We have been discussing how both parties in Washington have been spending wildly for years in pushing the country to unprecedented and crippling debt levels. We recently passed the “red line” of 106 percent of our GDP. The roughly $27 trillion debt has not however deterred members who continue to push proposals to tack on trillions. That was the case yesterday when Sen. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren are calling on President Trump to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt next year. Some 43 million Americans hold more than $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt. Such proposals may have merit but my concern is over the lack of any plan on dealing with the debt as well as the fact that this massive increase would be done by executive order.
The proposals may be a foreshadowing of a greater push to use unilateral executive powers under Joe Biden if he wins the election. The senators insisted that the Secretary of Education has “broad administrative authority” granted by Congress to cancel federal student loan debt under section 432(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Thus, they are arguing for the president to simply wipe out the debt by taking “executive action to broadly cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt.”
I have long been critical of such unilateral executive actions to order massive increases in debt or the negation of federal laws. We need a serious debate over the leveraging of the future on the mounting debt for this rising generation. I am worried about this college debt but I am also worried about these students facing decades of debt that must be paid off by the government. We need a comprehensive debt plan. Politicians are casually referring to trillion dollar increases in a variety of different packages. Many long-standing goals are being refashioned as “stimulus measures” but they would pile more debt on an economic recovery that could already be difficult after the pandemic.