Democrats Want Working Families to Eat Elites’ Grad School Debt
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding inflation and student loan socialism:
“In Albany, New York, a grandmother of four reported recently that rising prices have forced her and her husband, a retired NYPD officer, to cut back on eating out. ‘I feel it in the pocketbook,’ she said.
“In Grand Rapids, Michigan, one young family reported that before inflation took off, ‘the paycheck went a little bit further’. Now, on essentials like gas and groceries, ‘there’s no wiggle room.’
“In Springfield, Missouri, a food truck owner said that he and his wife are having to take business further and further from home, despite rising gas prices.
“Stories like these aren’t exceptions. They’re the rule.
“Working Americans have been absolutely swamped by rising prices.
“Two thirds of Americans told one recent survey that inflation has been difficult or even a hardship for their family. Fewer than one in five say the Biden Administration’s policies have done anything to improve economic conditions.
“And yet as we speak, with the economy already scuffling, Washington Democrats are proposing more reckless spending and the biggest tax hike in American history.
“For example, President Biden is considering trying to buy up his sinking approval ratings by magically waving away $1.6 trillion dollars in student loan obligations.
“Let’s put a few things in perspective.
“More than a third of American adults did not pursue education beyond high school.
“Of the Americans who did receive additional schooling, barely one in four hold any student debt at all.
“In fact, an outright majority of the $1.6 trillion in federal student debt is held by professionals with advanced degrees.
“Working people who chose to avoid taking on debt should not have to bail out high-earning doctors, lawyers, and dentists… or adults who borrowed six figures for an Ivy League master’s.
“President Biden wants to effectively funnel money away from people who decided to learn a trade; away from people who chose community college; away from people who made tough sacrifices to pay their loans, in order to buy more enthusiasm from one of Democrats’ loudest and farthest-left constituencies. Young liberal professionals with elite degrees and massive earning potential get a giant handout, and working people in rural America get the bill.
“As one scholar from a left-leaning think tank puts it, ‘almost a third of all student debt is owed by the wealthiest 20 percent of households’ while ‘only 8 percent by the bottom 20 percent.’
“He concludes, ‘student debt is concentrated among high-wealth households and loan forgiveness is regressive whether measured by income, educational attainment, or wealth.’
“Even among the small slice of Americans who do have some student debt, the majority owe less than $20,000. But the senior Senator from Massachusetts has proposed a cap that would cover debt up to two-and-half-times that amount. She is laser focused on giving the future lawyers and future doctors of Cambridge, Massachusetts this massive gift before November.
“You literally have Democrat state Attorneys General writing the Administration demanding the federal government “exercise its authority to cancel federal student loan debt for every borrower.”
“Student loan socialism would be a giant slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college; to every graduate who paid their debt; to every worker who made a different career choice so they could stay debt-free.
“Now, a little more than a year ago, President Biden was saying, ‘I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing with a pen.’ Speaker Pelosi affirmed that view, saying, ‘People think the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness — he does not.’
“Even the former general counsel at the Obama Education Department concluded, ‘the Executive Branch likely does not have the unilateral authority to engage in mass student debt cancellation.’
“But apparently lackluster poll numbers have the President considering breaking the law and plowing ahead anyway.
“Think about this very concretely. Democrats want construction workers, police officers, and small business owners in Kentucky to effectively eat the student loans of surgeons, corporate lawyers, and people in New York City who chose to borrow $180,000 for a master’s from Columbia Film School with no plan whatsoever for paying it back.
“In addition to making inflation even worse across the board, this jubilee for the elites would do nothing to combat runaway costs in higher education. Mindless subsidies would just make the runaway costs even worse.
“I’d like to see one single Democrat visit the working people of Kentucky and defend their proposal with a straight face.
“Democrats’ policies already have working Americans facing the worst inflation in more than 40 years and the risk of a recession. But instead of trying to help middle-class families, Democrats are cooking up a massive bailout for Ivy League graduates.
“You could hardly dream up something more unfair.”