EDITORIAL: One way to put it 'Pay nothing' is indeed affordable

In its ongoing quest to transfer student loans from students to taxpayers--and in conservatives' ongoing quest to call attention to how un-progressive such a move really is--the debate last week finally took a legal turn to the courts.

Nearly a dozen states have sued to overturn the latest "student loan cancellation" plan by the Biden administration, which isn't cancellation as much as transferring the debt from those who took the money to ... the rest of us.

The Supreme Court struck down the administration's plan to "forgive" the debt of $400 billion in student loans last year. (Note the scare quotes.) So the president and his people have decided to do the same thing, only more piece-meal. The latest plan allows millions of borrowers to pay lower monthly payments and puts them on a faster path to canceling the debt altogether.

According to The Washington Post, the Education Department in D.C. refused to comment on the lawsuit by the several states. But in a statement, it said the Biden administration "has been fighting to fix a broken student loan system, and part of that is creating the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever. The Biden-Harris administration won't stop fighting to provide support and relief to borrowers across the country--no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us."

The most affordable student loan repayment plan ever.

Yes, having a loan completely written off is indeed affordable--for the person who took out the loan. For the bank, or taxpayer, who gets stuck with the bill, not so much.

Those of us who oppose the administration's efforts in this way aren't doing so out of meanness. Or because we paid off our student loans years ago and it's only fair everybody does the same. (Although we wouldn't blame a lot of people for taking that path.) And we're not opposed to "loan forgiveness" because the Tide Pod generation has given us some really bad music. The opposition runs much deeper than that.

For starters, the national debt is unsustainable. A wise man once said that if a nation can keep adding to its debt like this, year after year, with no consequences, it will mark the first time in history.

And "loan forgiveness" isn't forgiveness at all, but a transfer from those who took out the loans to the national credit card, which means that all Americans become responsible for paying it back--or at least paying interest on the debt until our grandkids can pay it back. And how many folks are out there, who didn't go to college, and would now be responsible for subsidizing the educations of all those doctors and lawyers (and journalists) out there? That hardly seems fair.

But maybe worst of all, the president's schemes would teach a terrible lesson: Grab what you can, when you can, and Uncle Sucker will bail you out later. Why work at the pizza place and live five to an apartment? Take the biggest loan you can, player, and pay a fraction of it back monthly until you eventually fall under the all-is-forgiven category.

Perhaps the worst part of the idea of all this student loan forgiveness: It says that personal responsibility doesn't matter. And it encourages worse behavior in the future.

Rewarding financial irresponsibility just brings more financial irresponsibility. To prove it, see the federal government. And our debt.

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