Student Loan Forgiveness, the Revivalist Way - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Student Loan Forgiveness, the Revivalist Way
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Harvard University (Jay Yuan/Shutterstock)

You’ve surely heard about the fresh horror emanating from the House of Clowns that is the Biden administration. If you were able to endure the doddering dunce in the Oval Office as he struggled through his prepared remarks on alienating taxpayer dollars to pay the student loan debts of people who have more money than the majority of Americans, you know all about this.

But if you don’t, here’s what Biden announced Wednesday

The president will forgive debts of up to $20,000 dollars for students who went to college on Pell grants and $10,000 for students who did not receive Pell grants.

Debt forgiveness only applies to individuals earning less than $125,000 or couples filing joint earnings of $250,000.

Biden plans to deliver remarks about his plan and announce further details Wednesday afternoon.

The president made his decision after several months of dithering on the issue, facing pressure from more leftist Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The Penn Wharton Budget Model estimates Biden’s plan will cost at least $300 billion.

Biden’s decision disappointed leftists who wanted to see a more aggressive plan to forgive college debt.

Senators like Warren pushed the president to forgive up to $50,000 per person, which could cost as much as $933 billion according to the Wharton estimate.

The president also announced his decision to extend the 2020 pause on student loan repayments during the pandemic again until December 31, 2022.

It goes without saying that this is a rotten, despicable, and highly unintelligent plan. Supposedly, the Pell grant clause was a late addition because the initial idea was $10,000 for everyone and black Democrat politicians and activists screamed about it because $10,000 favored white kids who needed to borrow less than black kids, and Pell grants are disproportionately handed out to black students.

So there’s a racial giveaway component to this as well.

And of course, if you’re a Republican and you oppose this, which you had better do, that will make you a racist as well as a mouth-breathing troglodyte who doesn’t value higher education.

Not that it matters what you think because Joe Biden has decided to give away $300 billion of your tax dollars without so much as a by-your-leave to Congress — the branch of government that is supposed to control the federal government’s purse strings.

Not anymore, you understand. Congress controlled the purse strings — albeit horrendously badly — when this was a republic. We’re now in the post-republic phase of America’s history, or at least the pre-post-republic phase, and we’ll see if an American revival can reset us back to an America that patriots might recognize.

And in Joe Biden’s vision of post-republic America, it’s the president who controls the purse strings.

Just like a tinpot dictator, the kind of tyrant who, for example, plots to send “law enforcement” on political errands like tossing the former first lady’s lingerie as a show of intimidation. Or who jails political dissidents for well more than a year without bail or trial in a Château d’If–style house of horrors.

People get hurt in a post-republic America, but if you’re on the right side of power, you get helped. And the millennials who ran up five- and six-figure college debt loads to get degrees that don’t pay for themselves in the working world are, for now, on the right side of power.

Which … hey, to some extent, maybe they do deserve a break. After all, the racketeering cartel which controls higher education in America has succeeded in fleecing parents and students for years into the idea that unless you have a college degree you’re not a productive or capable citizen worthy of a high-value profession. And then that same cartel, after having secured the commitment of impressionable 18-year-olds and brought them to campus, proceeded to offer them crip-course degrees in useless fields of study, many of which revolve around the concept that the civilization and nation in which they exist is racist, sexist, and evil.

When the job market rolls its eyes at such products — other than perhaps in the case of corporate HR departments, which can’t get woke enough — you have what you have.

All of which comes around to note who the real villains in this student-debt drama are.

Leaving aside Joe Biden and Barack Obama, of course, who threw gasoline on this fire by nationalizing student debt and, in so doing, blowing away the concept of underwriting that debt or vetting what it was for in the first place.

No, the bad guys here, and the people who ought to be made to pay for this student debt relief that Biden is demanding, are the colleges themselves.

So if you want to give out $300,000,000,000 in student debt forgiveness, fine. There’s an easy way to pay for that.

Some of our most prestigious colleges aren’t really colleges at all. They’re hedge funds with a school attached.

Matt Rinaldi is the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, so he’s perhaps to be forgiven for failing to note that the richest university endowment in America is the University of Texas system, which is $69 billion. His numbers on Harvard and Yale, by the way, are a bit dated.

In fact, here are the universities in America making the list of the world’s 50 richest

  1. University of Texas system: $69.21 billion
  2. Stanford University: $62.97 billion
  3. Harvard University: $53.2 billion
  4. Yale University: $44.7 billion
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): $42.53 billion
  6. Princeton University: $33.03 billion
  7. Duke University: $30.39 billion
  8. New York University: $27.84 billion
  9. Columbia University: $24.67 billion
  10. University of Pennsylvania: $20.5 billion
  11. University of Notre Dame: $18.41 billion
  12. Texas A&M University system: $18 billion
  13. University of Chicago: $17.28 billion
  14. Emory University: $17.14 billion
  15. Ohio State University: $16.01 billion
  16. Northwestern University: $15.86 billion
  17. University of Virginia: $15.81 billion
  18. Washington University of St. Louis: $15.1 billion
  19. Penn State University system: $15.02 billion
  20. Cornell University: $14.85 billion
  21. University of Southern California: $14.5 billion
  22. University of California system: $12.14 billion
  23. University of Michigan: $11.9 billion
  24. Vanderbilt University: $9.46 billion
  25. Johns Hopkins University: $9.32 billion
  26. Dartmouth College: $9.08 billion
  27. Rice University: $8.4 billion
  28. University of Pittsburgh: $8.01 billion
  29. Brown University: $6.89 billion
  30. Purdue University system: $6.76 billion
  31. University of Minnesota: $6.3 billion
  32. California Institute of Technology: $6.25 billion
  33. Boston College: $5.2 billion
  34. University of North Carolina: $5.17 billion
  35. Williams College: $4.11 billion
  36. University of Washington: $4.08 billion
  37. University of Wisconsin: $3.98 billion
  38. University of Richmond: $3.93 billion
  39. Rockefeller University: $3.88 billion
  40. University of Illinois system: $3.29 billion
  41. Amherst College: $3.06 billion
  42. Pomona College: $3.06 billion

That’s right: 42 of the 50 richest universities in the world are in America, including all of the top 1o. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia checks in at No. 11 as the richest non-American university.

There’s an awful lot of money tied up in those university endowments, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything to hold tuition down. Out-of-state students wanting to attend the University of Texas are in for a $44,000 annual tuition bill.

So here’s a plan. It’s not a new plan; in fact, I proposed this back when Liz Warren was flapping her not-quite-Cherokee gums about student debt forgiveness, and it’s an even better idea now with the staggering amount of filthy lucre being tied up in those endowments. In fiscal year 2015, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton had $86 billion in endowments; now, that number is up to $131 billion.

So let’s Eat The Rich. Let’s tax the living hell out of those universities. Let’s do to them what Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature did to Disney — and this time it won’t just be over woke politics; it’ll be a just response to the creation of a debt crisis.

Bernie Sanders likes a 90 percent top tax rate and the Democrats like a wealth tax? Well, then, by all means, let’s test both of those out on the higher education cartel and see how the economics work.

Somebody in the House GOP caucus ought to propose a 90 percent, or maybe be generous and just hit them with a 75 percent, confiscatory wealth tax on “billionaire” university endowments — meaning all endowments with more than a billion dollars in assets under management. And let’s dedicate all of that money to student debt relief for the “poor” people making less than $125,000 per year.

Do a fun little thought experiment and see what’ll happen when that bill gets filed.

First of all, the Liz Warrens and AOCs of the world will absolutely run screaming for the hills because while they put on the act that they’re for the poor, downtrodden women’s studies grads who just can’t get better jobs than working at Starbucks, it’s a ruse. They’re really shills for the higher ed cartels, and this plan would expose that in technicolor. The meltdown alone is worth the exercise.

And second, demand the universities pay for the student debt relief and you will see a massive recalibration of higher education in this country. The same ivory-tower fatcats who have been pumping up this bubble for decades will suddenly become devotees of the religion of fiscal sanity, so much so that it’ll be the end of the lazy rivers and paid sabbaticals for lazier professors.

You might just get those universities closing down or limiting space in those crip-course majors. They might actually discourage students from taking out debt to attend classes or majoring in non-remunerative subjects.

And maybe, just maybe, you end up with the delicious possibility of students revolting against university administrations over tuition and fee costs and the bad ROI of so many college degrees creating the debt crisis. It doesn’t matter who’s right, after all; the real social justice would be if the current students would take over the dean’s office when 50 years ago the dean was on campus doing the same thing.

Because let’s-you-and-him-fight is a wonderful remedy for academic wokeness, and every possible maneuver must be engaged to ignite it.

There are so many sharp angles to holding the colleges — rather than the truck drivers and plumbers, in Rinaldi’s telling — accountable for the student debt crisis that one could write a whole book on the subject.

I promise that in The Revivalist Agenda, my next book which I’m just starting to make headway on (in a wildly successful best case I might have it out by January), I’ll give it at least a chapter. You can get ready for that by reading The Revivalist Manifesto now.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and RVIVR.com, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at Amazon.com. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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