March 1, 2023

The Left Loses It on Student Loan Debt

The Supreme Court heard a pair of legal challenges to Joe Biden’s debt forgiveness scheme, but the Left was mostly reduced to screaming and yelling.

One of the core American values — indeed, one of the core Western values — is a belief in individual responsibility, a belief that one ought to be accountable for one’s own actions and utterances.

As William H. Young writes on the website of the National Association of Scholars, “Individual responsibility has been the foundation of human achievement throughout Western civilization.” He continues:

At the American founding, informed by Western civilization, particularly the philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment, the ideal individual was a cultural type with an independent intellect and intrinsic common sense, grounded by an innate moral sense, and living by moral principles and habits — exercising adult personal responsibility. The curriculum in American colleges reflected that ideal for our leadership elite until the end of the nineteenth century.

Then it all went to crap.

Not all at once, of course, but today’s grievance-mongering leftist indoctrination centers bear precious little resemblance to the universities of the late 1890s. As conservative author and thinker Dennis Prager continually reminds us, the Left wrecks everything it touches.

So it goes with higher ed in America, and so it goes with the notion of individual responsibility — which includes the age-old belief that one ought to pay back one’s debts. Were this not the case, the Supreme Court wouldn’t have even entertained arguments yesterday on the constitutionality of the heist otherwise known as Joe Biden’s student loan “forgiveness” scheme.

Forget, for a moment, that college is a grift and a racket; that it’s a reeducation camp for impressionable young people and a jobs program for lazy, tenured, know-it-all leftists who couldn’t otherwise cut it in the working world. And forget for a moment that the cost of a college education is an obscenity; that tuition costs since 1980 have vastly outstripped the rate of inflation — 1,200% for tuition compared to 236% overall. Forget all that. Remember only that in a civilized society, people must be responsible for their debts.

Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats couldn’t care less about individual responsibility or unpaid debts, which is why his student loan debt forgiveness plan — which would cancel $10,000 in federal student loans for those making less than $125,000 per year or households earning less than $250,000 per year — has been hauled into court.

The Biden administration’s case is weak, and the antics of his supporters call to mind the trial lawyer who can’t pound the facts and can’t pound the law and is therefore left to pound only the table. Check out this meltdown by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who, along with numerous other rabble-rousers — including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush — was arguing weakly but loudly at the Student Debt Crisis Center’s rally yesterday in front of the Supreme Court:

“And frankly, and this is what really pisses me off,” Weingarten shrieked. “During the pandemic, we understood that small businesses were hurting, and we helped them, and it didn’t go to the Supreme Court to challenge it! Big businesses were hurting, and we helped them, and it didn’t go to the Supreme Court to challenge it! All of a sudden, when it’s about our students, they challenge it! The corporations challenge it! The student loan lenders challenge it! That is not right! That is not fair! And that is what we are fighting as well when we say, ‘Cancel student debt!’ This is about the people, and it is about the people’s future, and it is about all of your futures!”

That pandemic argument is a comical non sequitur, and it’s been picked up by a Biden cabinet member, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who ought to know better: “As far as folks who say, you know, ‘I’ve already paid my [student loan] debt,’” he said, “well, that happened prior to the pandemic.”

Team Biden must think we’re stupid. These student loan debts were accumulated and have been kicked down the road since long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19.

Still, Weingarten is right about that last part: This is about all of our futures. And our futures will be even more grim if the Supreme Court allows Joe Biden to get away with this vote-buying giveaway.

“This is a righteous fight,” said Honest Injun Elizabeth Warren, “and we cannot let a Supreme Court that is an extremist court take away the opportunity for millions of Americans to have a little racial justice, a little economic justice, a little opportunity to build more secure futures going forward.”

Nothing like stirring up some racial resentment to help make one’s constitutional case.

It’s a nice giveaway if you can get it, but if we’re to glean anything from the justices’ remarks, we ought to feel pretty comfortable about the outcome. At least if Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s comment that some of the judiciary’s “finest moments” were when courts pushed back on presidential emergency powers is any indication.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, too, may have tipped his hand last year when he wrote in a case involving executive powers: “When Congress seems slow to solve problems, it may be only natural that those in the Executive Branch might seek to take matters into their own hands. But the Constitution does not authorize agencies to use pen-and-phone regulations as substitutes for laws passed by the people’s representatives.”

Regardless of the outcome, though, leftists will be undeterred. They couldn’t care less about what’s constitutional and what isn’t, and the Democrats will no doubt move on to the next giveaway and the next opportunity to buy the votes of the American people.

If anything, this case will clearly demarcate the difference between the nation’s two political parties — one that stands for individual responsibility, and the other that stands for government giveaways. “The glorification of victimhood,” said Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw, “has convinced a whole generation of young people that the student debt they chose to incur for their own benefit is not theirs to repay.”

That, we think, is a pretty solid closing argument.

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