When I began to think about college as a teenager, my dad told me what he told each of my four siblings: I would have to pay for my own college education.
I grew up in an average middle-class family living in rural mid-Michigan. Paying for five kids to go through college just wasn’t realistic for my parents.
But it wasn’t only that it would’ve been difficult to send five kids through college – they also wanted to instill in us a sense of working hard to achieve our goals, a sense I’m proud of.
My parents didn’t discourage me from going to college because it was too expensive or too unrealistic. They left it up to me. They told me it was still possible if I worked hard in high school, saved my money, and found a good, affordable college.
So I worked. From cleaning toilets to flipping burgers, I made as much money as I could while balancing school and sports. I found a college I could attend that offered a good education for tuition that wouldn’t throw me into thousands of dollars of debt. I worked hard through college, paying my way, and graduated completely debt-free.
Yet, if the leftists running our government get their way, I could still end up paying for student loans.
Now that I’ve graduated with a degree I’ve put to use and zero student loan debt nagging me in the back of my mind, the Biden administration is considering forgiving millions of people who decided to go into debt to get their degrees.
On April 28, President Joe Biden said he is considering forgiving student loans under $50,000. “I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there … will be additional debt forgiveness,” he told reporters at the White House, saying he would decide in the coming weeks.
Biden’s comments come as leftists in Congress continue to put pressure on his administration to cancel student debt, leftists like Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and even Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
Warren has advocated for canceling up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt, an action that would cost $1 trillion, according to a study by the Brookings Institute.
“Canceling $50,000 in student loan debt is one of the most effective executive actions that President Biden could take to provide a massive stimulus for our economy and help close the racial wealth gap. The President can and must #CancelStudentDebt,” Warren said last September.
Canceling $50,000 in student loan debt is one of the most effective executive actions that President Biden could take to provide a massive stimulus for our economy and help close the racial wealth gap. The President can and must #CancelStudentDebt.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 4, 2021
Sanders has been even more radical and constant in his calls for canceling student debt and making college completely “free.” His proposal would cost up to $1.6 trillion.
“Total student debt of 43 million Americans: $1.8 trillion. Total wealth of 719 billionaires in America: $4.56 trillion. Our job: Cancel student debt, make public colleges and universities tuition free and have the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes,” he tweeted in May 2021.
Nearly a year later, he renewed his call, saying, “Cancel student debt. All of it.”
Cancel student debt. All of it.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 5, 2022
Even the more moderate Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has “personally” encouraged Biden to cancel student debt up to $50,000. “I have talked personally to the president on this issue a whole bunch of times. I have told him that this is more important than just about anything else that he can do on his own,” the majority leader said in April.
Biden has circled $10,000 as the highest he will go for loan forgiveness, but even that much debt cancellation would come with the hefty price tag of $373 billion.
To put that into perspective, Adam Looney of the Brookings Institute writes, “Even $10,000 in debt forgiveness would involve a transfer that is about as large as the country has spent on welfare (TANF) since 2000.”
Student loan forgiveness isn’t an idea in the radical wings of the Democratic party anymore. It’s very possible it will become a reality — a costly reality.
If Biden could wave a magic wand at the request of leftists in Congress and suddenly make student loans disappear, this would be great news. But since we don’t prance around in the magical fairyland some Democrats want us to believe in, no one can “forgive” student loans for some without burdening others.
Debt doesn’t disappear with a president’s actions. Someone always foots the bill.
Those taking the hit for student debt cancellation would be the taxpayers like me who paid their way through college or who responsibly paid back their loans and like others who never went to college and never needed student loans.
Does that sound just?
What’s more, student debt cancellation would benefit those in higher income brackets more than anyone else.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the highest-income 40% of households hold 60% of student loan debt, according to the same study from the Brookings Institute. That means most of the people benefitting from debt cancellation make above $74,000, forcing taxpayers who make much less and who never took out a dime for student loans to cover the cost.
Meanwhile, the lowest-income 40% of households are responsible for less than 20% of student loan debt.
So who would get their student loans forgiven under the proposals of Democrats in Congress? For the most part, it’s the people who can afford to pay them back. And who would get ripped off for student debt cancellation? The waitresses, plumbers, and mechanics who never took out student loans but would end up paying for them anyway.
Now that I’m out of college, contributing to the economy, and working to pay my bills, the last weight I need added to my expenses is the government taking more out of my paycheck so Ivy-league graduates can be forgiven thousands in student debt.
I worked hard to pay my way through college without receiving any scholarships or taking out one loan. It’s a blessing to go to sleep at night without thousands of dollars of debt racing through my mind, but I’m concerned for myself and others.
I’m concerned that we who have no responsibility for the $1 trillion-plus in student debt will never see much of our hard-earned dollars because the government will “magically erase” the debt of those who make twice as much.
The leftist dream of canceling student debt would have massive consequences for those who hold no responsibility for any student loans.
It’s unjust. It’s oppressive. And it should never come within 100 feet of the president’s desk.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.