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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › 33 BILLION REASONS WHY STUDENT LOANS ARE BAD


A former member
Post #: 220
To all,

So far there are 33 Billion out in loans to students. More than 8 Billion are more than 5 years with out any payments. So much for the loans being " MORAL " & " RATIONAL " Can you name any bank in the world that would make loans like this? Not in any free market you can't. Maybe Rand & Objectivist did not believe in Capitalism as much as they claim.

"The basic social principle of the Objectivist ethics is that no man has the right to seek values from others by means of physical force—i.e., no man or group has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. Men have the right to use force only in self-defense and only against those who initiate its use. Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit. The only social system that bars physical force from human relationships is laissez-faire capitalism. Capitalism is a system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which the only function of the government is to protect individual rights, i.e., to protect men from those who initiate the use of physical force." Thus Objectivism rejects any form of collectivism, such as fascism or socialism. It also rejects the current "mixed economy" notion that the government should regulate the economy and redistribute wealth.

I really wonder if they can be called, " CAPITALIST " Yet advocate such socialism? Now I must go back to work. So I can be a " CAPITALIST "

By the way a " CAPITALIST " is someone that provides capital to a company. For those of you that do not know what the trem means.

So far as the Objectivist type of Capitalism, if that is what it can be called. I AM NOT AN OBJECTIVIST. It just sounds like an empty heart beat, to say it & not live it. I'd say you must oppose all types of socialism and not voluntarily ask for student loans, to truely belive in Capitalism.

Plano, TX
Post #: 20
You are referring to government student loans, I take it? As in the Direct loans, etc? Not other types of student loans?
A former member
Post #: 221

" You are referring to government student loans... "

Yes I am. Not free market loans some folks make. That is fine.
Plano, TX
Post #: 21
Well, I am still paying off my immoral student loans.
So, you are saying to be an Objectivist, you shouldn't get a government back student loan? Or if you do, please don't skip payments?
A former member
Post #: 222

I am saying you do not believe in Capitalism. Objectivist clearly do not belive in it, if the did they would not get the loans to start with. That is what I am saying. See you think the Gov should take tax money from someone by force to give you a loan. That is not Capitalism. That is called socialism. I am saying I must not be an Objectivist because I do not advocate such things. As most Objectivists do. I am saying, Objectivists claim the to be Pro Capitalism, yet are not.

Are these loans moral or immoral? Well lets think it over for a little bit.
Well if making someone pay taxes or go to jail to fund someones schooling is not immoral I do not know what is immoral. I thought that is what someones Mom & Dad or they themselves was suppopesd to do. What is wrong with working while going to school.
What is wrong with saving money for school. Why go ask the gov to loan you the money they do not have because we have a over trillion
dollars debt. How can they loan money they do not have?

There are only 2 ways.

#1 Print more money, IE Inflation.

# 2 sell bonds to raise money for the loan. When a bond is sold the gov goes deeper into debt to fund your schooling on the backs of tax payers of today & in the future. Someone at sometime must pay these bond holders. I for one do not like our nation going deeper in debt for any reason like this.

Therefore I can no longer call myself an Objectivist because I can see that they do not live up to what they say they believe. It is all talk & no do on that topic. So the one I am calling not an Objectivist is me.
For I do not agree with Rand when she said all these loans are
" MORAL " & " RATIONAL " When they are neither of the two. I'd like to thank Dean for bringing up the topic to start with. I did leard very much when I really thought it all over. Seeing the contradiction in the
" Objectivist Rules of the Faith, " made me ask my self a few things. Therefore I came to the only rational end. From now own I'll call my self, " A TRUE CAPITALIST " & not " An Objectivist "

Plano, TX
Post #: 22
I need to reread what you wrote, because you have me lost a little bit.
10 years or so when I took these loans out I would probably be much more geared towards believing a more socialist economy was good. Over the years, before I ever even heard of Objectivism, I have questioned that. Because I am starting to believe that it can do more harm than good, regarding people's motivation to do things for themselves.

One point that you have brought up:

"What is wrong with saving money for school."

You hit on something that has been borrowing me for a while. I have 5 kids, and we have been making plans for them to finance college. Over the past few years, I have been reading about various ways to save for college. I have read a bit too much of how to save for your kids college, yet have not effect their financial aid. Well, sometimes (not always) I think this actually discourages some people from even trying to save for their kids' education. To me that is a mistake, because a lot of parents do rely too much on student loans. It is scary. How are we going to afford to send our 5 kids to college? Well, we had the 5 kids, so I don't expect others to pay for them...but am I ready to say 100% that we or they won't apply for student loans? I just don't know.

But anyway, what I don't really get is where you are saying how Objectivists are not capitalists because of student loans? Like I said, I needed to reread what you wrote...but wanted to post that thought above before it flew out of my head.
A former member
Post #: 224

My point is this, these gov loans must either be Capitalism or Socialism. Now they can be either one, yet only one. Lets think it over. Well the gov must take $ from someone to give to someone else. That sounds like Socialism to me. Does it not also sound like Socialism to you as well? Yes it must be , there is no other way do describe it is there?

Ok that being known. Rand said that it was ok got get these loans from the gov. Therefore my point is this. Objectivism does not advocate Capitalism. They say they do yet, you can not have it both ways. I on the other hand do advocate Capitalism, therefore I must & can not be an Objectivist. That is a big issue to say the least. So my point is Objectivist are not Capitalist. Just as any one that thinks it is ok to get a biz loan from the SBA, is not a Capitalist. Nor can either of these two really claim to advocate Capitalism, & be truthful about it.
That is the point. My big problem was I did belive that Objectivist did
advocate Capitalism, in words & in their lives. Yet now I see that I was wrong. I was taking the word of Rand & others over their actions. It was a mistake of logic on my behalf. For that I am sorry.
We all make mistakes. I just need to learn that it is not waht a gorup says but what it does that really matters.

As far as your 5 kids. I would suggest looking into a 529 Plan, or an Annuity as far as saving for your kids college funds. That depends on how you deal with risk as which is best for you. There are many great Financial Advisors that would love to help you set up a plan like this for your kids. I would love to help you as well. I'll also be glad to get you some free info to read over on a post here. That way when you find a Financial Advisor, you will not go in blind. You will atleast have a working knowledge of what you are looking for. By the way, I am glad that you are looking to you & you husband to fund you kids education, as opposed to looking to gov grants & loans. We need many more like you in the USA. I commend you on that, you have earned my highest respect.


Side note. All of the FED rules & regs will be in the post below, for saving for college for your kids, or throw away all of the rules & regs & just get a Non Qualified Annuity & save for college that way. You can also just buy Stocks, Bonds, or Mutual Funds. Anytime you go Non Qualified anything you keep the Feds & The State out of your Retirement, College Funding ECT... Yet that is always up to you. I'll tell you something I only tell my clients. IF IT'S A QUALIFIED ANYTHING DO NOT DO IT. WHEN YOU DO, YOU ARE LETTING THEM IN ON YOUR PLAN. THEY DICTATE WHAT, WHEN, HOW MUCH, & WHAT YOU CAN OR CAN'T DO. WITH NON QUALIFIED IT'S A 2 WAY AGREEMENT. IE YOU & WHOEVER. YET WITH QUALIFIED, IT'S YOU, THE FEDS, THE STATE, & WHOEVER.
A former member
Post #: 225

The federal government has implemented several tax incentives to encourage education saving and ease the financial burden of paying for education expenses. Many of these incentives were added or expanded with the passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. The most important incentives include:

• 529 plans (Qualified Tuition Programs)
• Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (formerly Education IRAs)
• College Tuition Deduction
• Employer-paid Educational Assistance Programs
• Student Loan Interest Deduction
• Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits

529 Plans (a.k.a. Qualified Tuition Programs)

What is a qualified tuition program?

Qualified tuition programs, also known as 529 plans, are educational savings plans sponsored and maintained by states or eligible education institutions (including eligible private institutions). They come in two forms:

• prepaid tuition plans; and
• higher education savings account plans.

Pre-paid tuition plans are plans maintained by educational institutions in which the taxpayer buys tuition credits or certificates for the pre-payment of "qualified higher educational expenses" for a designated beneficiary, who is entitled to a waiver of payment when the expenses become due. Higher education savings account plans are accounts established by states to cover a designated beneficiary's "qualified higher education expenses."

Prepaid tuition plans versus higher education savings account plans

Private institutions maintaining qualified tuition programs may offer prepaid tuition plans, but not higher education savings accounts. State programs may establish either. In comparing the two programs, prepaid tuition plans often allow taxpayers to pay for credits or certificates at the current tuition rates, therefore hedging against the costs of future tuition increases. Higher education savings accounts earn returns on the plan's investments, but contributors have no control over those investments (unlike education savings accounts), other than to choose among available investment programs.

Qualified higher education expenses

"Qualified higher education expenses" include such expenses as tuition, books, and fees. Expenses also include reasonable room and board expenses for students taking a half time or greater course load. Room and board is determined under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Section 472), as in effect on the date of enactment. Students are limited to:

• the actual amount charged for students living in campus housing, if exceeding the allowance; or
• reasonable amounts determined by the institution for students living off-campus.

Additionally, "qualified higher education expenses" includes educational expenses for special needs services connected with the attendance of a special needs beneficiary in an eligible education institution.

Contributions to the plan

Any taxpayer, regardless of income, may contribute to a 529 plan. A taxpayer must contribute in cash for a designated beneficiary. The contribution limits depend on the state, and typically range between $100,000 and $250,000 per beneficiary. A taxpayer is not limited to the state plan in his or her state of residence. However, some states only offer state tax deductions for contributions made by residents. Contributions to 529 plans are nondeductible for federal tax purposes.

Distributions and rollovers

Distributions from qualified tuition programs (both cash and in-kind) are excluded from the recipient's gross income if used to pay "qualified higher educational expenses." The exclusion is effective for distributions made after 2001 from a qualified state tuition program, and after 2003 for distributions made from programs maintained by entities other than the states or their agencies and instrumentalities.
Taxpayers may make a tax-free rollover by transferring a distribution received from a 529 plan within 60 days into another qualified tuition program to benefit the same beneficiary or another beneficiary who is a family member of the former beneficiary. No more than one tax-free transfer can be made within a 12-month period for the benefit of the same designated beneficiary. For purposes of rollover distributions, the definition of family members includes:

• spouse
• child or a descendant of the child
• step-child
• sibling or step-sibling
• parent or an ancestor of either parent
• step-parent
• niece or nephew
• uncle or aunt
• son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
• the spouse of any individual listed above
• first cousin.

Any earnings distributed for purposes other than to pay qualified higher education expenses will be taxed to the contributor (unless the distribution is due to death or disability of the beneficiary, rollover distribution or receipt of a scholarship). In addition, a 10% penalty tax will be imposed on distributions of earnings not used to pay qualified higher education expenses. However, distributions made for qualified higher education expenses before January 1, 2004 from a private institution's programs are exempt from this penalty tax (although the earnings will still be subject to regular income tax). Certain exceptions apply to the imposition of the 10% penalty on distributions from the tuition plan (e.g. death, disability, etc.).

Coordination with other plans

Contributions may be made to both a 529 plan and a Coverdell Education Savings Account for the same beneficiary in the same year. Taxpayers will be able to claim both the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits in the same years as distributions from qualified tuition (529) programs are excluded from taxes on the same student, provided the credits are not claimed on the same expenses for which the excludable distributions are claimed.

Gift and estate tax implications

Contributions to 529 plans are treated as present interest gifts to the beneficiary. Thus, the contributor may shield up to $11,000, or $22,000 for married couples, (as indexed for 2004) of the contribution from gift tax liability by using the annual exclusion against the contribution. In addition, IRC Sec. 529 permits the contributor to amortize a large contribution over a five-year period, allowing a contributor to donate between $11,000 and $55,000 in a single year (between $22,000 and $110,000 for married taxpayers).

Contributors have no estate tax liability on the account if the gift is complete. However, if the contributor elects to amortize the contribution over a five-year period, and passes away within that period, the contributor's gross estate will include the unamortized portion.
Contributions will be includible in the gross estate of a deceased beneficiary to the extent they are distributed to the beneficiary's estate at death.
A former member
Post #: 226

Impact on financial aid

The use of 529 plans may reduce the chances of qualifying for financial aid. When determining federal financial aid, both the parents' and student's assets and income are considered in determining the "expected family contribution" (with the student's weighing heavier in the calculation). Contributions to 529 plans are considered the account owner's (or parents'). The earnings portion of the withdrawals is considered the student's. Therefore, a student's eligibility for financial aid may be diminished the year after a withdrawal from the 529 plan. With prepaid tuition plans, the benefits paid generally reduce the student's financial need on a dollar-for-dollar basis, except for certain low-income families.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (formerly Education IRAs)

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are trusts or custodial accounts established to pay qualified educational expenses for designated beneficiaries. The earnings grow on a tax-free basis and distributions are tax-free if used to pay "qualified education expenses." A taxpayer's income determines eligibility for contributions to the plan.


Taxpayers can set up ESAs, and make nondeductible contributions up to the annual contribution limit of $2,000 for each child under age 18 (and past 18 for special-needs beneficiaries). Earnings inside the ESA grow on a federal income tax-deferred basis, and the contributions are not subject to federal gift tax.
Contributions may be made by the time required to file the federal income tax return (e.g., April 15 of the following year).

Income Limitations

The phaseout range for joint filers is $190,000 to $220,000 of modified AGI. For single taxpayers, the phaseout range is $95,000 to $110,000 of modified AGI. In addition, corporations and other entities may contribute to ESAs regardless of their income during the contribution year.
The following chart summarizes the contribution limits for ESAs, which hinge on the taxpayer's filing status and modified AGI level:

Taxpayer's Modified AGI Level*
Married filing jointly Single, head of household, ormarried filing separately
Contribution limit
0 to $190,000 0 to $95,000 $2,000
$190,001 to $219,999 $95,001 to $109,999 reduced**
$220,000+ $110,000+ -0-

*Certain items excludable from gross income must be added to AGI in computing the limit for ESA contributions: foreign-source earned income [IRC Sec. 911]; income from Puerto Rican sources [IRC Sec. 933]; and income from sources within Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands [IRC Sec. 931].
**For taxpayers in the middle range whose contribution limit is reduced: multiply $2,000 by a fraction, the numerator being the excess of the taxpayer's AGI over $190,000 if married filing jointly or $95,000 if another filing status applies, and the denominator being $30,000 if married filing jointly or $15,000 if another filing status applies. Subtract the result from $2,000 to get the maximum contribution by the taxpayer.

Excess Contributions

Contributions over the taxpayer's contribution limit are "excess contributions" that must be withdrawn (plus earnings) before the taxpayer's filing date plus extensions. If not withdrawn, there is a 6% penalty tax each year until the excess is withdrawn. Contributions can be made into both an ESA and a Section 529 plan without excess contributions being made to the ESA.

Distributions for "Qualified Education Expenses"

Distributions from ESAs are federal income tax-free, provided they are used for qualified education expenses such as tuition, fees, equipment, books and supplies. Room and board expenses are also eligible if the student is enrolled more than half time. Elementary and secondary education expenses are covered as well as higher education expenses. Qualifying schools may be public, private, or religious.
An ESA's balance generally must be distributed to the beneficiary no later than 30 days after his or her 30th birthday. (For special-needs beneficiaries, funds may be retained in the account past the 30th birthday.) Should the beneficiary die before age 30, distribution must be made to the beneficiary's estate within 30 days of death.

Coordination with other education incentives

Taxpayers may take a Hope scholarship credit or Lifetime Learning credit in the same year ESA distributions are excluded from income, provided the tax credit is not claimed for the same educational purpose.


ESA distributions may be rolled over federal income tax-free within 60 days to an ESA for another member of the beneficiary's family. For example, if one child fails to go to college or fails to use all of his or her ESA fund, the balance could be rolled over to an ESA for a sibling. Rollovers do not count toward the annual ceiling on contributions.
Distributions attributable to earnings that are in excess of qualified education expenses are taxable to the beneficiary and subject to a 10% penalty, but basis (nondeductible contributions) may be recovered proportionately from these distributions.

College Tuition Deduction

In tax years 2002 through 2005, taxpayers may claim an above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education tuition and related expenses paid by the taxpayer during the tax year.

Deduction limits

The deduction limit depends upon the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), filing status and tax year. In 2004 and 2005, single taxpayers with MAGI that does not exceed $65,000 ($130,000 for joint filers) may claim a deduction up to $4,000. In those same years, single taxpayers with MAGI of more than $65,000 and not more than $80,000 (more than $130,000 and not more than $160,000 for joint filers) may claim a deduction of up to $2,000. The deduction is not available in tax years after 2005.

Tax Year Taxpayer's MAGI Deduction Limit
2002-2003 MAGI not more than $65,000 for single filers($130,000 for joint filers) $3,000
2004-2005 MAGI not more than $65,000 for single filers($130,000 for joint filers) $4,000
2004-2005 MAGI more than $65,000 and not more than $80,000 for single filers(more than $130,000 and not more than $160,000 for joint filers) $2,000

Qualifications for deduction

Some taxpayers may not claim this deduction, including:

• married taxpayers filing separately;
• taxpayers claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's return; and
• taxpayers who are classified as nonresident aliens for any portion of a tax year, unless the taxpayer is treated as a resident alien because of an IRC Sec. 6013(g) or (h) election.

Coordination with other education incentives

Taxpayers cannot take the college tuition deduction for an individual if anyone else claims a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit on the same individual, in the same year. Additionally, taxpayers cannot claim this deduction on the amounts distributed from Coverdell Education Savings Accounts or qualified tuition (529) plans that are excludable from gross income.
A former member
Post #: 227

Other Education Incentives

Employer-paid educational assistance programs

Employees may receive up to $5,250 per year in educational assistance tax-free under an employer-paid educational assistance program (Section 127 plan). Employees may receive tax-free assistance for undergraduate and graduate level courses.

Student loan interest deduction

Taxpayers may claim an above-the-line deduction for up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid during a designated tax year on qualified higher education loans. The deduction may be claimed in any year in which the taxpayer pays interest on the loan, even if the payments are made voluntarily, provided the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) falls below designated limits. The MAGI phaseout ranges are between $50,000 and $65,000 for single filers, and between $100,000 and $130,000 for joint filers, in 2004. These ranges are subject to adjustment for inflation.

For 2005 the phase-out range will remain the same for single taxpayers, but will increase for joint return filers to $105,000 to $135,000 of modified AGI.
Only the taxpayer who is legally obligated to make an interest payment on a qualified education loan may take a deduction. Helpful parents or employers that pay the interest do not enjoy the tax deduction that the student would have received if he/she had actually paid the interest.
Student loan interest payments made when the student is not required to make payment (i.e., during a deferment or prior to the student entering his repayment period) still may be deducted for income tax purposes.

In order to deduct interest payments, the loan itself must be qualified as an education loan under the Code. To qualify, the loan must be drawn solely to pay higher education expenses "within a reasonable period of time." The determination of the "reasonable period of time" is fact and time sensitive. However, IRS regulations state that (1) when the expenses are paid with the proceeds of an education loan from a federal postsecondary education loan program; or (2) when the expenses relate to a particular academic period and the loan proceeds used to pay the expenses are disbursed within a period that begins ninety days prior to the start of that academic period and ends ninety days after the end of that academic period, then the expenses will be deemed paid in a reasonable period of time.

Capitalized interest is deductible as qualified education loan interest. However, certain fees (loan origination fees and late fees) are considered to be interest only if the fees represent a change for the use or forbearance of money. Thus, if the fees represent compensation to the lender for the cost of specific services performed in connection with the student's account, the fees are not interest for federal income tax purposes. The regulations also provide instructions for allocating payments between interest and principal on student loans. In general, the rules treat a payment first as a payment of interest that has accrued and remains unpaid, and second as a payment of principal.
Hope scholarship credit

Taxpayers may elect to claim the Hope credit for each eligible student up to 100% of the first $1,000 for payment of tuition and related expenses for attendance in a qualified higher education institution, and 50% for the next $1,000 in expenses. Therefore, taxpayers may claim a Hope credit of up to $1,500 per year. The Hope credit is phased out ratably for single filers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of between $42,000 and $52,000, and joint filers between $85,000 and $105,000 in 2004.

For 2005 the phase-out corridor will increase to $43,000 to $53,000 of modified AGI for single taxpayers, and to $87,000 to $107,000 for joint return filers.
The credit may only be claimed for two tax years, and only to cover expenses for the first two years of post-secondary education. Students must be enrolled at least part-time (defined as taking at least half of the normal full-time course load of a student in that area of study).
In a release that will be of interest to higher-income taxpayers with children in college, the IRS has clarified the relationship between the personal/dependent exemption under IRC Sec. 151 and the Hope credit under IRC Sec. 25A [IRS Legal Memorandum 200236001]. The taxpayer in this situation was a single college student who claimed the Hope credit on his federal income tax return. However, he took no personal exemption for himself on the theory that his parents were entitled to claim him as a dependent. The IRS confirmed that, indeed, the parents were entitled to claim a dependency exemption for their son under the usual tests.

However, the parents did not bother to claim a Sec. 151 exemption for the student on their joint return because their income exceeded the phaseout range for the exemption [IRC Sec. 151(d)(3)]. So, claiming him would have provided no tax benefit to them. Because the parents failed to claim him as a dependent, they would not have been eligible to take the Hope credit if they had attempted to do so (which they did not) [IRC Sec. 25A(f)(1)(A)(iii)].
Upon its initial review, the IRS denied the Hope credit on the student's return because he had not claimed a Sec. 151 exemption for himself. The student countered that he could not properly claim the Sec. 151 exemption, and that he should not be penalized with the loss of his Hope credit. Now, after further review, the IRS Legal Memorandum has come down in favor of the student, who is permitted to take the Hope credit after all, provided all other pertinent requirements are met.

Lifetime Learning credit

The Lifetime Learning credit may be claimed for up to 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses paid in 2004. Thus, the maximum credit for 2004 is $2,000. The Lifetime Learning credit is limited to these maximum amounts whether paid for the taxpayer, taxpayer's spouse or a dependent (whereas the maximum Hope credit may be claimed for each qualifying student). It is available for both undergraduate and graduate expenses, with no limit on the number of years it may be claimed.

The Lifetime Learning Credit is phased out ratably for single filers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of between $42,000 and $52,000, and joint filers between $85,000 to $105,000 in 2004.
For 2005 we have calculated unofficially that the phase-out corridor will increase to $43,000 to $53,000 of modified AGI for single taxpayers, and to $87,000 to $107,000 for joint return filers.
Taxpayers may take a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit in the same year as tax-free distributions are taken from an Education Savings Account (ESA) or qualified tuition (529) program, provided the credits are not claimed for the same amounts excluded from income. Additionally, taxpayers cannot take the college tuition deduction for an individual if anyone else claims a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit on the same individual, in the same year.
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