Conservative commentator Katie Pavlich responded on Tuesday to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s legislation calling for taxpayers to take over the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, saying individuals should be responsible for their own college expenses.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, acknowledged she would be a personal beneficiary of the legislation, which was proposed in the Senate by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is co-sponsoring a pair of House bills that serve as companion legislation, argued at a news conference on Monday that health care and education are “human rights” that should be guaranteed by the government.
The freshman representative told a story about a friend of hers named Andrea who some years ago was admitted into multiple prestigious universities, but grappled with whether she wanted to take on $250,000 in student loan debt to attend.
“And she came from a solid, middle-class family,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “She was not exceedingly wealthy. And so she got into her dream college, but her dream college offered her no scholarships, just loans.”
Ocasio-Cortez said she was a 19-year-old college student herself when she was trying to advise Andrea, then a 17-year-old high school student, whether it would be a good idea to go to her dream college in light of the cost.
“I think that, in an of itself, illustrates the absurdity of our educating financing system. That alone illustrates it,” the lawmaker said.
Pavlich, 30, was not buying it. In a Twitter post, she wrote: “Not my responsibility to pay for your ‘dream college.’ Your dream, your choice, your debt. Not mine or anyone else’s. It’s called personal responsibility.”
Not my responsibility to pay for your “dream college.” Your dream, your choice, your debt. Not mine or anyone else’s. It’s called personal responsibility. https://t.co/BcplCp3e6y
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) June 24, 2019
The Fox News contributor attended the University of Arizona (a public college in her home state), graduating in 2010. According to U.S. News & World Report, the in-state tuition and fees are now approximately $12,000 per year. In 2010, tuition was about $7,000 per year.
CNN reported that the Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez’s plan would cancel $1.6 trillion in student loan debt for 45 million debtors.
Sanders also attended Monday’s news conference.
“The bottom line is we shouldn’t be punishing people for getting to higher education,” he said, according to WTOP. “It is time to hit the reset button. Under the proposal that we introduced today, all student debt would be canceled in six months.”
The plan would tax Wall Street financial transactions to raise the funds to pay off student debt and calls for tuition-free higher education going forward, according to CNBC.
Charlie Kirk, executive director of the young conservatives group Turning Point USA, argued in a commentary piece for Fox News that Sanders’ proposal would surely lead to public graft.
“This one-time $1.6 trillion transaction would likely be the largest single act of wealth transfer in history,” he wrote. “The resulting concentration of government power inside of higher education would provide for endless opportunities for graft.”
He also pointed out that one reason higher education is so expensive is because of government steps to make it more affordable.
“There is no question that there is a financial crisis in America’s higher education,” Kirk wrote, a paragraph later. “For decades, the government has been providing the necessary liquidity through easy student loans, which in turn has allowed the universities to raise tuition without consequence.”
Kirk further warned such massive giveaways could, in the end, lead to the country’s demise.
“You certainly have the choice, more than ever before, to enjoy an immediate financial high at the expense of someone else,” he concluded. “The comedown from that high could quite likely lead to the end of the American Republic.”
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