As Americans Self-Isolate, Student Loan Payments Could Be Paused

As it stands today, there is but one surefire way to keep this coronavirus pandemic from worsening:  Social distancing.

Sure, that sounds like a fancy way of saying “stay the heck away from each other”, and it pretty much is just that, but it works and these warnings should be heeded.

It’s not about the severity of the illness for most Americans, as those who are healthy and cognizant of their health won’t likely suffer severe consequences.  This is all about slowing the spread of the disease so that our health care system can effectively treat those who do develop complications.

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Our isolation is not to keep us from getting sick, per se, but to keep the elderly and immunocompromised from walking into a situation where they would be at risk.

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Of course, with this isolation comes the inevitable question of the economy, with Americans unable to attend sporting events or concerts, and less of us spending money at restaurants and retail shops.  In order to ease the burden of this loss of economic power, the Treasury Department is floating some wild ideas.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke to Jim Cramer over at CNBC about it on Friday.

JIM CRAMER: It’s so important for everyone, for every working person to able to get a break here, I think, whatever the Treasury can do, whatever the country can do. Let’s pick the group that you and I are not a part of — Millennials — they are burdened with a lot of student debt. Can we suspend their payments for the next three months, so they suddenly have money in their pockets? We’re going to beat this thing and we need these people to be ready, and willing to go back to work, but we need them to have enough money to be able to sustain this period. Suspending student debt, just for three months, not canceling. What do you think?

SEC. STEVEN MNUCHIN: I can tell you that’s on our list of 50 different items we’re bringing to the president for a decision, so that will be something that we’re looking at. We have lots of authorities. Things were we don’t have authorities, we’re going to work with both the House and the Senate on a bipartisan basis. I can assure you that the president is all about action, action, action.

In order for the nation to truly practice this social distancing, the economic burden of lost work and revenue will need to be addressed, and it certainly appears as though the Trump administration is prepared for just that.

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