by Dr. Robert Luebke
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
There are plenty of reasons to get angry about President Biden’s Executive Order to transfer about $300 billion in student loan debt to taxpayers. A few of the major themes highlighted in recent commentary include:
It’s inflationary. The cost of the plan ($330 billion) torpedoes the Democrats week-long commitment to Inflation Reduction Plan ($124 billion in savings over 10 years.
It discourages sacrifice and good behavior. Our entire lives our parents and others have told us to work hard and pay your bills. Biden’s plan is a gut punch to every mom or dad who pulled a double shift or socked away extra money so their son or daughter didn’t have to take out loans while in school.
It’s a sham. While the plan, purports to help those in need. Most loan dollars in question claim to help those in need. However, most of the dollars go to students enrolled in graduate programs in lucrative fields and who will or could now pay back the large sums necessary to enroll in law school, medical school, or other high-paying fields. Forty seven percent of federal loans go to students in graduate school. Struggling students with no job prospects? Hardly. Mitch Kokai. Highlights this point in Student Loan Forgiveness as Welfare for the Rich
It’s a slap in the face. That’s how every young person feels who decided to forego college, enter the trades or an apprenticeship program or start a business. Biden’s policy asks those who didn’t go to college and those who dutifully paid off their college loans to help pay off the loans of those who made bad career choices or who are now in programs where they can readily afford to repay federal student loans.
Lastly Americans should hate this policy because President, doesn’t possess the authority to make such a decision. Charlie Cooke at National Review said it colorfully and said it best when he wrote:
It [Biden’s debt forgiveness plan] would represent a middle finger to the Constitution, which vests legislative power in Congress, not the president. It would represent a middle finger to Congress, which has not given the executive branch the authority to give $10,000 each to millions of college students. It would represent a middle finger to the Department of Education, which found last year that it “does not have statutory authority to provide blanket or mass cancellation, compromise, discharge, or forgiveness of student loan principal balances, and/or materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.” Nancy Pelosi confirmed last summer that “the president can’t do it –so that’s not even a discussion.” Not everybody realizes that,” she said, “but the president can only propose, delay but not forgive.” Biden’s response? A middle finger.
President Biden deserves every ounce of blowback that he’s getting. Americans are compassionate people. They aren’t fools. The policy is ill-conceived and should be challenged at every level. It’s a sure sign that not only are radical progressives in control at the White House; but also that they are very willing to shred the Constitution to troll for votes in November.