Commentary

1 Democrat Stands Out on Sanders' Student Loan Forgiveness Bill

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Sometimes silence can say it all.

A survey of Democratic lawmakers who would stand to benefit personally from measures to relieve student loan debt turned up only one House member who would agree to support a provision that would prevent members of Congress from pushing their loan bills off onto taxpayers.

It’s a wonder they even let him in the caucus.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, the offices of 41 Democratic members of Congress were asked if lawmakers themselves should be allowed to participate in the College for All Act.

The act was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, and Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.

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The bill would eliminate $1.6 trillion in debt owed by 45 million Americans, according to the lawmakers’ news release. That’s all student loan debt — regardless of the income of the debtor. That means even Washington Democrats with six-figure incomes would be off the hook for student loan payments.

But of course, it wouldn’t really eliminate the debt. It would just mean the government — that is, the taxpayers — would be on the hook for bills run up by other people.

Not a problem, say the bill’s backers. “Wall Street” has tons of money. If the government would only get its hooks into every transaction, 50 cents for every $100 worth of stock bought and sold, according to the news release, it could raise trillions of dollars over the next decade.

OK, but here’s the thing. “Wall Street” money is money in private hands, that’s being used to create more wealth for real people – Americans and citizens of nations around the world. And the costs that it incurs are the cost of doing business, which means they end up being paid by the consumers, the taxpayers.

Should all adults be responsible for paying off their own loans?

Government spending, on the other hand, doesn’t have a track record of creating wealth in any way comparable — and still is paid for by the taxpayers.

(And combining government bureaucrats even further with the bottomless stomach of the higher education racket in the United States is just a recipe for an even bigger disaster than we have now.)

It is not the government’s place to take that money simply to redistribute it to a favored group — especially if members of that group are making a good living thanks to an education someone else has paid for. (Remember, the scheme being pushed by Bernie & Co. makes no provisions for the income of the beneficiary.)

In the longer run, the bill is just plain wrong and is guaranteed to decrease individual independence.

For the government to assume the responsibility of paying off debts assumed by its citizens is for the government to take over its citizens’ lives — the way a parent is responsible for a child.

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Taking on student loan debt is a responsibility an adult engages in with the expectation that it will mean a higher-paying career in the future, which will make it possible to repay the loan.

If things work out — as they do for many, many people — then all is fine.

If they don’t, if the economy goes south, or if the “student loan” is used for car purchases, partying on spring break vacations or other expenses outside tuition, things can get hairy.

If the student loan is used for an education in “gender studies” or some similarly useless enterprise that prepares its unfortunate recipient for nothing more than an academic life of spreading poison to future generations, that can be a problem too when it comes to finding a paying position.

All of that is called “life.” And dealing with it is everyone’s job.

A student loan is like any other loan — a responsibility that free adults take on, and they have a duty to discharge.

And it’s a responsibility a fair number of lawmakers have, according to The Free Beacon, including the 41 Democrats it surveyed.

Of them, only one responded affirmatively when asked point-blank if he would vote to exempt members of Congress from getting a free ride at taxpayers’ expense.

That was Rep. Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat who represents the Orlando area and graduated from Rutgers and George Washington University School of Law.

“Yes, Rep. Soto would be in favor of exempting members of Congress,” Oriana Piña, Soto’s communications director, told The Free Beacon.

In other words, he’s a Democrat who’s ready to pay his own way instead of foisting the bill onto taxpayers.

For the rest, the silence might say it all.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
Birthplace
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