Last week, my colleague Megan Fox reported on remarks directed at Senator Elizabeth Warren by an angry father during an appearance in Iowa that went to the heart of what kind of country the Democrats want to create.
Warren has proposed canceling most student loan debt and offering a “free” college education to anyone who wants it. But where does that leave those who didn’t take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt or paid their own way for college?
“My daughter is getting out of school,” he told Warren, while standing in her (what else!) selfie line. “I’ve saved all my money.”
“She doesn’t have any student loans,” he continued. “Am I going to get my money back?”
Warren immediately replied: “Of course not.”
The man, unsurprisingly, was not satisfied with her answer.
“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?” he said.
“My buddy had fun, bought a car, and went on all the vacations, I saved my money,” he continued. “He makes more than I did. I worked a double shift.”
The man then accused Warren of “laughing” at him, repeating that his family would “get screwed” for having done “the right thing” — before Warren ultimately shut him down, saying: “I appreciate your time.”
“My daughter is in school. I saved all my money just to pay student loans. Can I have my money back?”@ewarren: “Of course not”
“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?”pic.twitter.com/EXoU2ci2Wt
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 23, 2020
Warren’s dismissive attitude is significant largely because it reveals a larger truth about the modern left; reward the irresponsible; punish or ignore the responsible. Offering to wave a magic wand and make a trillion dollars in personal debt disappear or offering “free” college education — which everyone but a brain-dead zombie knows isn’t “free” at all — is nothing less than attempt to turn America upside down.
And Warren can’t adequately explain (who could?) why what she is proposing is “fair.”
“For Americans who are in that father’s position, who felt they did the right thing and you’re bailing out those who didn’t, what’s your response?” [CBS Anchor Tony] Dokoupil said.
“Look, we build a future going forward by making it better,” Warren said. “By that same logic what would we have done? Not started Social Security because we didn’t start it last week for you, or last month for you?”
“Are you saying ‘tough luck’ to these people?” Dokoupil interjected.
“No,” Warren responded. “Our kids have taken on a trillion and a half dollars in student loan debt. We have got to back that up and say we’re doing better going forward.”
The author of the NR piece, Katherine Timpf, believes what Warren is proposing doesn’t go far enough. Even paying back those who did things the responsible way and saved, and scrimped, and sacrificed isn’t “fair” enough. Timpf recounts her own monumental struggles to get an education to follow her dream of a journalism career, only to have her dreams of attending Columbia University dashed when she refused to take on a massive student loan debt.
Unless Elizabeth Warren can go back in time and put me in a Columbia classroom during the time I spent cleaning those Boston Market bathrooms, her plan wouldn’t be “fair.” Unless she can give me the hours of my life back that I spent sitting alone covered in scabies cream, her plan wouldn’t be “fair.” The angry Iowa father’s plan, although well-intentioned, wouldn’t be “fair” to me. Elizabeth Warren can’t “pay me back” for a loan that I decided against taking out — a decision that I’d made precisely because I did not expect that anyone else would pay it back for me.
Many people have made sacrifices to continue their education, or to allow their children to continue theirs. Others have made sacrifices by taking a path that didn’t include continuing, because they could not afford to do so. None of these are things that could ever be replaced with cash.
In other words? No — I don’t think that I should have to pay for someone else making an irresponsible decision when they could have made a responsible one. What’s more, talking about this issue only in terms of money truly minimizes the fact that, really, it’s about so much more.
I guess it boils down to what kind of society do you want? It’s not just student loan forgiveness, or “free” college tuition paid for by those who pay taxes. Government radically altering the nature of American society makes a powerful underlying statement: you’re a chump if you play by the rules. You’re a knucklehead if you live your life responsibly. You’re a dolt if you’re self-reliant.
It’s not Lyndon Johnson’s “The Great Society,” it’s “The Irresponsible Society.”
That’s not the kind of country I want to live in.