There is no point in our mincing words. This is a lie. A contrivance. A game. Nobody believes this. It’s an excuse. If it makes it to the Supreme Court, it will lose, and it will deserve to lose. It is facially farcical. Of course “The HEROES Act, first enacted in the wake of the September 11 attacks” does not convey this authority, as the memo claims. At no point, until today, had a single person in America ever believed such a thing. They shouldn’t now.
Jim Geraghty wonders what the old folks in Scranton would think of Biden’s shifting the burden of student loans from the individuals who chose to take out such loans to the taxpayers. Here’s his conclusion:
Why is Biden going ahead with this? Because the demographics most likely to complain about student loans include a lot of progressive Democrats, and Biden needs them to be fired up about the midterms. Biden’s willing to exacerbate inflation and endanger the country’s economy, just in hopes of generating a slight improvement in Democratic turnout in a few months. The old folks of Scranton would be appalled.
Meanwhile, my rough new estimate is that the cost to taxpayers will be $427 billion. To put that in perspective, it is more than the gross domestic product of Hong Kong and 182 countries. For those who support federal social programs, it is nearly 36‐times greater than the federal government spent on Head Start in 2022. And if you support defense spending, it is nearly two‐and‐a‐half times larger than the U.S. Army’s 2022 budget. And this, by the way, does not include non‐cancellation elements of the Biden announcement, including proposals to significantly cut many borrowers’ monthly payments and more generous loan forgiveness in the future.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board describes Biden’s nearly half-trillion dollar student-loan ‘forgiveness’ as “an abuse of power that favors college grads at the expense of plumbers and FedEx drivers.” Two slices:
Well, he did it. Waving his baronial wand, President Biden on Wednesday canceled student debt for some 40 million borrowers on no authority but his own. This is easily the worst domestic decision of his Presidency and makes chumps of Congress and every American who repaid loans or didn’t go to college.
The President who never says no to the left did their bidding again with this act of executive law-making, er, breaking.
Worse than the cost is the moral hazard and awful precedent this sets. Those who will pay for this write-off are the tens of millions of Americans who didn’t go to college, or repaid their debt, or skimped and saved to pay for college, or chose lower-cost schools to avoid a debt trap. This is a college graduate bailout paid for by plumbers and FedEx drivers.
Colleges will also capitalize by raising tuition to capture the write-off windfall. A White House fact sheet hilariously says that colleges will “have an obligation to keep prices reasonable and ensure borrowers get value for their investments, not debt they cannot afford.” Only a fool could believe colleges will do this.
According to Biden, forcing all Americans to help pay the debts of college borrowers is an unfortunate necessity; people who borrowed from the government to go to school are just that badly off. They are ruined, they are desperate, and they need generous U.S. taxpayers to bail them out.
“An entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for an attempt, at least, at a college degree,” said Biden. “The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate, you may not have access to the middle-class life that the college degree once provided.”
This is quite an indictment of the federal student loan program, so one might have expected that Biden’s generous debt forgiveness plan would be accompanied by serious reforms to the underlying system that produced such inequities. After all, the government is conceding that its loan program has scammed millions of desperate people. Their situation is so dire, their prospects of repayment so dim, that Biden is requiring everyone else to pitch in and help them.
But no, Biden’s debt forgiveness plan will do nothing—absolutely nothing—to fundamentally change the incentive system that created the doom spiral in the first place. Degree-seekers will continue to borrow large amounts of money to buy useless educations; indeed, they might feel even more encouraged to do so now that this precedent has been set.
This tweet misconstrues the nature of Fauci’s power. He held the power to cast legitimate scientific opposition to the ‘fringe’. When he pushed lockdowns and school closures while donning the mantle of The Science(tm), it took an extraordinary politician to oppose him.
Even before I had my own kids, I felt driven to put children first. It’s why I balked at a pandemic strategy that put young people’s needs and desires on the back burner. “I can’t think of another event in history where we offered up our youngest members as sacrificial lambs for the potential to protect our oldest ones,” novelist and essayist Ann Bauer (no relation to me) recently told me. “I’m still gobsmacked that we let it happen.” (As an aside, Bauer’s essay on the hubris underlying “the science,” published by Tablet magazine, is essential reading for any lockdown critic.)
While the Haredim were making noise in their New York and Jerusalem enclaves, a protestant preacher named Artur Pawlowski was protesting lockdowns, masks, and church restrictions in Western Canada. On Easter weekend 2021, reports that Pawlowski was not adhering to the public health orders brought the police to his church. Months later, he was arrested and sentenced.
In addition to a $23,000 fine and 18 months of probation, the judge who sentenced Pawlowski gave him a script about “expert opinion” to read before discussing Covid with his congregants. “Forcing people to say what they do not wish to say—and do not believe—violates all the fundamental freedoms of the Charter,” Father Raymond de Souza, an Ontario Catholic priest and university professor, wrote in an article for the National Post. “It’s what tyrants do.”
As a religious leader, de Souza has an obvious stake in the question: Does the state have the right to interfere in freedom of religious expression? And if so, to what extent? His verdict, delivered in another National Post article: The Canadian government crossed the line. Under the guise of containing a pandemic, politicians and their advisors displayed a “naked urge to extend the reach of the state.”
As Exhibit A, he presented the six-month ban on in-person worship in British Columbia, orchestrated by provincial health officer Bonnie Henry. “Her edict permitted people to meet for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in the church basement, but that same number of people could not meet in the much larger church to pray,” he noted. “It wasn’t about regulating meetings, but banning worship”—a power play masquerading as public health.