Sen. Grassley Criticizes Omar’s Regressive Plan to Forgive the College Debts of High-Income Borrowers

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has one question for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his House allies about their student debt forgiveness bill: “Where does that end?” The response comes after the Vermont senator, who is running for president, and freshman U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, and Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, introduced legislation that would cancel all student debt. 

“It ought to be philosophically wrong for him to say that, because basically a minority of people take advantage of obtaining a degree,” Grassley said. “And he’s saying they should have their debt paid off by hardworking taxpayers.”

Robin Opsahl, “Iowa Politics Newsletter: First 10 candidates take the stage in Miami“, Des Moines Register, June 27, 2019

Elizabeth Warren is now surging past Bernie Sanders in the polls to become the number two contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Her plan to forgive student loans includes a means test. That means that high-earners such as college debtor Ilhan Oman, who makes $174,000 per year, would not be eligible to have their loans forgiven. It is no surprise that Omar’s version of student loan forgiveness has no means test. Omar’s version of college debt relief forgives Omar’s own college loans.

Why does Omar want taxpayers to pay off her own student loan? It’s absurd to think that Omar could not pay back the loans herself. The answer is simple: enlightened self-interest.

Omar Proposes That the Government Pay Off the Student Loans of High-Income Debtors Such as Herself

As a member of the US House of Representatives Omar earns $174,000 per year. How are Omar and other high-income debtors “held back from pursuing their dreams because of the student debt crisis” as she states?

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy cowrote the song “Money (That’s What I Want)”, a song later covered by The Beatles. It should be Omar’s theme song. A Minnesota state agency found that Omar diverted campaign funds to her own personal use. Plus her regressive proposal to forgive all student debt with no means test benefits high-income student debtors such as herself.

Omar Justifies Her Plan to Cancel Wealthy Doctors’ Student Debts by Saying That Trump’s Kids Don’t Take Out Student Loans

On Monday, Omar spoke at a press conference with Sanders and others to introduce a bill that would cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt.

“What my bill does is simple as it is revolutionary,” Omar said, name-checking Sanders and adding, “It cancels all of 1.6 trillion student loan debt. No exceptions, no questions asked, full cancellation.”

“You might ask why full cancellation? What about the people who can pay off their student debt?” Rep. Omar continued. “Well, let me say this. The children of Donald Trump aren’t asking or taking out student loans. Canceling student debt is a problem of the poor and the middle class, not of the rich.”

Tommy Christopher, “Ilhan Omar Says Bernie’s Student Debt Bill Isn’t Giveaway to Rich Because Trump’s Kids Aren’t Taking Student Loans“, Mediaite, June 24, 2019
Omar claims that since Tiffany Trump doesn’t take out student loans therefore even the most prosperous Americans should have their student loans forgiven. But according to a recent study by the Urban Institute the wealthiest 10% of Americans, who all have household incomes of at least $173,000, owe 11% of US student debt. And a 2014 Pew study found the highest rate of student borrowing was among the highest income quartile.

So the data shows that Omar is wrong. Wealthy people do borrow money for college, perhaps because if the loans are subsidized then it is in their financial interest to do so. Persons attending medical school who expect to eventually earn large salaries may borrow simply because they wish to be self-sufficient.