The latest fad from politicians is to promise to wipe out all student debt — with your money. They wave their magic wand and you pay. That is what they propose.
Let’s say you did not get a college degree. Instead, you went to work.
Or maybe you did graduate from college, but you avoided big debts by paying your own way and working in college and afterward. Perhaps you went to a low-cost school. Or maybe you did rack up college debt, but you worked hard to pay it off.
Congratulations, because you have qualified to pay off the loans of all the doofuses who ran up big student debt that they cannot pay.
Oh, Tom, you are too cruel, you may say. These are innocent babes. They were conned by colleges to take on these loans. We must weep for them and salve their wounds.
Sorry, but they are doofuses. Nothing was hidden from them. They read the loan documents and saw the numbers. If they did not read them, they are stupid. If they reckoned they could pay off $100,000 in loans with a degree in gender studies or poetry, they are doofuses.
Yes, I am exaggerating — to make a point. The point is that just because a student shows zero judgement does not mean the rest of us should pick up the tab.
Oh, but we should. So, say candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. These two, and others, want taxpayers to pay off the doofuses’ bills.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Those who did not go to college must pay. Those who used their heads to avoid such debt must pay up anyway. And, those who worked hard to pay off their college debt must pay yet again. That is, they must cover the indebtedness of the doofuses.
Those who were smart, practical, and sensible must now pay the bills of those who were not. Or so these politicians insist — in their attempts to buy votes. Campaigning is simple: vote for me and I will get taxpayers to pay off your stupid loans.
But Tom, these young people cannot get ahead, you might say They can’t get out from under these massive debts to go on with their precious lives.
Yes, they can. They can get two or three jobs. They can cut expenses to the bone. They can go bankrupt and start over. Maybe such hardships will teach them a few lessons that will guide them into better financial decisions in their futures.
Suppose we did pay off all this debt that students racked up. Every student in the future would expect the same. The lines for degrees in worthless fields of study would extend around every campus corner. Who would care how much these degrees cost?
And consider what lessons the doofus debtors will have learned. I can think of one: Stupidly borrow lots of money, don’t pay it back and you win a big prize. What’s next? We taxpayers will have pay off everybody’s debts, from car loans to personal loans to mortgages.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home in upstate New York. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, read more of his writing at tomasinmorgan.com, or find him on Facebook.