When we talk about the student loan debt crisis, you’d think of average everyday citizens fighting to survive. This is true, but this issue hits a lot of people really hard, even middle-class and some we’d consider ‘wealthy.’ Recently, it was found out that even presidential candidates can hold student loan debt.
Pete Buttigieg is one of the Democratic party’s darlings so far. He’s married to his husband Chasten Glezman. As part of his filings to become an official presidential candidate, Buttigieg had to file a financial disclosure. The Office of Government Ethics takes this information and makes it public for those who are interested in how much candidates and politicians are making.
With this filing, it revealed that Buttigieg and Glezman owe together between $110,000 and $265,000. His campaign spokesman, Chris Meagher, actually stated that the exact total of student loan debt they hold is $131,296. This means if Buttigieg is elected president, he won’t just be the first gay president, but also the first to hold student loan debt while in office.
Buttigieg hasn’t hidden the fact that he has student loans from constituents. He’s actually been pretty open about it. He’s told his story about graduating from Harvard in 2004, winning a Rhodes scholarship, and later graduating from Oxford in 2007. Most of the debt between them, though, comes from Glezman who has a lot of debt getting his master’s degree.
Having student loan debt makes Buttigieg a sympathetic figure in the Democratic party. This has been a hot-button issue over the past few years. They’re just one of 44 million Americans who owe $1.53 trillion. This is the most recent data according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The figures are set to be updated this fall.
Buttigieg is one of several other Democrats who have laid out their ideas on fixing the student loan debt problem here in the United States. President Trump hasn’t done much of anything towards helping to battle the epidemic at all. His approach is strategic in his own way. He says the burden shouldn’t be passed on to taxpayers to pay for people to go to college.
That’s a personal decision you make, you should pay for it. But the Democratic party is listening to the growing outrage of the younger generation. They’re leaving college with mountains of debt and screaming for help. Many of them demand free tuition, even saying it’s their right to go to college debt-free.
Buttigieg says he wants to expand the Pell grant, add more help towards the Public Service Student Loan program, and offer more assistance to lower-class families under debt. Moving forward, he also wants to offer a ‘zero tuition’ for low-and-middle class families when going to public school.