A Trillion Dollar Day
by Daniel Luzer
Today marks a national day of protest against high student debt. To mark the point where student loan debt finally hit the $1 trillion mark, Occupy Student Debt is protesting across the country.
The protest is affiliated with, or inspired by, the Occupy Wall Street protests. According to an article by Gloria Goodale in the Christina Science Monitor:
President Obama’s college-campus swing urging action on student-loan debt is neatly tied to Wednesday’s 1TDay, named for the moment that student debt is expected to hit the $1 trillion mark. Protesters against this debt load, which they deem “beyond tolerable,” are gathering in Manhattan’s Union Square with concurrent actions in some 20 cities from Amherst, Mass., to Santa Cruz, Calif.
The 1TDay group proposes that the federal government should, like those of many developed countries, cover all college costs. The group also supports total transparency in college financing and the idea of a one-time debt forgiveness, or “jubilee” policy to eliminate all extant student loan debt.
The chances of any of these proposals becoming law are, of course, slim but the group also supports more concrete proposals.
1TDay is also in favor of President Barack Obama’s plan to keep the interest rate on student loans at 3.4 percent. The group has also indicated its strong support for the Student Loan Forgiveness Act 2012. That’s a new bill proposed by Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13th) to forgive the loan debt of those who have paid 10 percent of their discretionary income toward their loans for 10 years.