Student debt in the United States has surpassed $1 trillion and continues to grow. It now exceeds the national average of credit card debt for the first time in American history. According to a report called "Student Debt and the Class of 2010" done by the Institute for College Access & Success, two-thirds of seniors graduated with student debt in 2010 at a national average of $25,250. The unemployment rate for young college graduates in 2010 was 9.1 percent.
I want Congress to insert an exemption to Section 170 of the tax code that would allow for donations to student debt to be defined as charitable contributions, and therefore be deductible from income. Everybody wins in this equation, the debtor gains ground on their student debt, the donor gets a tax write-off, and the economy gets stronger. I am not proposing a bailout or loan forgiveness. I am asking you to help me persuade Congress to reward a person or business that wishes to lift the economy from the chains of student debt by making a charitable contribution. Corporations give hundreds of millions of dollars annually to charity because it lowers their taxable income. In fact, in 2010 alone, the five corporations who gave the most in cash donations collectively gave over $1.26 BILLION. They would be smart to give a portion of that to the student debtor population who will turn around and pump it right back into the economy. First, however, there must be incentives in place, and it will take action from Congress to put them there.
Right now so many millions of young, educated, future leaders of America are putting off home ownership, starting a family, or saving for retirement to pay their student debt. With these changes we could help them and simultaneously lift the economy.
For more information on student debt go to projectonstudentdebt.org. Lastly, please take the time to share this petition with your friends and family.