What a brilliant scheme, Joe Biden and his progressive cronies figured. Employing the reliable bullhorn known as mainstream media, they had just shamelessly – and successfully – marketed a bill that had nothing to do with inflation and everything to do with climate change, IRS expansion and tax hikes as the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Now it was time to double down on their political courage, which for Democrats is measured almost exclusively by their level of willingness to separate you from more and more of your money. This time, it would come in the form of simply wiping away debts incurred by willing borrowers – and coincidentally, likely Democratic voters. And of course, Biden’s bailout will be funded by you and me.
Give the left credit at least for consistency. They have tried to cancel so many other people and things in recent years, why not the debts of people likely to vote for them? That way, we can all pay for the often unsustainable obligations driven by the exorbitant interest rates charged by the federal government. Yes, Joe Biden believes he can use our tax dollars for the nakedly political purpose of getting those stubbornly unreliable youngsters and highly educated upscale liberals to the polls in gratitude.
Echoing “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” the White House says they won’t know the cost of Biden’s bailout until it is fully implemented – meaning they will not ultimately be held to account. But they tell us more than 40 million people will benefit from the bailout, and half of them will have their debt wiped out altogether. Incredibly, Biden’s lawyers have used the HEROES Act, designed specifically to aid members of the military, as the tortured, wafer-thin rationale for this unilateral act of dubious constitutionality. The question of whether this scheme represents a breach of the separation of powers will likely be settled by the Supreme Court. And while the court may well strike down the executive action, that won’t happen until after the midterms. The wheels of justice, as we know, grind slowly – and ever so conveniently for Democrats looking to stave off a midterm rout.
Not that the statement of any politician is likely to affect the deliberations of the court, but Nancy Pelosi hardly helped the cause with her previous, emphatic statement that the president did not have the power to unilaterally forgive debt – that only Congress could authorize it. And following the plan’s unveiling, intra-party wariness and backlash has broken out, with every side seemingly unpleased. Progressives of course believe Biden didn’t go nearly far enough. But a shocking number of Democratic congressional candidates, apparently realizing the political toxicity of this bailout, have actually criticized – and tried to distance themselves from – their own president. Among the prominent skeptics is Ohio senate hopeful Tim Ryan: “… waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet,” Ryan told the Columbus Dispatch.
But given that the entire political benefit from this cynical, almost farcical, political maneuver will be experienced in the midterm elections – it will hardly be remembered by 2024 – Biden figures, what the heck, we’ll just do this, and by the time the courts strike it down, it will no longer matter.
Biden’s Bailout Sets a Dangerous Precedent
But beyond the obvious political and financial implications, what about the statement this makes to a rising generation already marked by their entitlement mentality? Once the precedent is set, when borrowers are told they won’t have to meet obligations they are legally required to fulfill, they will again expect the unwitting taxpayers to bail them out the next time they think things are unfair – via more progressive legislation. And if it represents a potential treasure trove of votes, they will get the Democratic party to dance to their tune. Colleges, with tuitions rising faster than even the cost of health care, will now also have a perverse incentive to keep the price tag for secondary education as high as possible, knowing the government can ultimately be persuaded to reduce student obligations later.
Oh, the unfairness of having to actually pay back what you borrowed! And that’s where this too-clever-by-half maneuver will boomerang on Joe Biden and the progressives who promoted it. Yes, many millions of people are set to be relieved of between $10,000 and $20,000 worth of student debt. But many more millions who took out loans and struggled hard to repay them over many years will openly resent having other people’s similar debts canceled when theirs have already been repaid. And to top it all off, those who worked hard and played by the rules, as Bill Clinton used to say, will have to actually pay for the privilege of bailing out the beneficiaries of Biden’s reckless, irresponsible largesse. When the dust clears from this giveaway, it will cost taxpayers over $2000 per person, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation – and a grand total as high as $600 billion.
Canceling student debt was widely viewed as all but a crackpot idea in years gone by, like so many other once-discredited progressive pipe dreams. But, for a party willing to embrace the neo-Marxist, lunatic-fringe idea of defunding the police, this is mere child’s play. And it is now presented with a straight face by power-hungry Democrats who removed every last shred of doubt in the Trump era that they would do anything to remain in charge. They might be shocked when angry voters who have had enough of the Democrats’ radical agenda strike back with a vengeance and deny them the power and control which maneuvers like this are designed to protect.