Updated: Jul 13, 2019
We all learn at a very young age that nothing is free. Maybe I should rephrase that - We all used to learn at a very young age that nothing is free. A lot of people today either never learned that simple axiom or they have forgotten it.
Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced yet another bill to forgive federal student loans. His plan is to tax stocks and bonds to recover the $1.6 trillion debt within the next decade and make college free.
"We will make a full and complete education a human right," Mr Sanders told reporters on Monday. He claims that Wall Street would bail out student debt like the American people bailed out Wall Street.
The first fault in that plan is the the American people will be the ones paying the tax. Not just rich people are in the stock market. Anyone with a retirement plan will also be paying that tax. Every IRA and 401k is based in stocks and bonds. Wall Street is almost everyone in America, it is not just the companies on the stock exchange.
Secondly, Bernie's plan is a slap in the face to anyone who worked to pay their way through college. Two slaps in the face to anyone who took out loans and worked hard to pay them back. It is also a kick in the head to every parent who paid for their child's education. Everyone who did the right thing, got an education in a career worthy field, and has paid back their loans should be furious at the thought of the slacker next door getting loan forgiveness.
Fault the third involves human nature. Where is the incentive to succeed if college is free? Human nature shows clearly that people try harder if they have 'skin in the game.' National Center for Education Statistics says that fewer than 40% of students finish their four year degree in four years. Even fewer will if they are going for free. Why worry about graduation when the party can just keep going? TheBlackSphere.net points out that 35% of millennials getting bachelor's degrees are taking jobs that don't require a degree anyway. There are obviously too many people going to college. There just aren't enough degree requiring jobs.
The fourth point isn't a fault in the plan, it is a fault in the priorities. If Mr. Sanders can come up with a viable plan to pay off $1.6 trillion in student loan debt why do we have a $22 trillion national debt? Congress has allowed the national debt to balloon to over $170,000 per American household - more than many mortgages. When you are $22 trillion in debt you don't look for ways to give stuff away - you look for ways to pay off your debt.
All of the talk about free healthcare, free education, free cell phones, free ponies, and free ice cream needs to stop. It is just not appropriate while the country is so far in debt. Besides, it is obviously just smoke and mirrors. It is either an attempt to buy votes, grow government, or usher in socialism - or all three.