Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed David Williams, head of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, to the newsmaker line to discuss the ramifications of the cancellation of federal student loan debt in a desperate attempt for Democrats to buy votes while lower-income Americans suffer the brunt.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line right now by David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. And some news coming out later today, David. According to The Wall Street Journal, White House officials are planning for President Biden to make an announcement about his proposal for dealing with student loan debt.
His advisers apparently are thinking of eliminating $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000. a year and then to continue this pause in student loan payments. Your thoughts about this, David Williams?
Williams: Good morning. Thank you for having me. And unfortunately, we’re talking about this massive expense to taxpayers because first and foremost, this is going to cost taxpayers upwards of $300 billion.
I mean, this is a lot of money. Let’s not kid ourselves. I know that $300 billion isn’t a lot of money to people in Washington, D.C. at this point, but it’s still a lot of money. And this is going to make inflation worse. This just really, across the board is a dumb, dumb idea for sure.
Leahy: What is the legal authority by which the president of the United States cancels this student debt?
Williams: That’s a great question, and we don’t know where that legal authority is, because back in April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president cannot cancel student debt.
So I don’t know what’s going on here and if this will be challenged, and I think it will be challenged if this announcement is made this morning. There are a lot of moving parts here. And the fact of the matter is that, this is going to bail out, they say, people making less than $125,000.
There are a lot of people who don’t go to college, and that’s fine. These are fantastic people who are very productive members of society, probably even more productive than some people who go to college, right?
And so they’re going to be paying for these people that went to college and incurred this debt. And what about personal responsibility? Now it’s like, well, okay, there we go. I don’t have to pay $10,000 off my student loans.
I mean, we’re getting to a point in this country where we need a lot more personal responsibility, not less personal responsibility.
Leahy: Under the Obama administration, all student loans were taken over by the federal government. At the time, people warned this would be a very, very bad move.
I’ve seen – of course, to me, the issuance of student loans has had one major impact – the availability of student loans to anybody, basically.
What it’s done is it’s driven up tuition at astounding rates at colleges, in essence, transferring federal money, with the obligation of the student or their parent, directly to the higher tuitions in these colleges and universities, that are delivering a much poorer product these days.
And the prices are just outrageous. To me, I don’t see what legal authority the president has to cancel that debt, or any, even though it’s backed by and provided by the federal government. Do you anticipate lawsuits on this?
Williams: Yes, absolutely. There will be lawsuits. And you mentioned something about subsidizing student loans and how it’s making education more expensive. And that’s absolutely the truth. Whenever you subsidize something, whenever the government subsidizes something, it makes it more expensive.
Not to switch gears too much here, but look at electric vehicles. They just got billions of dollars. Well, guess what? Car companies just raised the prices of electric vehicles because they know that people will be able to get a $7,500 rebate.
So, yes, we see this across the board in education. We have been subsidizing education for many, many years. And you have universities that – listen, the quality of education is going down, and they have massive, massive endowments.
We’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in endowments. So universities don’t need this money, but they’re getting more of it. And what they’re going to do now is they’re going to raise prices once again, because people are getting this bailout.
Now, one way to address this: If we really want to address the education problem, one way is to maybe take a few percentage points off of the money they have to pay back. They’re still paying back the money. That’s the key part here, is that that won’t be necessarily a subsidy, they’re still paying back the money.
But you mention the lawsuits, and it’s going to be fascinating to see kind of what happens in the next few hours when this is announced, just how this goes. And remember, the Supreme Court is pretty conservative right now, so this may be on a fast track to the Supreme Court.
Leahy: David, let me read from The Wall Street Journal article this morning on this, and then get your reaction. “A move to forgive $10,000 in student debt under certain income thresholds would fall short of progressive Democrats’ demand for full student debt cancellation, or for canceling $50,000 per borrower, but it could apply to the majority of the 40 million people who hold a total of $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.” Your reaction to the progressive Democrats on that?
Williams: That 1.6 trillion number sends a shiver down my spine because that’s what the progressive Democrats want. Elizabeth Warren, the folks in the House, they want all student debt canceled, and they’re not going to get it.
Listen, let’s recognize this for what it is. This is a ploy to get votes in November. They’re spending your money. They’re spending my money.
They’re spending everybody’s money to try to buy votes in November, because the Democratic Party right now is a sinking ship, and they’re trying anything that they can do to win in November.
But it’s going to backfire, because if you look at the numbers and these are just the studies that have been done, it’s really the wealthier folks, even people making $100,000, $125,000. They’re the ones that are going to benefit from this.
Lower-income folks are not. That’s the crazy part, is that lower-income folks are not going to benefit from it. In fact, they’re going to be paying for this bailout. So the Democrats think they’re being smart, they’re being sly. But guess what?
This is going to backfire on them, because people just aren’t buying it anymore. They see an economy that’s out of control. They can barely afford to go to the grocery store or go fill up their tanks with gas. So this is going to backfire spectacularly on the Democrats, I believe.
Listen to the interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.