Douglas Andrews / May 31, 2022

$10,000 for Your Vote?

A five-figure handshake is the latest iteration of Joe Biden’s desperate and immoral vote-buying scheme.

Never in our nation’s history has a U.S. president concocted such a naked and rotten vote-buying scheme. Of course, never in our nation’s history has a U.S. president and his political party been so desperate for votes.

“White House officials are currently planning to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, after months of internal deliberations over how to structure loan forgiveness for tens of millions of Americans, three people with knowledge of the matter said.” So says The Washington Post, which added that Biden might’ve made the announcement last weekend during his commencement address at the University of Delaware, but the Uvalde massacre apparently changed in his plans. (This seems grotesquely cynical. How the one affects the other is unclear to us. Either it’s good policy, or it isn’t. In any case, Joe Biden’s abysmal approval rating has declined far more among younger Americans than older ones. And this, more than anything else, might help explain this vote-buying scheme.)

How did we get to this sorry place? By making the college drug so alluring and so obscenely expensive, and then by feeding the habit of all those student junkies. The numbers are staggering. According to the Education Department, more than 43 million borrowers have now piled up more than $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt, with the average debt being more than $37,000. And all this for a degree that, as our Lewis Morris recently noted, is becoming ever more expensive and ever less appealing, or useful. As author and researcher Heather Mac Donald notes, “Higher education today resembles a massive Ponzi scheme.”

And so, the party that used to buy votes with “walking around money” is now poised to up the ante to $10,000. Which brings up another question: Will the Biden administration be cutting five-figure rebate checks to those many millions of his fellow Americans who did things the right way — those who paid back every last cent of their student loans? We’re not holding our breath.

As Charles Cooke writes in National Review: “This is illegal, and Biden knows it. The executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt for debt-holders of any income group. Asked about the idea last year, Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that ‘the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.’ Do you know how patently illegal something has to be for Nancy Pelosi to acknowledge it’s illegal?”

Illegal or not, Derrick Johnson isn’t impressed. Johnson, the NAACP president, was expecting a much bigger giveaway, and he made that point crystal clear on Friday:

“President Biden, canceling $10,000 in student debt is like pouring a bucket of ice water on a forest fire. In other words, it won’t do anything, especially for the Black community. … The Black community will be watching closely when you make your announcement, but $10,000 is not enough. $10,000 in cancelation would be a slap in the face. President Biden, it’s not about whether you can do it, it’s about whether or not you have the will to do it.”

A $10,000 “slap in the face”? What we wouldn’t give for one of those.

But it’s not just Johnson who’s aggrieved. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is trotting out an old trope: “Because of the gender and racial pay gaps, women need more education to reach the same pay as their male colleagues. That means more student loans to repay. If we cancel student debt we can help close these wage gaps.”

Hey, why not? The Trump administration paused student loan payments back in March 2020 due to pandemic concerns, and Joe Biden never restarted them — and that suspension has cost the American taxpayer $100 billion so far. So what’s another $230 billion? That’s the estimated cost for wiping out $10,000 of debt per borrower.

It’s a small price to pay for the millions of votes Joe Biden needs. And, heck, we can always print more money.

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