From our American corespondent, Esteban:
At a campaign stop in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren was questioned about the fairness of her proposal to forgive most college loans. The father of a recent graduate challenged her proposal. His issue was that he and his daughter had worked hard and scrimped so that she could graduate without any debt. He asked “so, will we get our money back?” The answer: “of course not”. Dad argued that this wasn’t fair – they did without, worked hard, avoided debt, but others who did none of the above will get their debt paid off. How is that fair?
My immediate response when I heard of this encounter was “about F’ing time”. I paid off college loans decades ago, but whenever I hear someone propose “forgiving” college loans I have to wonder – do I get my money back with interest? What do you say to someone who just made the last payment on their college loans? What do you say to someone who worked their ass off to graduate with little or no debt while a classmate who took 6 years to get a Bachelor’s Degree because they wanted to enjoy college and spent their Summers in Europe gets $150k in debt wiped clean?
Similarly, several Democrat Presidential candidates have proposed “Medicare for All”, although “Medicaid for All” is probably a fairer description. Still, how do you tell Mrs. Jones “thanks for paying Medicare taxes for the past 50 years, but please step aside while we tend to this 24 year-old who has chosen not to bother to get a real job.”
I usually recoil whenever someone tries to argue about “fairness”, that word usually means “what I want”, but in these cases I think it is actually spot on. I also wonder about the political rationale. Paying off college loans will be very popular with most current and soon-to-be students. But they vote overwhelmingly Democrat already. This strikes me as a ploy that will get a lot of already Democrat voters to pull the lever a little more enthusiastically while turning off quite a few swing voters. With the cherry on top of being grossly unfair.
Other than that…