Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed a long-sought item on the progressive wish-list this week by pledging to sign any bill that cancels student debt.
On Monday, Biden gave his support for a key provision in House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion HEROES Act updated in October to include student loan forgiveness for up to $10,000 in private, nonfederal student loans for the “economically distressed.”
“Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans, helping people up there in real trouble,” Biden said, should come from Congress. “It should be done immediately.”
True to form however, progressives want more.
In September, Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts put forward a proposal for individuals to cancel student debt up to $50,000. The senators say the next president doesn’t need congressional approval to take such action, and pointed to a Harvard legal opinion that the decision to cancel student debt rests with the president and the education secretary since the Department of Education provides the loans.
Whether a President Biden would exercise his questionable unilateral authority to circumvent Congress on student loans remains to be seen, but is far from outside the realm of possibility.
Progressives are already branding the student debt issue as a righteous cause under the banner of “social justice,” because everything they endorse today is a social justice issue.
Last year, New York Democratic congresswoman and leader of the socialist “Squad,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, offered the sympathetic story of a young woman who was admitted to the elite institution of her dreams but was unable to attend due to the $250,000 price tag. The problem for Ocasio-Cortez however, wasn’t that the school was prohibitively expensive, but that a large discount in the form of a scholarship wasn’t offered.
“She got into her dream college, but her dream college offered her no scholarships, just loans,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Capitol Hill promoting a bill to have taxpayers pay off U.S. college graduates’ $1.6 billion in outstanding student loans.
In other words, a luxury education was offered at a luxury price, and that’s oppressive, because in the progressive hive mind, everything they can’t afford is a “right” to own at taxpayer expense.
An argument can, and should be made that the cost of higher education today is far too high. For decades the federal government has inflated college costs by doling out endless loans to students pursuing “gender studies” degrees who can’t pay them back who are now are demanding loan “forgiveness.” University campuses will only be further incentivized to jack up tuition costs to build Olympic-size swimming pools and fancy lecture halls while hiring six-figure diversity staff knowing that the bill would ultimately be foisted on the taxpayer with loan “forgiveness.” American colleges have already embarked on creating luxury campuses to lure students paying with loans anyway.
Adopting the leftist attitude on student loans to all other areas of personal debt however, would present an absolute fantasyland.
Housing has become one of the latest items Democrats have declared a “human right.”
“We have to make sure that housing is being legislated as a human right,” Ocaasio-Cortez said last year.
Failed presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke went one step further, adding that individuals also possess the “right” to live close to their place of employment.
“Living close to work shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich,” O’Rourke said on the presidential campaign trail. “It’s a right for everyone.”
The 2008 financial crisis already showcased what can happen when the federal government forces people into homes they can’t afford by doling out unaffordable loans to people with no credit history who ultimately defaulted on the mortgage. If the socialist Democratic Party today was the same party 10 years ago, there’s no doubt many prominent liberals would have just said “cancel it.”
A 15-year-old girl went viral after appearing on the Dr. Phil show in 2018 arguing to her mother and the television psychologist that she needed an extravagant Land Rover for her 16th birthday. The price tag? $231,000, but the car was a “need.”
“I need my G-Wagon. There’s no question. I need it,” the girl demanded. “My mom is buying a Bentley for herself, why can’t I get a G-Wagon?” The young girl’s mother discussed earlier on the show how she might need to take the bus to work in order to finance her daughter’s high-priced dream car.
If buying the car were the same as buying a degree, she could plausibly take out a loan for the car from the federal government that she can’t afford and demand that it be cancelled later. After all, this is a social justice issue.
For years my dad has dreamed of buying a new fishing boat. The one he has is old, worn down, and can’t run a fast-enough motor to do any serious fishing on the big lakes north of the Canadian border.
The boat he wants clocks in at about $70,000 form Lund.
“Lunds are the Cadillacs of fishing boats,” he says. Unfortunately, the seller never offered a big enough discount, just loans. Taxpayers should just buy it for us anyway.
Everyone has a bucket list. My dad wants a fly-in fishing trip to the Arctic Circle, mom wants to go to Germany. I want to flee American lockdowns to Mexico for New Years, but it’d be a lot easier to take a loan from the Department of Vacations and have it be forgiven later by Democratic stimulus.