I hinted yesterday I would like to comment on the executive order issued by President Biden that gives certain student loan borrowers up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness (for individual borrowers who make up to $125,000 and married couples who make less than $250,000 annually).
Not surprisingly, strong opinions have been voiced. What has been surprising, at least to me, is that opposition has come not only from Biden's Republican opponents, but also from his own party.
Of course, there are those who think this is great news. There are some who don't think the president went far enough and would have been happier if the forgiveness had been more in the 50K neighborhood.
As for me, I think it was well-meaning but poorly executed.
First, the fundamental unfairness of it sticks in my craw. What about those of us who did not borrow money for ourselves or our children to go to school? And what about the ones who did, but have already responsibly paid it back?
The unfairness goes beyond that. I heard a good example yesterday of the lawn guy who does not have a college degree but makes a decent living. Through his taxes he is now responsible for repayment of the loan for the guy or gal whose lawn he cuts. Is that a form of income inequality?
And I know, I know, life is not fair. It's something every parent has likely said at one time or another.
But I have a fundamental problem with giving ten thousand dollars to people who signed promissory notes saying they would repay that money.
More important than that, this plan fails to address the basic problem, which is the cost of higher education. It has gotten completely out of hand, and colleges and university officials make an assumption that students are going to get loans, so what they charge has become ridiculous. They should have to bear some responsibility for this "crisis."
I have no problem with reducing debt for those who render some type of service in return. And I have some sympathy for those who got sucked into for-profit "career college" scams and now have thousands of dollars to pay back for worthless pieces of paper (even though those folks also signed promissory notes and should have understood that money would have to be paid back).
But again, handing out money to borrowers who knew what they were doing, and putting that responsibility on taxpayers? Sorry, but not sorry. I can't go along with that.