The organization OurTime is asking that you visit their website at
before July 1st and sign a petition asking the President and the Congress to keep the interest rates on student loans at 3.4% and to prevent them from rising to 6.8%.
Total student loan debt now totals more than $1 trillion, exceeding credit-card debt.
It has risen dramatically since the beginning of the Great Recession, and it is now totaling $100 billion in new debt each year.
The U.S. government stands to generate more revenue off student loans this fiscal year than ExxonMobil, Apple, J.P. Morgan Chase or Fannie Mae made in profits.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will net $50-billion in revenue on student loans this year. As a point of comparison, ExxonMobil, the most profitable American corporation, made $44.9 billion in 2012.
If the interest rates on federally backed loans are allowed to rise, the “profit” to the government stands to rise from $50 billion to $71 billion over the next fiscal year.
And these figures do not include loans provided through the states or through private lenders, which constitute between 30% and 40% of all student loans.
One has to ask how we have gotten to this point. Our federal and state governments have dramatically cut public support for higher education, and the resulting funding crisis has been compounded by turning student debt into a burgeoning source of revenue not just for corporate lenders but for the federal government itself.
Here is the mission statement of OurTime:
OurTime.org is a nationwide non-profit organization that leverages online organizing, new media, and popular culture to enhance the political voice of young Americans. More than one million members strong, we lead campaigns that register voters, remove ballot barriers, and highlight relevant news and policies that will impact our generation’s lives. Since launching in 2011, we have formulated strategic partnerships with dozens of brands including Huffington Post, Tumblr, Yahoo, Karmaloop, Starbucks, Vevo, Funny or Die, Clear Channel, Comcast, and Upworthy to increase civic awareness among America’s rising electorate.
The website includes one of the most startling graphic representations of the growing income inequality in the United States that I have seen anywhere: