Some economic brainiacs on the Left who happen to be Democrat legislators like Chuck Schumer and AOC have made the bold suggestion of literally cancelling up to $50,000 of college student debt. Schumer has even speculated that in the early days of a Biden administration, he could unilaterally do this through Executive Order. Along comes some clown who writes for The Week- Matthew Walther- who seems to believe that a “debt jubilee” should be declared and expanded to “…credit cards, auto loans, remaining mortgage balances, and especially medical debts…”
He takes great pains to note that there is probably no legal way to do this and that Biden would be reluctant regardless. By the same token, he notes that during the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Trump actually did suspend repayment of student loans (a moratorium, not a cancellation) while also temporarily halting evictions. However, these actions were of a temporary nature.
Left unmentioned in the debate is the reason for the debt of college students and graduates in the first place- bad governmental policy. Expunging up to $50,000 of college debt is the same as excusing someone for making a bad bet on themselves. With this understanding, why not expunge the debt owed to casinos by gamblers who had a bad week at the tables or slots? A whole lot of people took out college loans on the supposition that they would be so successful on the back side that they could easily repay that debt.
These same people later found out that they can make a real fine caramel latte at Starbucks and count back change to customers at Whole Foods, but the wage they earned did not exactly repay those debts. Unlike other areas, there is no quick fix to colleges and their, on average, annual 6% hike in tuitions (not to mention fees, books, and other things). We are constantly told that a college education is the key to future financial success, but increasingly degree holders are falling far short of what they were “promised” by this belief. Now, many want President Senile to just wipe away their bad life decision with the stroke of a pen.
The issue goes beyond the people who made the wrong life choice, but affects the people who did it the right way. What about the person who did it the GI Bill way and came back from Iraq missing an arm, leg, or part of their face? What about the person who had their retirement portfolio stripped to the bare minimum because of low interest rates to keep the college loan spigot flowing? What about those who were simply dumb enough to play by the rules? I am talking about those who decided to forego a college degree and enter a trade instead and stake out a comfortable life for themselves although they may not live in a mansion with servants? This suggestion that a “debt jubilee” be extended to all kinds of debt is meant to ameliorate the fears of these people.
It is those who play by the rules that get ultimately screwed in the end and there are more people who play by the rules in this country than there are college graduates pulling in six figures annually for sitting at a keyboard. Yet, they also carry “debt” in the form of mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards, and yes- medical debts.
If they are excluded from any student debt cancellation-like program through the stroke of a presidential pen, imagine the result. If you thought BLM and Antifa’s rage against the machine was ugly, you have not seen anything yet. Getting screwed by your own government for playing by the rules is the type of action that would ignite that great swath of this country known as Middle America. It would a violent Tea Party movement.
Without willing people bearing the cost in the name of fairness to those who discovered their Gender Studies degrees do not pay the rent, things could get real ugly real fast. Whether a senile president knows this or not- or whether he is even the real power in the Oval Office- one should think long and hard before picking up that pen.