[This is excerpted from an email exchange with my mother regarding the subject after she sent me a link about student loan forgiveness for teachers from a private company that claims they will get your loans forgiven. She’s a Trump supporter and I support Bernie Sanders. The reason I support Bernie is because he will work to prevent this from happening to today’s high school grads and fix the system so that I won’t be forced to become homeless in order to use the degrees I worked so hard to get to do work that I love.]
When student loan debt is forgiven, it counts as income to the IRS, so I would wind up paying taxes on $200,000 or so. yup, at the current rate 33%, that’s $66,000 or 6 grand more than I make a year. All because we have fed loans go through banks now and they want their money! 1/2 of the amount that’s “forgiven” is actually issued back to the bank servicing the loan as a tax credit so they wind up not having to pay taxes on any of it. In fact, they get get a tax refund! Oh, and the tax debt for the “loan forgiveness” has to be paid in 2 tax years, and can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. It can’t even be spread out over 7 years in a chapter 13 filing. That’s what we get for giving banks and big business the ability to by politicians.
Here’s the info for teachers https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher and it only covers up to $17,500 in forgiveness, but doesn’t forgive private loans. And Public Service Loan Forgiveness covers all federal loans (not private loans) if you work for a government entity for 10 years and don’t go into default during that time. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
With my fed loans on “income based” – they take 30% of what they consider my disposable income – I pay $304.76 every month. My private loans are $276 and $180 a month in addition to that. I’ve yet to be able to make the minimum monthly payment on my private loans, so I’ve been in default for the past 4 years, with no way of ever catching up.
I’m now looking at them forcing me into bankruptcy, and with the way the laws are written, all of my consumer debt (medical bills) will be wiped clean (yay!) but my private loans will be accelerated payments from 25 years to pay off to 7-10 years to pay off. Meaning my monthly payments will be taken straight from my paychecks for $985 & $643. Out of a paycheck of $2000/twice a month. Add in rent, utilities, internet, car maintenance & gas, and $40 cell phone = no money at all for fur-babies, human food, insurance, or prescription drugs.
Do you see why Bernie Sanders’ proposal to have state colleges for undergrad be tuition free is a huge deal? It would prevent future students from being forced into this situation by channeling tax dollars from folks making over $250,000 a year and put it into college education. https://berniesanders.com/issues/its-time-to-make-college-tuition-free-and-debt-free/ It’s not that much money. Even the economists have backed him on the ability to tax this. His plan is to lower the tax rate on people/families making less than $70k a year while raising it on the higher earners.
The effective tax rate now for a person/family making $250k a year is 20% or less than what we pay. For good comparison of what the ultra-rich pay vs. the poorest look at this historic chart. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=543 And here’s how Bernie plans to pay for his proposals, all taxes on the rich. https://berniesanders.com/issues/how-bernie-pays-for-his-proposals/ If I made $100k vs. $60k, I’d be happy to pay more taxes.
When Warren Buffet says the rich don’t pay enough taxes http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/warren-buffett-raise-taxes-wealthy-friends/story?id=14307993 and Bill Gates’ dad says the rich don’t pay enough taxes, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-05-20/bill-gates-dad-says-rich-people-aren-t-paying-enough-state-income-taxes, we need to listen the reasonable men and women.
We need to reinstate estate taxes (remember the “Death Tax” the Republicans freaked out about?), which only kick in on estates valued at over $300k, we need to increase the taxes on stock revenue. We need to start looking after our poor, our working class, our middle class, and not the banks, big pharma, big ag, and businesses that are making money off our backs.
Pfizer, the largest drug company in the U.S., is merging with an Irish drug firm to avoid paying even more in U.S. taxes. And by even more, they want their effective tax rate to go from 25% to about 7% while still getting federal funds to cover over half of their drug research and development. If they move overseas, then they should not be able to get US funds for research.