Diary

Biden Has Proposed Canceling Student Debt. Here’s Why That’s A Terrible Idea

At a recent town hall, the former VP committed to a questioning young person “I will eliminate your student debt.” Here’s why he shouldn’t.

There’s no such thing as “canceling” money, especially debt, the funds have to come from somewhere. Always. So, the question really is, on who’s backs would Joe Biden be saddling the debt incurred in bailing out all student debt? It’s quite simple, actually. If the former VP “canceled” all student debt, his administration would be selling our futures—the college students he’d be trying to help—to the inescapable monster of ever-growing national debt. Inflation and economic depression would be our world. 

Not to mention paying off all student debt would be extremely unfair and unbalanced. What about students who aren’t partying in college, but are working two jobs, while going to school full-time, all so they can get their degree debt-free? What about our parents who went to school and had to do the hard work, eventually paying the debt off? What about the high school student who worked like crazy to keep a 4.0 GPA through school, and scored a mid-30s on the ACT, all to get a scholarship of some kind? Or the high school athlete who put in innumerable hours of blood, sweat, and tears, hoping for a full-ride to a school outside their small hometown? What about the 18 year-old who joined the military, possibly putting his or her life on the line, in order to get an education? What about the electrician, plumber, or barber, who went to trade school or took an apprenticeship, incurring no debt at all? 

Now we’re saying those people have to pay for everyone else’s education? And, as if it wasn’t already enough, having free, paid-for college would effectively invalidate those people’s hard work. As the animated, antagonistic character Syndrome so apply put in the classic Disney film, The Incredibles, “when everyone’s super, no one will be.” Paying off all student debt doesn’t make sense, it’s unfair, and this policy discriminates against those who actually put in the work to either pay back their debt, or avoid it in the first place. All this is coming from the Democrats who pride themselves on equality, too. It’s despicable, but that fact leads me to wonder if there’s another reason why the Democratic Party is so warm to student loan “forgiveness.”

According to Pew Research, the majority of college-educated Americans vote for the Democratic Party. This fact doesn’t mean that smarter people vote Democrat, but more that young people who have been through the indoctrination-machines that are modern universities take up the viewpoints of their professors—of whom 48.4% are registered Democrats (compare this number to the 5.7% of professors who are registered Republicans). Which is more plausible: that Democrats want to create a system of inequality and add much more National debt, or that they’re losing minority support to Republicans, so they need more voters to make up the difference? You decide.

Putting aside the Democrats’ far-from-pure motives, the larger issue when it comes to student debt is that no college student is forced into a student loan, every single one of them chose it. Hopefully, they thought ahead, researching the pros and cons of taking on educational debt, However, if they didn’t, it’s not (and shouldn’t be) Joe Biden’s place to step in, committing the American people to taking on the consequences of a retrospectively bad decision. If a young adult is responsible enough to go to, and get through college, they’re responsible enough pay the money back it costs to do so. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I say if you agreed to something, signing on the dotted line, you should keep that commitment. 

Plus, its not like the debt-burdened students didn’t get anything from the money they choose to borrow, a college degree can get one far in this world. On average, yearly, a person with a high school degree makes $35,256; in contrast, a person with a four-year degree makes $59,124. The unemployment rate is worse for adults who just graduated high school, too: it’s 5.4%, versus 2.8% for those holding a four-year degree. 

If I could say one thing to Joe Biden, I’d echo the words of Jordan Peterson in 12 Rules For Life, when the Canadian intellectual advised the reader to “pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.” The soon-to-be President must accept that even though some students made decisions they’ll be paying back easily half their life, it was still their decision. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and “canceling” student loans are no different. Other than degrading our futures with more debt and subsequent economic ruin, along with being the root cause for an unfair and unequal system, Joe Biden’s hopeful reward for saddling those negative consequences on an American people who never agreed to those terms will be scores of new, young Democratic and Socialist voters, all rearing to flex their political muscles, pushing against a system they’ve been scholastically indoctrinated to destroy.