Conservative icon Mike Rowe explained in a social media post this week why he does not support student loan forgiveness, noting that it is profoundly unfair to those who worked hard and paid off their debts and that it is welfare for the wealthy.
In writing the post, Rowe highlighted a National Review article on the subject that noted that “Democrats have become the party of moneyed urban and suburban professionals, and, on the matter of college loans, progressives are happy to see the rich get richer as Americans of more modest means subsidize relatively high-income Democratic households.”
“Lots of people on this page have asked me to comment on the various proposals to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt,” Rowe wrote. “Many it seems, suspect that I’ll be supportive of these efforts, since I’ve written at length about the outrageous rise of college tuition, and the scandalous ways in which hundreds of thousands of students have been conned into borrowing ridiculous sums of money to purchase degrees that never lead to an actual job. Well, for the record, I do not support student loan forgiveness.”
“My reasons for opposing student loan forgiveness are not a secret,” Rowe continued. “I’ve written at length on this page about the fundamental unfairness of doing such a thing – especially to the millions of Americans who have paid their college debts, and sacrificed much to do so. I’ve also said that forgiving student debt would send a terrible message to the very same universities that already gouge their customers with sky-high tuition. Tuition will never come back to earth, if we bail out those who borrowed more than they could repay.”
Rowe highlighted the following paragraph from the National Review article:
The majority of student debt is held by relatively high-income people, poor people mostly are not college graduates, and those who attended college but did not graduate hold relatively little college-loan debt, etc. As the New York Times puts it, “Debt relief overall would disproportionately benefit middle- to upper-class college graduates.” Which ones? “Especially those who attended elite and expensive institutions, and people with lucrative professional credentials like law and medical degrees.”
“Finally, it should go without saying that I pity every young man and woman who is struggling today under the yoke of a crushing student loan. I sincerely do,” Rowe continued. “You were quite possibly sold a bill of goods. You were very likely pressured by your friends, your parents, or your guidance counselor, to attend the ‘right’ school. You were perhaps a victim of this persistent, pernicious, and preposterous push to peddle a four-year degree to every person with a pulse, and for that, you have my sympathy. But that’s not my fault. Nor is it the fault of the American people. The fault belongs to you, and so does the debt.”