Last week I went to Madison, Wisconsin, to talk with students at the U.S. Students Association national conference. The USSA has a simple, powerful slogan: "Education is a right."
I had the chance to talk with a small group of students about the federal budget. It was a 90 degree afternoon and these young people had been up until 4 o'clock in the morning in a legislative session, but that didn't stop them from pulling out their notebooks and asking for information about how Washington spends our tax dollars. One of their top issues? The fact that student debt has topped $1 trillion. They're asking for a program of loan forgiveness for borrowers who have spent 10 years sending 10 percent of their income for debt repayment. They asked me, Where would the money have to come from for this type of loan forgiveness program?
So we looked at this:
The students concluded that a certain large, blue slice of the pie could go on a diet in service to making higher education in this country more accessible and affordable.