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[dropcap]“A[/dropcap] democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.” — Author unknown, but often incorrectly attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler.
Joe Biden has proposed canceling $10,000 in student loan debt as part of the pork in his COVID-relief bill. Of course, to everyone who isn’t a liberal or about to have Big Daddy Government pay for their college loans, it obviously seems like a terrible idea for a debt-ridden nation to forgive 400+ billion dollars in government loans. It’s so obvious, in fact, that it shouldn’t even require an explanation, but let’s take a moment to go into detail because the liberal media certainly isn’t going to present the downside of this idea to anyone.
#1) It’s not everyone else’s responsibility to pay off your college loans: People take out loans for all sorts of reasons. To go to college, to start a business, to buy or remodel a house, for a wedding, for a car. It goes on and on. If you go into debt for any of those reasons, including to get a college degree, why in the world should anyone be responsible for paying your bills? You’re the one who spent the money and will benefit from it, so why should other people have to pay for it?
#2) It treats financially responsible people like suckers: Did you save up money and pay your kid’s way through college? Too bad, so sad, because you’re not going to get anything. Did you forego an expensive school because you didn’t want to get into debt? Too bad you weren’t irresponsible because you could have benefitted under Biden’s program. Did you work your way through college? Wow, that was stupid when you could have just gone $10,000 into debt and had Sugar Daddy government show up to pay your bills. Under this program, the most responsible people are the biggest suckers.
#3) It will inevitably grow: Once the precedent is set for a government program like this, they will do it again, except bigger and with more people eligible. That is the nature of government spending. Even worse, once a program like this exists, then politicians and bureaucrats will ask, “Well, since we’ve already done this with college loans, what other legislation can we pass like this?”
#4) It encourages even higher college costs: By some accounts, the cost of a college degree has gone up almost 8 times faster than wages. What are wildly overpriced colleges practically guaranteed to think if the government promises to eat $10,000 in student loan debt? “Gee, we need to find a way to milk at least $10,000 more from every student.” In a world where a single professor on a Zoom call could conceivably teach an almost limitless number of students, there should be enormous pressure on colleges to dramatically reduce costs, not guarantees that the government will be sending them millions of $10,000 checks.
#5) It encourages financial irresponsibility: Everyone shouldn’t go to college in the first place and there are an awful lot of people getting expensive degrees from private colleges that are unlikely to ever pay off in the real world. If you want to pay $150,000 to a private college to get a degree in theater so you can get a role as an extra in Fast & Furious part 13: Vroom, Vroom, Boom, Boom, that seems like something you should be paying for, not everyone else.
There are always people that are going to love the idea of playing Santa Claus with other people’s money, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Whenever someone promises you one, remember that someone’s going to pay for it and if you don’t know who it is, it’s probably going to be you.
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