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This Guy’s Take On Warren’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Is Getting Destroyed

Today, 2020 presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped yet another amazing (and amazingly detailed) policy, this time addressing the student loan crisis.

Warren’s plan would give those burdened with student loan debt $50,000 towards canceling that debt, paid for by a 2% wealth tax on the richest 75,000 households in America. It’s a crucial part of her plan to make college more affordable by providing free public educations for two- and four-year-degrees.

Unfortunately, Phillip Klein of the Washington Examiner saw Warren’s plan as less of a cure-all for the staggering price of college and more of a gimmicky insult for those who paid off their overpriced degrees.

In his post, Klein calls Warren’s well thought-out policy a “pander” and accuses Warren of trying to buy-off millennial voters. He also (bizarrely) details precisely why her policy is needed. Klein writes,

“Right now, more than a third of millennials have student loan debt, and studies have shown that the debt is leading them to delay major life decisions including purchasing a house, saving for retirement, and even getting married and having kids.”

Sounds like a pretty big problem that’s dragging down 42 million Americans and the economy as well. Not to Klein, who believes there could maybe possibly be some people who shouldn’t benefit from the plan. “Those who were more responsible will feel justifiably enraged at the idea that those who may have been more profligate will now get a bailout from the government,” Klein says.

People on Twitter were thrilled with Warren’s plan and were, uh, less thrilled with Klein’s dumb take on it, so they let him know.

Folks applied Klein’s own logic to small things, like potholes and toilet paper…

As well as big things, like smallpox, slavery, and cancer.

And there are plenty of people who paid off their student loans and still don’t want to see the next generation crushed under a mountain of debt.

Klein addressed the outrage over his piece, using the cancer example (but ignoring others). He (rightly!) points out that forgiving debt doesn’t deal with the underlying cause of the problem (skyrocketing tuition), but Warren has a plan for that as well. Where he does mention Warren’s other policy proposals, he only addresses the price tag to (baselessly) claim Warren would have to raise middle class taxes in order to fund other initiatives (like her child-care policy). But this simply isn’t true, as some back-of-the-envelope math from Jeff Stein shows.

Klein then sermonizes about the hypothetical moral hazard of allowing people to graduate from college without some good old-fashioned character-building debt. “This sends a horrible signal,” he writes. “that there’s no reason to be a sucker and manage money wisely now, because at the end of the day, the government will always be there to step in.”

But what about the actual hazard of demanding students saddle themselves with debt to make a living, regardless of whether they can pay it off? What about the people who—right now—are working dead-end jobs, struggling to make ends meet, and delaying motherhood and fatherhood?

I guess none of that matters to Klein and anyone else who wants to maintain an increasingly unsustainable status quo.

h/t: Vox, Washington Examiner