Could the 'King of Debt' be good for the student debt crisis?
© Greg Nash

As millions of young Americans across the country recover from the shock of the presidential election outcome, it is time to begin asking essential questions and demanding answers relating to our president-elect's policy goals.

At the forefront of concern for many millennials continues to be the looming uncertainty of the future of student debt policy.

To the surprise of many, however, President-elect Trump's plan for the student debt crisis appears to be a potential ray of hope for young, debt-stricken Americans on both sides of the aisle.

From the limited information regarding Trump’s official policy on the matter, we can ascertain that his plan for student debt is focused on income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness regulations. "We would cap repayment for an affordable portion of the borrower's income, 12.5 percent; we'd cap it. That gives you a lot to play with and a lot to do," Trump said at an October campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio. "And if borrowers work hard and make their full payments for 15 years, we'll let them get on with their lives. They just go ahead, and they get on with their lives."

Currently, the income-based repayment percentage stands at 10 percent, while the loan forgiveness period is 20 years. Last updated in 2014, these current figures were implemented as part of the Obama administration's demand for the Department of Education to revise its Pay As You Learn program.

After fierce opposition from House and Senate Republicans, the revision was officially enacted and has statistically lessened the burden of student loan debt. In other words, not only are Trump's proposals for student debt oddly similar to those of President Obama, but they also directly defy the fundamental ideals of the Republican Party regarding student debt.

After reconciling with the irony of this situation, the important question to ask is whether Trump will be successful in potentially pushing conservatives to the left on student debt policy initiatives. If Trump follows in Obama's footsteps in the matter, it will be a welcome sign for millennials as well as progressives across the nation.

Now, let's be real. This policy isn't enough to fix our country's broken student debt system. It does maintain the status quo, which isn't that bad. As Trump moves closer to finalizing his pick for secretary of Education, many millennials are hoping to see lasting student debt relief and maybe Trump is the guy to get it done. With over $1.4 trillion of student loan debt hovering over our economy, perhaps the self-described "King of Debt" will be able to sink it in quick order.

While we have heard similar stories recently, such as Trump's possible shift on ObamaCare, student debt is a far more pressing issue for millennials and is one that saw minimal airtime during the presidential debates. These are the types of initiatives that will catch the attention of millennials and other young independents who are searching for answers from Washington.

Trump has been wrong on quite a bit, but this is one area where is bombastic style might be appropriate.

America's youth are tired of the overwhelming burden of student loan debt, not being able to afford college and being locked out of the American Dream.

If Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE is serious about solving these problems, millennials will appreciate it. If he isn't, we will fight him every step of the way.

Fowler is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program "The Richard Fowler Show," which can also be viewed on YouTube as an affiliate of The Young Turks network. He appears regularly on Fox News, MSNBC and C-SPAN. He is also a senior fellow for the New Leaders Council. Follow him on Twitter @RichardAFowler.


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