Rethinking and improving the student loan debt solution

I agree with many of the Minnesota Daily columnist Trent Kays’ points on student debt (“The politics of student debt forgiveness,” April 23), but HR 4170, which would forgive student loans after ten years of payments, assumes that people will go to college for four years and find a lifelong career after graduating.

If the bill’s payment plan sounds like a good deal to you, consider this: Anyone familiar with debt law knows that forgiven debt is considered taxable income.

So if you cannot pay your loans off over 10 years, you will pay them off in one lump sum to the IRS.

This will be a major problem for older students, disabled students and those who need more than four years of school, find it difficult to obtain and keep a job or need to take on an overabundance of loan debt (thanks to a new federal law that limits lifetime eligibility for Pell Grants to six years).

HR 4170’s proponents should consider these points and re-draft the bill appropriately.

In its current form, it is a Trojan horse that will make things worse than they already are and another empty gesture by a country that does not care about helping its younger generation forge meaningful lives.