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This new correspondent believes that my mention of “taxpayers” in my letter of yesterday to WTOP reveals “the real reason” I applaud yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling against Biden’s student-loan forgiveness.

Mr. H__:

Correctly guessing that my annual income “is higher than average” – and, hence, that I’m a net taxpayer – you allege that my applause for yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling against Pres. Biden’s student-loan forgiveness “comes from a place of greed.” According to you, my “real reason for objecting to President Biden’s debt cancellation is [that I] want to keep as much money for [myself] and don’t give a damn about the people [I] teach.”

First, you are not and have never been a student of mine, so I’ll thank you to reserve the responsibility for assessing how much or little I care about my students to my students.

Second, if my only goal were to maximize my after-tax income, upon learning of yesterday’s Court ruling my reaction would have been very different from what it in fact was. A precedent of allowing the forgiveness of federal student-loan debt makes such borrowing more attractive. With more and larger federal student loans being taken out, the demand for what I supply – college teaching – would rise. My employer, George Mason University, would become flush with more money. As a result, my salary would rise.

In short, if I were as single-mindedly greedy for money as you suppose me to be, yesterday’s Court ruling would have caused me, not to rejoice, but to weep.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030