Mass forgiveness of student loans –$300 billion to $1.7 trillion dollars, $10,000 per student for 40 million Americans – is being pushed by Biden. The idea is wrong – counter-productive, irresponsible, and should be stopped. Five reasons argue against this notion.
You will say: “Gosh, the economy is tough, life is rough, students are indebted; where is your compassion for those who need free money, loan forgiveness?” The answer is, think harder.
As someone who came from a family with no money for education, who worked, earned, received, and repaid loans of more than $100,000 for college and law school, never wanted them forgiven, never imaged them forgiven, would not want them forgiven now, please hear me.
First, when someone takes a loan – for a house, car, or college – they are learning something. They are saying something about themselves to a lender, whether government, bank, school, company or relative. They are saying – “trust me, I am undertaking a commitment, intend to honor it.”
Go one layer deeper: When taking a loan for college, someone is saying, “on my honor, with recognition that the future, economy, my skills, and life are uncertain, I promise to pay this back.” They are asking and committing to a lender’s trust, making a pledge of trust to themselves.
Historically, a long shadow was cast over people – often by their own conscience, relating to a sense of honor – if they could not get out from under a debt. Over time, the notion evolved. Debt was seen as permissible, necessary for essentials like home or schooling, and it became commonplace.
In effect, there was no dishonor in carrying debt, so long as we kept our word to the lender and to ourselves, that a loan or debt assumed, with an expectation of honorable repayment, got honored.
What exactly happens to honor, to that process of pledge and fulfilment, investment in oneself with risk of failure, trust by others in us and us in ourselves, when we are suddenly relieved – by a hovering federal government – of this obligation?
In short, the process breaks – with honor no longer expected, risks taken are no longer believed real, trust to be proven is suspended, a chance to show we are up to the pledge is removed. Like being given anything, especially something we assumed we had to pay for, it is cheapened.
Second, think reality. Where does the $300 billion – or God forbid, $1.7 trillion – come from? You want honor, truth, honesty? It comes from others’ bank accounts, hard work, and sweat of another man or woman’s brow; that is where it comes from.
In other words, there is no free lunch. When you accept federal largess, as if that money is picked from the “magic money tree,” you are actually – and knowingly – putting your own debt, stress, burden, and obligation on the back of another. Here then, is the second assault on honor.
Third, what does the idea of broad, un-means-tested, open-ended federal debt forgiveness teach those who look on from outside, who are neither borrowers nor even taxpayers, perhaps just kids? What does that act tell anyone?
It says the federal government is run-a-muck, ready to give away money regardless of federal debt, now $30 trillion. Giving away money we do not have, lack of fiscal discipline, forgetting responsibility not to spend what you do not have, strapping taxpayers, driving up inflation, further cheapening the dollar, and weakening the economy is both reckless and immoral.
“Whoa,” you say, “now that is a strong statement!” Yes, it is. But think. Who will pay this debt through inflation? Wage earners, middle class families, those barely holding on. Who else? Future generations, those who cannot afford it, did not ask for it, get nothing from it, are yet unborn. Sound immoral to you?
Fourth, think about the obvious motivation for debt forgiveness. Democrats want to buy votes with money. How better than buttering bread on both sides, give you loans, only to forgive them.
Ask yourself, “at what price?” Just your vote for greater dependence on the federal government, less control over life, concentrated power, a little public corruption – not a lot, just a little. But history is made – and liberty unmade – by inches, in little increments, while you nod and sleep.
To paraphrase Edmund Burke, all it takes for evil – benignly described – to prevail, is that good people do nothing, look the other way, accept it, imagine a little is okay. Is it? You tell me? And are a few dollars in the account, relief of debts you promised to repay, okay if all they want is your vote? Remember Charlie Daniels’ song, “Devil came down to Georgia”? Souls sell, selling?
Fifth, this opens the floodgates to socialist debt forgiveness across the board, beyond education, relating to any “equitable” or “wealth redistribution” scheme for votes, relief of debts for cars (electric, for example), houses (for “social justice”), credit cards (federal assumption of underprivileged, underserved, minority, or even majority debt), any other debt you wish. Is that the way to teach personal responsibility, keep a nation solvent, protect the future?
In short, lots of things look good at first, but prove not so on closer examination. The idea of giving away free money, more magic federal dollars, to 40 million Americans – tradesmen to lawyers, the voluntarily unemployed to doctors – is clever. It might win some votes. It is also wrong.
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