Steve Gill and 7th District Republican Congressional nominee State Senator Dr. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) sat down for an extensive interview about Green’s candidacy for Congress , and his position on a broad range of issues important to Tennesseans.
The cost of higher education and skyrocketing student debt was among them – in particular the federal government’s overreach into state education and how new college graduates can benefit from a ‘401K’ structured student loan incentive that could end up being a 360 degree win for both employers and their new young employees riddled with debt.
STEVE GILL: Education is another issue we hear a lot about in terms of concerns with voters. If you’re in Congress, what would be your education priority how do you deal with education issues?I know most of that is local.
DR. MARK GREEN: Sure
STEVE GILL: But the federal government imposes 85 percent of the regulation and about 10 percent of the money. How do we balance that a little better?
DR. MARK GREEN: The ESSA has got to go. Right? I think it is, all it is is this overbearing federal program that the state’s have to comply to, or comply with. If we can’t get rid of it then we ought to allow states to opt out of it. That’s probably one of the biggest concerns.
But two you can look at sort of college education. The way student loans have resulted in massive increases just like in the healthcare business the 3rd party pair insurance has caused the cost of healthcare costs to go twice the rate of inflation. The student loan issue has allowed schools to charge more and more money without really delivering that much more on the other end. I would love to see, and one of the bills that I think I’d like to propose when I first get there. It’s a program where student loans can be paid back just like an employer does with 401Ks with pre-tax dollars the employer matches what the student/employee is putting in and it allows that young person right out of college to more quickly pay off their student loans with pre-tax dollars.
And the young college graduate is not really thinking about his 401K but he’s certainly thinking about that big debt that he had from college or she had from college. And so being able to pay that back quickly I think is a solution to a couple of different problems because one, the government backs those loans so when they fail you know it’s a cost to the government so the government wins.
Of course, the employer wins because now he has an initiative to recruit people to his business and clearly the employee wins because the student loans get paid back faster.
STEVE GILL: Yeah, I think a lot of people lose out in this kind of recruitment idea of business is that getting and keeping a good employee saves them from having to re-train or recruit another employee.
DR MARK GREEN: Absolutely
STEVE GILL: So, this program would actually save them money by not only getting them great people that are going to go to that business rather than somewhere else because of that opportunity, but also their more likely to stay their more likely to kind of move up in the company rather than having to have that constant turnover that costs employer’s money.
DR. MARK GREEN: Absolutely, and millennial’s are coming out of college now saddled with just terrible debt. And the opportunity to help them, to free them up, so that they can start looking at growing wealth. I think it’s a win win win.
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