by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The proximate question in those cases is whether the president of the United States is permitted to use the 2003 HEROES Act to forgive up to a trillion dollars in student loans without congressional approval. The real question at hand is whether the executive branch will be allowed to transmute a brazen, flagrant, cynical lie into a politically motivated spending binge that eats up 4 percent of America’s GDP, and thereby to signal that the limits on presidential power within the U.S. Constitution are functionally dead. …
… Biden’s claim is not an “interesting interpretation,” or a “tricky grey area,” or a “matter of perspective.” It’s a fabrication, a falsehood, a deception. Sometimes, you’ve just got to point out that the emperor has no clothes, and, in this case, everyone involved in the ruse is as naked as they were the day they were born. President Biden does not actually believe that he can do it. The lawyers at the OLC who wrote the memo arguing that Biden can do it do not actually believe that Biden can do it. The Democrats in Congress who are insisting publicly that Biden can do it do not actually believe that Biden can do it. The media — full of journalists who seek to benefit from Biden’s attempt — don’t actually believe he can do it. Nobody does.
At every step, the argument Biden is offering up has been transparently false. Nobody in America truly believes that the United States is in the midst of an emergency that justifies the invocation of the 2003 HEROES Act, because it is not. Nobody in America truly believes that the text of the 2003 HEROES Act allows the president to cancel, alter, or diminish student-loan debt, because it doesn’t. And, even if both these conditions were somehow met, nobody in America truly believes that college graduates would qualify, because they wouldn’t.