Letter: Cody Pasielski, Lovettsville

Editor: Halloween decorations are up at our local Giant across the street from campus, and I’m already looking ahead at mid-term papers coming due. Fall comes-on fast for a sophomore at Mason. On campus, the typical electioneering is sort of subdued. Except for one, major topic—student loans. It comes up periodically among us, The Indebted. My generation is resigned to it.

But looking a little closer at this fall’s ballot, reveals someone who isn’t resigned to it. Barbara Comstock, my Congressman, from Virginia’s 10th District.

Because most student loans are federally-subsidized, Congress can, and has, worked to minimize the sting of our student debt. Congressman Comstock herself supported several bills that put the brakes on escalating costs for college kids. She voted for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, insisting that temporary tax credits be made permanent, for all my qualifying expenses.  The good news is that I can use any savings to offset the costs of my textbooks which must be, by my best guess, made out of 24 carat gold. (Note: they are not; it’s recycled paper) Comstock also smartly supported the Student Loan Relief Act, which aims to keep the cost of borrowing down for all students.

Comstock is working hard to keep me and my classmates on-track to getting our degrees. She’s kept her promise to us, so that we can graduate, enter the workforce and pay back these debts. Truthfully, our biggest hope is that we can get good-paying jobs, that we can change this sluggish economy around, and that we can keep our promise to our parents and our lenders.

If you’re going to vote this fall, think about it for one minute. Who will walk onto the House floor and vote for smart student-debt relief? Comstock has, and will and on top of that introduced her own bill.

Barbara Comstock works hard for students like me.

Cody Pasielski, Lovettsville

3 thoughts on “Letter: Cody Pasielski, Lovettsville

  • 2016-09-29 at 3:32 pm
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    This is all good, but, to be honest, it’s hard for me to feel sorry for many of the students graduation with so much debt.

    My husband and I planned for our sons to attend college from the time they were very young and set up college savings plans for them. Instead of buying new cars, we have driven old cars and put the money that would have gone to car payments in these account for our sons.

    We also insisted each of our sons attend community college for their first two years of college in order to reduce the cost of tuition as well as enabling them to continue living at home, which also saves money because you avoid housing costs.

    Then, we insist they complete their degrees at one of Virginia’s many wonderful state colleges where we can get reduced in-state tuition.

    Finally, we ask our sons to contribute what they can to the cost of their education through summer jobs or internships.

    With this type of planning and saving, our oldest son is about to graduate with a masters degree in electrical engineering completely debt free.

    Couldn’t more families do this?

  • 2016-09-27 at 7:52 pm
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    Which “legislative attempts” to address student debt are you referring to? Do you have a bill number? Which session?

    Lest we forget “2000,” President Obama essentially nationalized the student loan industry in 2010 by eliminating guarantees to the few banks making those loans. You see, he thought it would save money, and even actually make money.

    But alas, it hasn’t turned out that way. The federal government (Taxpayers) is on the hook for nearly 1.2 Trillion, with a T, dollars of student debt.

    Care to venture who’s going to eat that bill, when the waiter sets it on the table?
    According to the Dept. of Education just last year, about 7 million individuals haven’t made a payment in over a year.

    Be that as it may, what did these victims actually receive in exchange for their new found indebtedness, which was spent on propping up fat cat colleges? An education? That’s certainly debatable. Jobs? They’re still waiting.

    I’ll go with you on blaming republicans in congress for not having the spine to stand up to a bully, but the heart of the matter you’re complaining about sits right down on Pennsylvania Ave.

  • 2016-09-27 at 3:48 pm
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    It is without a doubt that Barbara Comstock’s fellow Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked legislative attempts to address the problem of escalating student loan debt. We can expect more of the same so long as they control the US Congress. If you think Comstock is going to do anything to alleviate the burden of student loan debt, you have another thing coming. The Student Loan Relief Act you reference garnered one cosponsor and went nowhere.

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