Steve Forbes slammed the push from Democratic lawmakers to pay off the student loan debts of everyone, or nearly everyone, in the country, calling it a slap in the face to people who sacrificed and worked hard to not be in debt from student loans.
Forbes made the remarks during a Fox News interview on Saturday. The segment kicked off by showing a clip from earlier this year between then-Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and a man who confronted her about her desire to forgive student loan debt.
“I just wanted to ask one question. My daughter’s getting out of school. I’ve saved all my money. She doesn’t have any student loans,” the man said. “Am I going to get my money back?”
“Of course not,” Warren responded.
“So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?” the man fired back. “My buddy had fun, bought a car, went on vacations. I saved my money. He made more than I did, but I worked a double shift, worked extra. My daughter’s worked since she was 10. So, you’re laughing? That’s exactly what you’re doing. We did the right thing, and we get screwed.”
Forbes responded to that clip when he was asked if there was an issue of student debt forgiveness being unfair. “Yes, there is, and it makes people who paid their debts, took their obligations seriously, look like fools.”
“And if they have this debt forgiveness of any kind of scale, we’re going to have people wondering, ‘Why should I pay those obligations? Why should I take those extra jobs? Why should I sacrifice a private university to go to an in-state university to save money and honor my obligations?’” he continued. “So, you make a mockery of people who’ve played by the rules and this gets to the big issue which is, why are college tuitions rising at four times the rate of inflation—the sticker price—which are they rising eight times the cash wages of working Americans?”
“It’s because universities are afflicted with bureaucratic obesity,” he added. “The very government programs studies have shown, that are supposedly helping students, instead lead to higher tuitions, the universities get the money, they add administrative costs, and the students get stuck and their families get stuck with debt and in some cases grants, but with higher debts. So, the universities get the money and students get left holding the bag. So, you got to stop that corrupt gravy train of more and more and more money going to the universities and students getting stuck with the debt.”
Forbes was then asked if he agreed with the following excerpt from a Wall Street Journal Editorial Board piece from January:
The government subsidizes debt, colleges raise their prices, students are told to get more degrees, credential inflation kicks in, and taxpayers eat the losses.
“They do indeed” have it right, Forbes responded. “There are 255 million adults in this country, 45 million have student debt, 210 million do not. Why should those 210 million be subsidizing the other 45 million? It’s not right. So, they got to get to what the Democrats love cause, the root cause. The root cause of the problem is bureaucratic bloat, obesity in the universities, they get more and more money, more and more administration cost—not so much for the classrooms—and students and the taxpayers get left holding these obligations. Not right.”
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