Can­di­dates sadd­led with student debt

Des can­di­dats aux élec­tions peinent à rem­bour­ser leur prêt étu­diant (to be sadd­led with debt être cri­blé de dettes)

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito Sommaire -

En Ca­li­for­nie, la dette étu­diante in­quiète les po­li­tiques.

Aux Etats-Unis, des frais de sco­la­ri­té exor­bi­tants contraignent la ma­jo­ri­té des étu­diants à contrac­ter des prêts et à dé­mar­rer leur vie ac­tive en étant for­te­ment en­det­tés. Au­jourd’hui, plus de 44 mil­lions d’Amé­ri­cains au­raient à rem­bour­ser un prêt étu­diant ; le mon­tant de cette dette s’élè­ve­rait dé­sor­mais à 1,5 bil­lion de dol­lars pour l’en­semble du pays – un en­det­te­ment re­cord que des can­di­dats ca­li­for­niens au Congrès veulent ré­duire au plus vite.

Andrew Janz has rai­sed mil­lions of dol­lars for his cam­pai­gn as a De­mo­crat run­ning for Con­gress in the Cen­tral Val­ley. But the 34-year-old is used to big num­bers: Af­ter wor­king his way through un­der­gra­duate, gra­duate and law school, he owes about $300,000 in student debt — more than his mort­gage. Janz is part of a ground­swell of youn­ger po­li­ti­cians who are on the front lines of Ame­ri­ca’s student debt cri­sis. Se­ven congres­sio­nal can­di­dates run­ning in California this year owe at least $10,000, ac­cor­ding to a Bay Area News Group ana­ly­sis of fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sures. In ad­di­tion, se­ven mem­bers of the state’s congres­sio­nal de­le­ga­tion, all of whom were elec­ted wi­thin the last six years, are still paying off thou­sands of dol­lars in student loans. Three others re­por­ted being in debt for their kids’ edu­ca­tion.

2. That means rough­ly one out of eve­ry six Ca­li­for­nians on the ballot for Con­gress in No­vem­ber

1. to raise col­lec­ter, réunir, le­ver (fonds) / to run, ran, run for être can­di­dat à / to work one's way through col­lege/uni­ver­si­ty fi­nan­cer ses études grâce à des prêts et des pe­tits bou­lots / un­der­gra­duate school éta­blis­se­ment su­pé­rieur de pre­mier cycle / gra­duate school éta­blis­se­ment su­pé­rieur as­su­rant les cours post-li­cence / to owe de­voir (ar­gent) / mort­gage cré­dit im­mo­bi­lier / ground­swell raz-de ma­rée, sou­lè­ve­ment / ac­cor­ding to d'après, se­lon / dis­clo­sure pu­bli­ca­tion d'in­for­ma­tions / to pay, paid, paid off rem­bour­ser / loan prêt. 2. rough­ly à peu près / out of ici, sur / ballot vote; ici, on the ballot can­di­dat / owe student debt — together, they’re more than $1.1 mil­lion in the red. “Our fu­ture ge­ne­ra­tions are de­fi­ni­te­ly being rob­bed of any mea­ning­ful start to their lives,” said Janz, ta­king a break from sha­king hands at a recent De­mo­cra­tic Par­ty mee­ting in Oak­land. “Ins­tead of being able to rein­vest that mo­ney in­to the eco­no­my, I’m paying off pre­da­tors.”

PER­SO­NAL EX­PE­RIENCE

3. As more can­di­dates who have per­so­nal­ly ex­pe­rien­ced the bur­den of student debt run for of­fice and win, they’re rai­sing the li­ke­li­hood that Con­gress will act to help strug­gling gra­duates, ob­ser­vers say. They’re al­so re­wri­ting the rules of po­li­ti­cal cam­pai­gns, re­vea­ling the same sort of per­so­nal and fi­nan­cial hard-

ships fa­ced by youn­ger vo­ters and fa­mi­lies strug­gling to put their kids through col­lege. “Ha­ving debt, which nor­mal­ly might be a lia­bi­li­ty in a tra­di­tio­nal cam­pai­gn, today helps ma­ny vo­ters iden­ti­fy with a can­di­date,” said Da­vid McCuan, a politics pro­fes­sor at So­no­ma State Uni­ver­si­ty.

4. Student debt le­vels have sky­ro­cke­ted in recent years, as the cost of col­lege has ri­sen and wages have stag­na­ted. More than half of California stu­dents gra­duate with debt, and the ave­rage student owes $21,382 at gra­dua­tion, ac­cor­ding to the Ins­ti­tute for Col­lege Ac­cess & Suc­cess.

PU­SHING FOR RE­FORM

5. Rep. Eric Swal­well, D-Du­blin, who owes just un­der $100,000 for his un­der­gra­duate and law de­grees, has made student debt a fo­cus since he was first elec­ted in 2012. The 37-year-old has in­tro­du­ced le­gis­la­tion that would double tax de­duc­tions for student loan in­ter­est and for­give

hard­ship dif­fi­cul­tés, épreuves / to face ici, ren­con­trer / to put, put, put sb through col­lege payer les études de qqn / lia­bi­li­ty res­pon­sa­bi­li­té; ici, source d’en­nuis, han­di­cap. 4. to sky­ro­cket grim­per en flèche / wage sa­laire / ave­rage moyen, or­di­naire. 5. Rep. = Re­pre­sen­ta­tive membre de la Chambre des re­pré­sen­tants, dé­pu­té / D-Du­blin D = Dé­mo­crate, Du­blin, Ca­li­for­nie (ville d'ori­gine d'Eric Swal­well fai­sant par­tie de sa cir­cons­crip­tion) / fo­cus centre d'in­té­rêt; ici, prio­ri­té / to in­tro­duce pré­sen­ter, dé­po­ser (pro­jet de loi) / tax de­duc­tion dé­duc­tion fis­cale / to for­give, gave, gi­ven ici, ef­fa­cer / more debt for gra­duates who go in­to pu­blic ser­vice jobs. He’s tra­ve­led the coun­try to talk with young people about how to solve the cri­sis.

6. “It’s per­so­nal for me, be­cause I’ve seen so ma­ny people I’ve grown up with chase that dream of being the first in their fa­mi­ly to go to col­lege… and come out in fi­nan­cial quick­sand,” Swal­well said. He and his wife Brit­ta­ny are still ren­ting ins­tead of buying a home — lar­ge­ly be­cause the loan pay­ments have made it im­pos­sible for them to save up a down pay­ment. As he’s pu­shed for re­form, Swal­well has en­coun­te­red re­sis­tance from some ol­der col­leagues in Con­gress who got their de­grees at a time when col­lege was far more af­for­dable. He tries to ex­plain that it’s a dif­ferent world for today’s gra­duates. Col­lege at­ten­dance costs have ri­sen stee­ply over the last few de­cades: In the UC sys­tem, for example, the ave­rage an­nual tui­tion and fees for un­der­gra­duate Ca­li­for­nians in 2016 was 20 times the cost in 1975. But so far, none of Swal­well’s student loan bills have pas­sed the House.

TRUMP’S NEW MEASURES

7. Meanw­hile, the Trump ad­mi­nis­tra­tion has pro­po­sed bil­lions of dol­lars in cuts to student aid in its 2018 and 2019 bud­gets. An ini­tial ver­sion of the GOP tax re­form bill would have eli­mi­na­ted the student loan de­duc­tion, but it was res­to­red du­ring ne­go­tia­tions. [Last month], the ad­mi­nis­tra­tion pro­po­sed new rules that would make it harder for stu­dents de­frau­ded by for-pro­fit col­leges to get loan for­gi­ve­ness.

8. Elec­ting more people who have per­so­nal­ly ex­pe­rien­ced student debt could help tilt the con­ver­sa­tion in gra­duates’ fa­vor, said Na­ta­lia Abrams, the exe­cu­tive di­rec­tor of Student Debt Cri­sis, a Los An­geles ad­vo­ca­cy group. “It’s been real­ly great to see people who un­ders­tand the is­sue get elec­ted,” Abrams said. “Eight years ago, it was on­ly back­ben­chers and small ad­vo­ca­cy groups tal­king about this — now it’s on eve­ryone’s lips in an elec­tion year.”

INTENSIFYING CON­VER­SA­TION

9. Out­side of California, more can­di­dates around the coun­try are al­so run­ning with student loans, in­clu­ding Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, the li­be­ral New Yor­ker who at­trac­ted na­tio­nal at­ten­tion af­ter de­fea­ting the fourth hi­ghest ran­king De­mo­crat in the House. The 28-year-old, who owes bet­ween $15,000 and $50,000, has pro­po­sed for­gi­ving all student debt in the U.S.

10. The con­ver­sa­tion around hel­ping stu­dents cru­shed by debt is on­ly li­ke­ly to get lou­der as more young people jump in­to politics, said Rep. Ro Khan­na, D-San­ta Cla­ra, who owes more than $50,000 for his Yale law de­gree. “When you go through that pro­cess, you are more em­pa­the­tic to the an­xie­ty it causes for fa­mi­lies,” he said. “It’s a huge bur­den li­mi­ting the kind of life young people can have.”

More than half of California stu­dents gra­duate with debt.

(Tri­bune News Ser­vice)

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