Comedian Hasan Minhaj Tells Congress that Student Debt is a “Paywall to the Middle Class”
Currently in the United States, 44 million Americans owe $1.53 trillion in student loan debt. It’s such a major problem that many economists are saying it is creating an economic crisis. These young Americans are being forced to put off major life decisions, like getting married, having children, buying health insurance, and so much more.
It’s also a major issue being debated during the 2020 presidential race. Nearly every single Democratic candidate has put forward their plans for tackling the issue, including forgiving all $1.53 trillion owed. Many others want free college tuition offered to everyone. Whether these issues become reality or not is unknown, but that’s not stopping anyone from talking about it.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj, host of Netflix’s series “Patriot Act”, recently testified before Congress to talk about the issue. “You know the student loan crisis is bad when I’m asked to testify before Congress about it,” comedian Hasan Minhaj tweeted on Tuesday.
“You don’t need to be drowning in debt to understand that this is an issue sidelining millions of Americans,” said Minhaj, 33. “People are putting off marriage, kids, homeownership and retirement, ―especially my generation.”
‘We’ve put up a paywall to the middle class.’
Minhaj, who has his own show on Netflix, used to be a Daily Show correspondent. His shtick included comedy that mixed facts with statistics to talk about broad issues, like student loan debt. During one of his recent shows, Minhaj took on the subject of student debt. He discussed how confusing and frustrating the entire process is from beginning to end.
During this particular episode, Minhaj polled the audience of 200 members and found together they owed over $6 million towards their student debt. That was more money than they had spent creating the entire set of the show.
“Now granted, our audience is mainly unemployed poli-sci majors, but that’s still a lot of money,” he said, joking with the congressional committee.
“People aren’t making more money, and college is objectively way more expensive,” said Minhaj. “And yet many borrowers are still treated like deadbeats because the government has put their financial futures in the hands of predatory for-profit loan servicing companies.”
This is certainly a difficult subject that doesn’t appear to be solved anytime soon. President Trump has taken the stance that people with student loan debt are responsible for the loans they have taken out. He has signed an executive order, allowing disabled veterans to receive full forgiveness with zero tax impact.