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Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted February 14, 2014

ddebtIt’s called the Student Borrowers Bill of Rights Act.

I’m calling it the “No Accountability for Student Loans” Act.

Let me explain. .

Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson has proposed a new bill that’s being paraded around as a possible solution to student loan debt. Because clearly, an individual with debt is the government’s problem. (Insert sarcasm indicator here)

The sell on this bill is that it would restore bankruptcy protections for federal and private student loans and limit collection efforts to six years. It would also disallow the garnishment of wages.

In other words, this bill would allow recent college grads to skip out on their student loans if they don’t want to, or can’t pay them off in a “reasonable” amount of time.

I’m not saying every college grad will do that. But this idea that these folks need an escape hatch this early in their lives does not send the right message. Besides, although jobs are hard to find, they are out there. These may not be the jobs so many college grads want right out of school. But that’s life.

Paying for a Bad Decision

I graduated from college in 1993. That was a brutal job market. It took me about a year before I finally got a job where I could get some benefits and have an opportunity to advance. But I didn’t wait around, complaining about my compounding student loan debt. I just worked a bunch of crappy jobs until a good one came along. I also worked throughout college so that I didn’t have to take on more debt than necessary.

Look, I know it’s hard out there for these recent grads. But the bottom line is that no one forced them to get student loans or spend their summers at the beach instead of working and saving money. And no one’s forcing them to stay at home until they find the perfect job.

Of course, if that’s how some want to live, that’s fine. That’s their business. Just don’t expect someone else to foot the bill because you made a bad decision.

This is the problem with our country today. No accountability. We see it in Washington, we see it in the banking system, we see it in our schools. And now they want to enact a law that would make it even easier to walk away from debt?

Interestingly, this is partly the government’s fault to begin with.

The truth is, a college education wouldn’t be so expensive if the government just stayed out of it altogether.

You must understand that colleges and universities can charge outrageous fees because they know that students can get cheap money, thanks to the government. Take the government out of that equation, and all of the sudden these institutions of higher learning have to adjust to a more competitive environment — one where fancy gymnasiums and high-end dorms with movie theaters would have to take a backseat to reductions in tuition.

Here’s the deal. . .

Unresolved student loan debt in the U.S. is now more than $1 trillion. That’s trillion, with a “T.”

Allowing more Americans an opportunity to default on their loans will only make it worse. And you know as well as I do, it’s the taxpayer that’ll ultimately get screwed.