Student debt is top political issue

by Grace

Student debt relief is the top issue that Americans want Congress to address.

Student debt seems on its way to becoming a significant political issue, for better or worse. When a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll asked people about a long list of domestic and foreign policy proposals, none received more support – 82 percent – than reducing the cost of student loans. When the 2016 campaign gets underway, candidates will most likely come forth with various plans to address the issue.

Americans want politicians to solve this problem, an attitude that probably favors the Democratic agenda.

The midterms may have produced a Republican wave, but Americans tend to favor Democratic policy proposals. The three most popular agenda items in the latest Journal poll were: providing greater access to low-cost student loans and giving borrowers more time to pay off that debt; increasing spending on road and highway projects; and raising the minimum wage. And 52% of those polled said they wanted the government to do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people, compared with the 46% who want the government to do less. That’s a dramatic shift from October 2010, on the cusp of the last midterm.

I question the choice of issues offered by the survey, but clearly student debt is an important issue of concern for the American public.  It seems inevitable that taxpayers will continue to fund some type of student loan bailout schemes.

Related:  Is a student loan bailout inevitable?

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David Leonhardt, “Student Debt: A Calculator Focused on College Majors”, New York Times, Nov. 20, 2014.

Patrick O’Connor, “5 Takeaways From The WSJ/NBC Post-midterms Poll”, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2014.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey, Date: November 14-17, 2014

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