Mike Rowe is still keeping it real.
The former television host, who built a career exploring and saluting the work ethic of American men and women, has also built a reputation for blunt speaking.
And when he turned to the topic of student loan debt this week, he didn’t let that reputation down.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Rowe took on an idea being pushed by Democrats to use a prospective Joe Biden presidency to force American taxpayers to bail out student loan debts.
Rowe’s message in a nutshell? Not only would the idea unfairly saddle hundreds of millions of Americans with debts incurred by others, it would reward the very institutions that are benefitting from the student loan system in the first place.
“My reasons for opposing student loan forgiveness are not a secret. I’ve written at length on this page about the fundamental unfairness of doing such a thing – especially to the millions of Americans who have paid their college debts, and sacrificed much to do so,” Rowe wrote.
“I’ve also said that forgiving student debt would send a terrible message to the very same universities that already gouge their customers with sky-high tuition. Tuition will never come back to earth, if we bail out those who borrowed more than they could repay.”
Rowe then cited a piece published at National Review on Sunday by iconoclastic writer Kevin Williamson that described the idea of taxpayer-funded student loan “forgiveness” as “welfare for the wealthy.” That phrase puts it perfectly.
At issue is a Biden proposal for loan forgiveness that, according to a CNBC report in November, would “ would forgive $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers, and the rest of the debt for those who attended public colleges or historically Black colleges and universities and earn less than $125,000 a year.”
In other words, anyone holding student loan debt — from unemployed training school dropouts to doctors, lawyers and Wall Street hedge funders with MBAs would have $10,000 more compliments of the American taxpayer.
And there’s a lot more taxpayer money than that on the table.
Graduates of public colleges and universities vastly outnumber those of private institutions. According to the market analysis site Statista.com, in 2018 alone, there were 19.6 million students enrolled in colleges and universities in 2018 — 14.5 million of them in public institutions, only 5.1 in private.
That roughly 75 percent ratio hasn’t changed in a half-century, according to Statista, so Biden’s plan would cover a lot of American college graduates.
According to a CNN report in June 2019, the average salary of a holder of a college degree that year was $78,000, well under the $125,000 cutoff point.
In short, the Biden proposal is talking about loan forgiveness on a massive scale — a “welfare for the wealthy” program disguised, in true 21st-century liberal fashion, as a means of aiding the unfortunate.
Leave aside the literally systemic racism of treating debt owed by graduates of private, historically black colleges and universities differently from other student debt. (Liberal “systemic racism” is the only kind liberals deny — and the only kind that really exists in the United States.)
The proposal would mean that parents who’ve saved for their own offspring’s education will be paying the college debts of others, who didn’t have enough to or didn’t care enough to.
It would mean those who’ve paid off their own school debts will be paying for those who haven’t — and don’t intend to.
It means, obscenely, those who never went on to higher education – who already make an average of $30,000 less than college graduates, according to that CNN report – could, depending on their income, be paying taxes to cover the loans of those who did.
It’s rank injustice – and that’s not even the worst of it.
As Rowe pointed out, such a massive infusion of public money to cover student loan debts will only reward exactly the parasitic institutions that have benefitted from pimping young people going into debt in the first place: The administrators and faculty drawing salaries from inflated tuitions being paid for with borrowed money to pollute the American mind.
Only a liberal could think any of that was moral.
Rowe, of course, is the opposite of a liberal — he’s a realist. The man behind shows that spotlighted hard work like “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” isn’t exactly the demographic for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders – or of Joe Biden.
There are dismayingly many followers of AOC and Sanders on social media, of course, so there were plenty who had nothing good to say about Rowe.
But there were more than a few who knew how right he is.
Love Mike Rowe and he is correct about student loan debt.
— Chris Wagner (@clwagner12) December 17, 2020
Mike Rowe is exactly right.
If you want to get a degree in underwater basket weaving, fine. Your choice.
But we shouldn’t make truck drivers, waiters & waitresses pay for your personal journey of intellectual exploration. https://t.co/BPfhkw1WuT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 16, 2020
Exactly right. People aren’t born with or assigned student loan debt. They chose it, nobody else
— Mark Van (@mark_vanstine) December 16, 2020
I got my masters in occupational therapy. Got a good job and was able to pay off my loans. My job is done. I shouldnt have to pay for Sally or Sams Gender Studies and Underwater basketweaving. Im tired of people NOT taking responsibility for their choices.
— Lead Guitarist 4 Progressive Rock band Gideons Mob (@MobGideons) December 16, 2020
My master’s is in nursing, from a Jesuit university.
I paid off my loans with extra shifts and sacrifice.
I shouldn’t have to pay off someone’s MFA in Byzantine pottery
— TexasStormNurse⛈? (@TonyReeder) December 17, 2020
Rowe, who has never catered to the liberal mentality, closed his Facebook post with a message for those who would theoretically benefit from such an obscene raid on the American treasury using words that no doubt sound harsh, but send a message so clear even a barista with a degree in gender studies should understand it:
Finally, it should go without saying that I pity every young man and woman who is struggling today under the yoke of a crushing student loan. I sincerely do. You were quite possibly sold a bill of goods. You were very likely pressured by your friends, your parents, or your guidance counselor, to attend the ‘right’ school. You were perhaps a victim of this persistent, pernicious, and preposterous push to peddle a four-year degree to every person with a pulse, and for that, you have my sympathy. But that’s not my fault. Nor is it the fault of the American people. The fault belongs to you, and so does the debt.
From any moral standpoint, from the standpoint of men and women who honor their own work, their own word, and the value of others, that’s the reality.
At some point, parents have to teach children they’re responsible for their own behavior. There was a time not so long ago — before leftist thinking pervaded the cultural, academic, and mass news media life of this country, when most Americans understood they were responsible for their own decisions.
Because that’s reality, too, no matter what Democrat gets elected to what office, no matter what sham of a plan the party comes up with next.
And nobody keeps it real like Mike Rowe.
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