The Left’s Continuing Corruption of Education - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Left’s Continuing Corruption of Education
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Jan 18, 2022 (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube)

“Today is a win,” triumphed Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the Biden plan to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan obligations, “and it paves the way for even more victories to come.”

For the likes of Warren, Biden’s breathtaking bailout plan is a big victory but a mere drop in the bucket. It’s just the start of what needs to be bigger and bolder.

The socialist wing of the Democratic Party is all for the bailout and its enormous expansion to still further frontiers. Sen. Bernie Sanders, longtime advocate of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, wants to put Biden’s plan on steroids, canceling all student debt. Yes, all of it. Bernie surmises: “If we could afford to cancel hundreds of billions in PPP loans to business owners in their time of need, please do not tell me we can’t afford to cancel all student debt for 45 million Americans.”

Sure, why not?

It smacks of Karl Marx’s justification for eliminating private property: “You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property,” surmised Marx. “But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population…. In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.”

Biden’s half-trillion-dollar student loan bailout is not a one-time thing. As Bernie and buddies have made clear, it is just the start of something much bigger.

Sure, why not?

Bernie’s colleagues are salivating at the possibilities. Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock likewise called the Biden plan for loan cancellations a mere first step. He vows: “This is only a first step for the countless Georgia borrowers who will still be burdened by crushing debt tomorrow, and the day after that. So I’m going to keep fighting for additional student relief for all Georgians left struggling with student debt and to prevent future borrowers from carrying that same burden.”

Future borrowers?

Warnock’s warning should scare the daylights out of future lenders. In fact, maybe that’s the intent. If future lenders stop lending, then Uncle Sam — i.e., taxpayers — will need to foot the entire bill for all higher education from start to finish. For progressives, that would be just fabulous.

Leave it to liberals, too, to find a way to racialize this outrage.

Democratic Socialists of America member Rep. Cori Bush chimes in: “Student loan debt punishes Black borrowers for pursuing education through predatory loans & compounding interest.” Bush blasts the “systemic racism and equity in our education system.”

Not missing a beat there, Senator Warren bangs the drums of both race and class warfare: “By canceling student debt, President Biden is helping working people who are struggling with rising costs…. And he’s helping narrow the racial wealth gap for borrowers.”

Such rhetoric from Warren, a former professor, is no surprise. It is academia that has stoked the flames of race and class warfare in America.

Funny, if Cori Bush and Elizabeth Warren believe that black Americans are discriminated against in higher education, why aren’t they targeting the liberal universities that charge obscene prices for a college degree? The lenders are mere lenders responding to price tags created by the liberal colleges.

And really, that gets to the beating, bleeding heart of this federal beast: liberalism. Liberalism in all its ideological-political ugliness.

For Democrats, the Biden bailout is a political payback to their most ideologically monolithic constituency: the university front. Nowhere in America is there less diversity than among the “diversity”-touters in higher education. It is the one sector most thoroughly dominated by left-wing ideologues. With this massive redistributionist bailout, liberal Democrats are paying back academia for its unwavering support. And with hopes of going further.

One might shrug off President Joe Biden as an oblivious dupe in this scheme, an erstwhile moderate Democrat manipulated yet again by liberals flipping him on everything from the Hyde Amendment to transforming him into a revolutionary for transgenderism. But old Joe isn’t clueless here. Lunch-bucket Joe from Scranton, as an old Democratic Party pol, knows what a political payback is. In his day, the paybacks went to political hacks running blue-collar unions. But today’s Democrat considers steelworkers and coalminers to be deplorable hicks in pickup trucks who vote for Trump. Their union goons today are in the teachers’ and public-sector unions, bearing labels like AFT, NEA, AFSCME, and SEIU.

What all of this suggests is that Biden’s half-trillion-dollar student loan bailout is not a one-time thing. As Bernie and buddies have made clear, it is just the start of something much bigger that leftists are banking on. They would like nothing less than the nationalization of higher education. Just as they have seized K-12 with their government (i.e., “public”) schools.

Ironically, with the Biden bailout behemoth, they’re looking to achieve this goal courtesy of the damage they’ve already inflicted. Consider: There is indeed a massive scandal in higher education, namely its outrageous price tag. There have been few greater mass rip-offs in the history of America. Moms and dads by the millions dumped their life savings into these institutions at enormous costs utterly unjustified. In turn, these left-wing universities indoctrinated their children, sending them back at Christmas break with new “values” in complete contrast to what they learned in their homes and churches.

Those students leave those universities with mountains of debt. My own experience:

I got a master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C., in 1993. It cost a fortune. I got no financial aid. I really had no conception of just how onerous that debt would be. Once my wife and I as newlyweds got our first bill for student loans, we were shocked. She cried. She also had gotten a master’s degree, and I had gone on to get a Ph.D. We couldn’t conceive how we were going to pay. We certainly weren’t looking to our mechanic and garbageman to help.

How did we pay off the debt? I literally had to write a bestselling book — God and Ronald Reagan, published in 2004. Without that book, I don’t know how we would have managed.

Nonetheless, doing so was a financial and moral obligation. Millions have done the same. Some poor suckers did so just before Biden canceled their former classmates’ debt obligations. One wonders how many young people going forward will now defer payments, waiting for their future debts to be canceled by Uncle Sam.

Again, what is the true source of that debt? It’s the universities. How do they get away with it? Why haven’t progressive Democrats screamed in protest about this colossal rip-off of young people and regulated tuition prices? The answer: because liberals own the universities. These are the committed comrades of Warren and Sanders. This is their protected class. They protect members of the professoriate like old Democrat pols once protected steelworkers. The average faculty salary at Harvard, where Elizabeth Warren taught, is $188,000 per year.

Harvard is among the highest, but it’s hardly alone in gouging students. Throughout America, including in low-cost rural areas, many professors (my Grove City College colleagues exempted) bask in high salaries for a job that has them “working” 10-20 hours per week for seven months out of the year. It’s quite a gig, very much out of step with the proletariat that the professors claim to champion.

In fact, they’re so protected that these progressives now champion a Biden bailout that is the opposite of progressive. What could be more unprogressive than a policy that takes income from working-class people who haven’t gone to college to pay off the debts of college grads? Those who chose not to go to school, perhaps because they couldn’t afford it, bail out those who did go to school.

Are Democrats the party of the working class or of educated elites?

This policy is regressive. It’s a massive wealth transfer from the uneducated to the educated (and I haven’t even mentioned the costly inflationary effect of the huge new public debt). It is Robin Hood in reverse. And liberals literally can’t get enough of it.

It’s a fascinating thing. Liberals corrupt higher education ideologically and run it into the ground financially. To fix the catastrophe, they seek to nationalize it, making it fully their own. Biden’s plan to wipe out hundreds of billions of dollars in loans further extends their long march through the institution of higher education. The corruption continues.

Paul Kengor
Follow Their Stories:
View More
Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values. Dr. Kengor is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
Sign up to receive our latest updates! Register

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The American Spectator, 122 S Royal Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Be a Free Market Loving Patriot. Subscribe Today!