Cut student loan rates, rather than forgive them
I’m not in favor of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s student loan forgiveness proposal. I could see proportioned and tiered loan-principal forgiveness for those who enter military service and complete it honorably, or for those who enter service to community or national programs, but not lock, stock and barrel dismissal of student debt.
What would be much more equitable to all would be a significant reduction in interest rates on these loans, to the 10-year Treasury note rate with no plus-ups and with rate lock at time of loan initiation. Over the last five years, the 10-year Treasury note rates have varied from 1.3 to 3.2 percent. It was at 2.57 percent recently.
Currently, undergraduate direct loans use a formula based on the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.05 percentage points, with an 8.25 percent interest rate cap.
Graduate direct loans use a formula based on the 10-year Treasury note plus 3.6 percentage points, with a 9.5 percent interest rate cap.
Graduate and parent direct PLUS loans use a formula based on the 10-year Treasury note plus 4.6 percentage points, with a 10.5 percent interest rate cap.
Double e-vehicle fees to offset lack of gas tax
Regarding the recent commentary by Jack Gillis, “Congress should renew subsidies for electric cars to keep them growing”:
Owners of electric vehicles do not purchase gasoline, therefore they do not pay the taxes that support the roads they drive and enjoy. Sort of unfair I think.
New Jersey raised the tax 23 cents over a year ago and an additional 4 cents in October because revenues from it were less than budgeted. If electric car owners increase, more taxes will be required to maintain the roads.
Owners of electric vehicles don’t drive less just because the vehicle is electric. The state should double registration fees on electric vehicles to pay what progressives call their fair share.
Frank J. Gasparon
Sweeney’s plan would fix broken pension fund
Senate President Steve Sweeney and the Communications Workers of America union seem to agree that New Jersey’s pension fund is broke. Two decades of mistakes (on all sides) has it on life support.
Unfortunately, they do not agree on the fix for it. Sweeney has a well thought out plan where no promises that were made to current employees would be broken. A hybrid pension fund that would help both current and future workers feel comfortable about their retirement future looks like the common sense answer.
The CWA leadership is offering just another one-time tax gimmick plan (a millionaires tax) that would solve nothing again. In another year, another new tax would need to be created to keep the fund from total collapse.
As a state government worker, I have had enough of one-shot fixes to my pension plan. That is why I fully support the Sweeney stabilization pension plan. It is time to get off the one-time-gimmick roller coaster and fix this mess.
Michael J. Makara