The Jefferson County chapter of the American Humanists Association (www.JeffersonHumanists.org) announced today it will host a Cambridge-style debate on “Get Rid of Student Debt” in the Wheat Ridge High School auditorium 7:00pm on January 26th, 2019. Two teams of experts will argue for and against using government funding and regulation to reduce or eliminate today’s $1.5 trillion in student loans, allowing the public to evaluate such proposals by Colorado’s next governor and several members of the U.S. Congress. Attendees will vote on which team is most persuasive.
“Three generations of Americans are now trapped in the student loan debt crisis,” says JoyAnn Ruscha, lead speaker from the team arguing for a government solution. Over the past decade, Ruscha has served as a Democratic strategist on several high-profile campaigns. “Half of borrowers are unable to buy homes, save for retirement, or create wealth.”
“We can’t let an entire class of Americans start life with a crushing debt load just because their parents were not wealthy enough to pay for college out-of-pocket,” adds her debate partner, Jack Kroll, Regent of the University of Colorado and Assistant Director of Admissions for CU Boulder.
“What about personal accountability?” asks Dr. Paul Prentice, a professional economist who is a Senior Fellow of the Independence Institute and a Fellow of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. The American system works best when people have direct incentives to make good decisions, and it fails miserably when they expect the government to mitigate their big mistakes with money taken from taxpayers. “A better solution would be to restore bankruptcy protection for borrowers, so that people who absolutely can’t pay back their loans have recourse,” argues his debate partner, Jimmy Sengenberger, radio talk show host on 710 KNUS and founder of the Millennial Policy Center. “There are many common-sense ways to fix the current system that don’t require wholesale forgiveness of loans that people knowingly took upon themselves.”
This policy debate has been organized as a public service by the Jefferson Humanists, a secular education-and-action non-profit dedicated to improving society through rational, evidence-based thinking and policies. The sponsor is charging a small admission fee to cover the cost of the auditorium and insurance, but attendees will receive a hefty discount if they purchase tickets in advance at www.JeffersonHumanists.org.
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