By Tony Farkas
A friend of mine, obviously on the opposite side of politics from me, has adopted an attitude of apathy toward the recent action on student loans taken by President Biden.
In case you were more worried about the rise in consumer prices on everything and missed it, the president announced a plan to forgive $20,000 in student loans for around 8 million borrowers, providing they meet certain income criteria.
As with just about anything political nowadays, there’s two trains of thought on this — for it or against it.
Some think this is charity, which will put the burden of paying for the plan on all taxpayers, especially those who did not take out any such loans, and those who did and paid them off according to the signed contracts.
The other side of the camp thinks that since the burden of paying loans in a rotten economy is too much, and the amount of loans needing payment is overly large, that this is just the kind of help governments should be giving their constituents.
The arguments put forth by the anti side include personal responsibility, waste of taxpayer dollars, and playing those who paid loans off as fools.
The other side has even gone so far as to use the parable of the loaves and fishes from the Bible as an analogy to prove the anti crowd’s argument to be ridiculous, before just giving up completely and ignoring anyone who hates the idea.
According to White House fact sheets, there exists around $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, and the president’s plan will forgive about $4 billion. The reasoning is that skyrocketing education costs combined with the costs of living in this fine country is terribly burdensome.
I’m in the anti camp, but not for the normal reasons. I’m particularly bothered by the fact that the government has loaned so much money — about 28 percent of what the government spends each year, by way of example, when there is nothing anywhere that gives the federal government the power, authority or even permission to be a banker, loan officer, loan guarantor, or educator.
Moreover, there is nothing in the Constitution that even allows the government to have anything to do with education at all. The Department of Education was elevated to Cabinet status in 1980, the new kid on the block, so to speak.
Now, of course, it’s a massive endeavor that comes complete with its own police force (which raided a home in California because of someone thought to have been cheating on student loans).
This money should never have been given out, instead used for other necessities. This renders the idea of whether forgiving loans is good or bad moot.