Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) claimed that student debt is not the result of poor financial planning but rather the fault of stingy Wall Street workers who don’t want to foot the bill.
Omar, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y.), held a press conference on their proposed legislation that would cancel the student debt of as many as 45 million Americans.
In total, Sanders’ bill would cover $1.6 trillion in student loan repayments for students who took on debt to get their degree. This repayment would be made by placing a tax on stock, bond, and derivatives transactions, which could rake in as much as $2.2 trillion over 10 years.
The bill does not address the ever-rising costs of tuition at universities, instead only focusing on the debt that exists today.
During the press conference, Omar said that student loans are not the fault of poor borrowing decisions. Rather, it’s the fault of society for encouraging students to go to school without a plan to pay for it.
Watch Omar’s comments:
Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar says 45 million Americans who made the decision to take out student loans to go to college are victims: “Student debt is not the result of bad choices or behavior” pic.twitter.com/iB0ThpdAIR
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 24, 2019
“We are told by some politicians that this debt is our fault, that if we want to achieve the American dream, we have to lift ourselves up by our bootstraps. Well, we’re here today to say that student debt is not the result of bad choices or behavior. It is the result of a system that tells students to get an education and go to college in order to have a stable life but then does not provide the resources to afford that education.”
Several people took to Twitter to criticize Omar’s plan, with many noting that this is a bailout for students who made irresponsible borrowing decisions, while those who opted not to go to college or worked to pay back their loans get nothing.
Why is the debt of one person different than the debt of another?
Why should someone who made sacrifices to pay off their own student loans or decided to forgo college be responsible for someone who didn't?
This #CancelStudentDebt is attempt to buy votes and it isn't ok.
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) June 24, 2019
So, are you going to retroactively pay back Americans who responsibly paid off their college debt? #CancelStudentDebt
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) June 24, 2019
#CancelStudentDebt by using your Student Loans to pursue a degree that will make it easy to pay off your student debt, with your new job.
This isn’t a difficult concept.
Stop taking out $200,000 in student loans for a job that only makes $30,000 a year.
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) June 24, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has her own proposal to help students pay back their loans, though it is nearly $1 trillion cheaper than Sanders’ plan.
I think my biggest problem with Bernie Sanders' b-o-n-k-e-r-s #CancelStudentDebt plan (which costs $2 trillion!) is that it's so crazy, it makes Elizabeth Warren's plan (a mere $1 trillion!) look sensible and moderate https://t.co/I5LYDnfSdZ
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) June 24, 2019
As IJR previously reported, there are a whole host of reasons why paying off student debt without addressing the rising costs or poor borrowing practices could backfire.