loan debt. Ninety-eight percent of the programs that officials found to have failed to meet those standards are offered by for-profit colleges.

If we want to blame the government ​for something, ​let’s blame them for not going after the fraudulent organizations hard enough. Let’s make sure that our tax dollars intended to help educate the citizenry are being spent wisely. But Ms. DeVos has argued for less oversight of for-profits not more, and this delay in the appeals process while she rewrites the rules​ ​intended to protect borrowers from these scammers is clear evidence of that.

This kind of blatant attempt to influence public opinion through obfuscation and disinformation is intolerable. News organizations, especially local news organizations, have an obligation to educate the public on the issues of the day in an honest way. In my humble opinion editorials like this demonstrate that The Telegraph is failing miserably in this regard. Sad!​