Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tried to tout her student loan plan by asking Twitter users how it would improve their lives and it didn’t go as planned.
As IJR previously reported, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Omar are all backing legislation that would forgive the student loans of 45 million people currently in debt. In total, the plan would cost a staggering $1.6 trillion and does not include a plan for controlling the rising costs at universities.
During the legislative announcement, Omar said that student debt was not the result of poor financial decisions.
“Well, we’re here today to say that student debt is not the result of bad choices or behavior,” Omar said. “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.”
After the press conference, Omar took to Twitter to ask her followers how the cancellation of their student debt could improve their lives.
I want to hear from you.
Share what it would mean to you if we canceled all student debt, how would your life change? And include #CancelStudentDebt!
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 24, 2019
It didn’t take long before Omar was bombarded with replies criticizing her proposed legislation for rewarding those who haven’t paid back their loans. Several people replied with stories of how they had sacrificed to pay back their loans without a handout from the government.
If public servants #CancelStudentDebt, it would mean that I, a taxpayer, would have to pay for those who weren't responsible when taking out loans, after I, a responsible person, just paid back all my student loans
It would mean that politicians bought votes with taxpayer money https://t.co/EZEBRDLQ6C
— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) June 25, 2019
I borrowed my financial future away at 12.5% interest. But always intended to pay it all back. I joined the Army in part to take advantage of a loan repayment program, that in five years paid every penny of my college debt including interest. I can do it, so can everyone else.
— Montgomery Granger (@mjgranger1) June 24, 2019
Others noted that this legislation could set a bad precedent for young Americans. This proposal would forgive student borrowers, but there are many Americans in debt for other ventures, including credit card debt, mortgages, and car payments.
I paid back my student debt, but i still have a mortgage and it really interferes with the other stuff I'd like to spend my money on. #CancelMortgageDebt I also spent a lot on my credit card and the rates are really high. It's really stressing me out #CancelCreditCardDebt
— Steven T. (@sdt993) June 24, 2019
OK ma’am, you asked. If we #CancelStudentDebt we send a horrible message to families who saved, and kids who worked to get through college on their own. We would sustain massive new debt, and face the absurdity of families paying for other kids’ college. Thanks for listening.
— Mark Davis (@MarkDavis) June 24, 2019
It would be great!
We’d teach all children that actions don’t have consequences, and when in doubt, the government will bail you out!
*please note the heavy sarcasm*
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) June 24, 2019
Were they adults when they signed these agreements? And why should tax payers, many of whom could not go to college, be on the hook to pay for this? This is theft https://t.co/a29FF1M8Jq
— Pat Miletich (@patmiletich) June 24, 2019
Several people questioned how fair it would be to bail out college-educated Americans who earn, on average, $1 million more over their lifetime than non-college-educated Americans.
It would mean I’m paying for other people’s debts even though I chose not to take out loans of my own.
It would mean a bunch of rich kids (who go to college) getting money from the govt while middle & low income kids (who don’t go to college as often) get nothing.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) June 25, 2019
So you want the 2/3 of Americans who don't have a BA to subsidize the education of the 1/3 of Americans who do.
You want people who will make less money on average over their lives to bail out people who will make more money on average over their lives. https://t.co/96oczCbGih
— Potential WH Press Secretary Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 24, 2019
As IJR previously reported, there are several problems with mass cancellations of student debt. The bill proposed by Omar and Sanders expands on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) plan which would only repay up to $50,000 in student debt by covering the total debt, no matter how high.