President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. Credit: Evan Vucci / AP

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Beyond Matthew Gagnon’s mean-spirited response to the loan forgiveness program (in the  Bangor Daily News column published on Sept. 1), which basically amounted to “I suffered so you should suffer too,”  there are some truths.

One is that student loan interest is extremely high and exorbitant compared with the near zero fed rate that has been in place for years. The second is that college tuition costs have gone up 200 to 500 percent over the last few decades. One reason for the skyrocketing cost is that states have made deep budget cuts to their public college support. With high college costs, only the wealthy can afford to send their children to college without those children being strapped with lifelong debt. And many of those children don’t even finish college for various reasons and still owe the debt without the resources to find higher paying jobs to pay it off.

We need to change our public education from K-12 to pre-K-14 and 15-16 at a reduced cost and include trade schools in that. We are in the 21st century and are still operating as if this was the 20th century. Do we want to continually fall behind other developed countries or do we want to lead? What do we want to prioritize our tax money spending on? War, or prosperity for all?

Deborah Ferrell