I am not rich. In fact, I am not even close to rich. I am so not rich that my recent marriage took place in a court house where no pictures were allowed due to post 9/11 security measures. I was married by the former Chief of Police of Blacksburg, VA. He looked like he would kill you or marry you (either way you were going to be closer to God). So when I say that the MoveOn.org crowd calling on all student loans to be “forgiven” (i.e., they want their own bailout) are all a bunch of student leeches, my liberal friends can put away the class warfare card—it’s of no use here.
The gist of MoveOn’s argument is as follows:
Picking up the protesters’ thread, liberal interest group MoveOn.org is pushing a national petition that at last count had 600,000 signatures for the forgiveness of “all” student loan debt in America.
The petition, drafted by attorney and MoveOn member Robert Applebaum, claims debt forgiveness would have an “immediate stimulative effect” on the economy as “millions of Americans” would have more pocket cash.
“As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats,” the petition says. (emphasis added)
So the recipe for long term economy growth is to put more money into the hands of a bunch of dolts who thought racking up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loan debt for a “Peace Studies” degree was a good idea? Why don’t these kids use their debt for inspiration! They can prove how entrepreneurial they are by figuring out creative ways to pay off their loans.
Or not. MoveOn.org would rather put iPods and iPhones into the hands of kids who whine about the “obscene” profits guys like Steve Jobs racked up, while simultaneously using the technology he created that raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions across the globe.
Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute hits the target when he says:
“The people ultimately on the hook for federal student loans are federal taxpayers. That would increase the debt and that would put taxpayers even more on the hook for even more debt. Forgiving student loans would also effectively repeat the financial-sector bailouts of 2008 and 2009, one of the issues the protesters are decrying,” McCluskey added.
“We shouldn’t do the same thing …with student loans.”
The spoiled student protesters don’t care about the taxpayer because, at worst, all they’re doing is milking mom and dad (and someone else’s mom and dad) for a bit more cash. What happens when the “Not in My Back Yard” mentality meets the “As Long As I Get Mine” mindset? You get the Occupy Wall Street movement, complete with bowel movements on cop cars, anti-capitalist pablum, and protesters who—when pressed—admit that their demands are just one big, gluttonous, Christmas list for the self-serving student population.
Take a look at my student loan debt. I took it on because I thought of it as betting on myself. I ate that loan debt because I was after human capital, hoping that in the long-run it would pay off. I still believe that. And even if it doesn’t, so what? At least paying it off on my own will leave me with a little self respect, something completely foreign to the MoveOn.org crowd.