Well, we’re all effectively shut down for the holidays. May as well spend a little time looking at the family income tax picture before the year 2020 comes struggling to an end. Can’t get any more festive than that, eh?
No one wants to think about taxes, especially these days. But on a broader level, the subject is worth considering when it comes to our government’s spending habits. Regardless of your political affiliation, you’ll probably find it easy to name a variety of questionable federal projects or programs. If you haven’t thought about the subject, Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org) is a wake-up call.
No doubt elected officials are busy, as usual, cooking up new ways to spend your money.
In June, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill to wipe out all student debt. All $1.3 trillion.
The sentiment has been echoed by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and other members of “The Squad.”
They do this while anyone with half a brain knows that eliminating debt isn’t magical, and it isn’t free. You and I will be stuck paying back those loans…in the form of higher taxes. Frankly, I didn’t sign a promissory note for someone else’s college loan. Did YOU?
Pressley wants to cancel student loan debt, up to $50,000 per person.
“It will go a long way in ensuring an equitable economic recovery,” she crows, adding that such debt is also a racial justice issue.
What does this have to do with race? Are Black and brown students deeper in debt than white or Asian students? Would a white male with a degree from Harvard Law now earning $200,000 a year be denied a reprieve on his student loan because of skin color? Will lower-income Black and brown people claim an exemption on their tax returns, so that THEIR dollars cannot be used to pay for this inherently discriminatory scheme?
A large percentage of high-dollar student loans are for graduate degrees – law school, medical school, etc. But think of the earning potential there. High undergraduate debt is often the result of a deliberate choice to attend an expensive private college rather than a more affordable public school. Moreover, many students from truly modest means are already given significant financial aid, much of it from government sources.
Do you have any debt? A mortgage, perhaps? A car loan, personal loan, an outstanding balance on a credit card or two? Why is THAT debt less worthy of government largesse?
Consider how many elected officials would benefit from the elimination of student debt. According to financial disclosures released last year (publicly available), 59 current members of Congress, including three members of The Squad — Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — carry student loan debt. The total owed, collectively, is around $5.8 million! If a bill to wipe that away came up for a vote, would they recuse themselves? Don’t hold your breath.
It makes no sense to expect someone else to pay back a loan to which you willingly agreed. Relaxed policies for such debt in the first place allowed students to borrow money not only for books and tuition, but also for living expenses – housing, meals, transportation and more – making it easy to cruise through university while kicking the financial can down the road. Gee, now Bernie wants MY family to pay for your multiple years of apartment rent? I don’t think so!
Forgiving this kind of debt is a slap in the face to those who saved for college, lived at home, and got a job. Not to mention students who paid off their loan(s), those who chose to attend less expensive schools and others who simply opted for careers that didn’t require a degree. I had some debt when I completed college. I paid it off and never felt entitled to someone else’s money.
And what about the universities that received all this money?
Isn’t it some kind of inherent promise that if you earn a college degree you’ll land a more lucrative job? Workers with diplomas are among the highest paid in the economy. So if they’re now struggling to pay back their loan, why wouldn’t their alma maters chip in?
Harvard University has a $41 billion endowment fund. (They’re still charging full tuition, by the way, for online learning!) With an endowment fund that large, have they considered covering some of the debt incurred by students who graduated from their august university? Same question to Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT and some wealthy state schools such as the universities of Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.
And one final question — why would the Democratic Party, which has always promoted itself as the party of the working class, now put forth proposals that would land their supporters on the hook for privilege loans? The answer is (drum roll) – the important party members these days are affluent – Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Big Pharma, etc.
If you don’t believe it, check their donor list from the current election.
Patricia Suzanne is a professional writer, retired small business owner, and conservative Republican activist. She was born and raised in the once Golden State of California, now a land of despair and disrepair for all but elite leftist Democrats and their cronies.