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Amy Klobuchar’s student loan policies show just how far leftward Democrats have moved

Amy Klobuchar’s student loan policies show just how far leftward Democrats have moved

This is what passes for “moderate” among the 2020 Democratic candidates

Dennis Prager has done the tedious work of listening to the entirety of the recent Democratic debates and pointing out some of the excesses.

To take one example:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.: “If billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.”

My only response to this statement is to ask, Do most Democrats find that a compelling argument? Do they not realize what a non sequitur it is — and therefore how demagogic?

Billionaires, like non-billionaires, pay off their debts because they do not incur debts they cannot repay, not because they are billionaires. Senator Klobuchar apparently believes that non-billionaires need not pay off their debts. Every Democrat who addressed this issue said American society should repay student debts — which amount to $1.6 trillion. The party of “fairness” thinks it’s fair that every student who repaid his or college debts — and every young American who never went to college — must pay off that debt.

Well, I suppose it depends on what the meaning of “should” is. All people who take out a loan shouldn’t do it unless they think they will be able to pay it off in a timely fashion. So in that sense, of course students should be able to pay off their loans, or they shouldn’t take them on.

But that certainly doesn’t appear to be what Klobuchar—widely touted as one of the more moderate Democratic candidates in 2020—meant. Let’s take a closer look at what she proposed:

…[Y]ou have so many people that are having trouble affording college and having trouble affording their premiums.

So I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids. I do. But I think my plan is a good one. And my plan would be to, first of all, make community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percentile gets help with their education.

My own dad and my sister got their first degrees with community college. There’s many paths to success, as well as certifications.

Secondly, I’d used Pell grants. I’d double them from $6,000 to $12,000 a year and expand it to the number of families that get covered, to families that make up to $100,000.

And then the third thing I would do is make it easier for students to pay off their student loans. Because I can tell you this: If billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.

So that’s the complete context of the remark. And it makes no more sense in context than it does as an isolated excerpt, for just the reasons Prager says: billionaires have a lot of money and families who are not particularly rich don’t. And most students aren’t going to get jobs that make them billionaires, either. So many will have trouble paying off their loans.

If simple economics were to rule, no one would make such loans to students unless there was a lot of evidence that they’d be paid off. But that’s not the way student loans actually work.

Note that Klobuchar leaves out one pesky little detail: how will this be paid for? There are a lot of students in the United States who would like to go to community colleges for free, or go to 4-year colleges and qualify for Pell grants more easily.

Here’s more from Klobuchar on the topic, positioning herself as the moderate—which she actually is, but only compared to some of the other 2020 Democratic candidates—because she’s not advocating free four-year college tuition for all.

Klobuchar also makes it clear that she’d like to offer free four-year college for all, but she’s not a “magic genie.” But I still don’t see the details of how her proposals would be paid for, which puts them in “magic genie” territory in my book. Klobuchar does claim that she has found ways to pay for it, but as far as I can tell she doesn’t specify those ways.

Will it be the same way nearly everything else will be paid for, according to the Democrats? Taxing those evil wealthy people, and not just those billionaires with their yachts? And will those people be able to support all the social welfare the Democrats are promising? Or will they react by deciding to stop producing, or by reducing their production, or by going elsewhere?

I’m not really meaning to pick on Klobuchar in particular, who is hardly the worst offender among the Democrats. The point I’m trying to make is that the so-called “moderates” at this point are anything but, and that’s even compared to just one short decade ago.

Remember Joe the Plumber and Obama’s “spread the wealth” remark? In 2008 it was considered by many people to be a somewhat shocking (and revealing) indication of Obama’s socialist propensities, intentions which he had mostly tried to cover up during the campaign. Remarks about “spreading the wealth” were considered something that a candidate couldn’t admit to the American public or that public would be likely to reject that candidate.

But now? What Obama said in 2008, and backtracked from, would be considered mainstream now. That’s how quickly things have changed.

[NOTE: Proposals such as Klobuchar’s and the even more extreme suggestions of some other candidates would have the added benefit to the left of shoring up endangered academic institutions that serve as leftist indoctrination camps. The left needs the colleges, and at this point many colleges need the left to bail them out.]

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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As the old saying goes: if you think college is expensive now, just wait until it is “free”.

    The moment the government pays for the student loans the cost of tuition will increase for future students. Colleges know they can get away with increasing tuition since Sugar Daddy, the government, will pay.

I don’t think Joe Sixpack, who has worked in a factory for 30 years, will agree that he should pay extra taxes so that the privileged, sheltered students in college can learn about “gender studies” for free.

    CDR D in reply to OldProf2. | July 4, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Exactly right. Pay for these parasites to get a degree in something like “Transgendered Central Asian Lesbian Studies”, and then have to pay for them again when they can’t get a job.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to OldProf2. | July 5, 2019 at 12:09 am

    How about anyone seeking financial relief having to demonstrate competency in their field. Those who are not competent, should have to pay damages to society. That would save employers from being straddled with affirmative Cracker Jax degrees. That is a huge problem today.

The state of Georgia has the Hope program. The Hope Scholarship is merit based. Imagine that. It is funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education.

This was started by Gov. Zell Miller. I did not live in GA as a young person, but I am here now.. This seems like a great program altogether.

Tuition assistance based on academic merit… What a novel idea.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to amwick. | July 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    All educational grants should be merit based. It is not wish to flush money down the drain of meritless, at least for college, people.

    For a prosperous society we need to only advance people based on merit. I really was tired of people who had degrees on paper, while not being able to function at the level the degree implied. All this affirmative stuff is introducing huge inefficiencies in our economy. This is especially true in government jobs where it is rare for them to root out slackers.

Why do I never hear these Dems ask why a degree is so expensive? Could it be that it is a feature and not a defect? Could it be that these debts are a way to create a new class of victims?

It is unethical to buy votes with your own money. It is more unethical to by votes with other people’s money via taxes as that adds theft to the process.

She is extremely unethical.

Given her thinking, I should ask her for a million dollar loan, which I won’t repay, after all I’m not a billionaire.

Dear Lord, I see stupid people, and sadly they are in positions of power.

Does her plan also include reimbursing those who did it right and dutifully repaid their loans?

“We mutually pledge to each other your Lives, your Fortunes, and your Sacred Honor”………sucker.

Like all the female candidates, with the exception of Warren or Shrieking Crow, she is an intellectual light-weight. An affirmative action law student and poorly educated, she is trying to play catch up with the other candidates.

    artichoke in reply to puhiawa. | July 5, 2019 at 12:44 am

    She’s brighter than Warren.

    Warren attended some unknown undergrad college, then Rutgers Law.
    Klobuchar attended Yale, and I don’t think she had any super strong hooks to get in.

    She used to be more moderate, but she’s tacking on these crazy left positions to go with the Dem flow. I don’t trust that she would tack back the center — she seems rather soulless. She went after Kavanaugh, piling onto Blasey-Ford’s absurd accusations because I guess it was convenient at the time i.e. peer pressure.

Blaise MacLean | July 4, 2019 at 9:52 pm

I disagree profoundly with the proposed government intervention in the student loans program. It is fundamentally unfair that taxpayers who have either paid off their loans, or who may not even have attended university, be forced to pay off loans taken by these third parties.

That said, if we are going to be forced to accept, in principle, government involvement, then fine. But if so I say let’s take it in a different direction: price controls (and roll backs) on university tuition, equalization of tuition in all universities (isn’t it elitist that some universities such as Harvard charge more than others? “Equality!” I say!) and wealth taxes/capital gains taxes on university endowments. How does that sound?

Being from Minnesota, I’ve found the entire government to be Klobucharian; nothing they say or do makes any sense at all.

These corrupt schmucks.

Btw, so lest anyone complain about the 4th of July celebration costs:

The True Cost of the Obama’s Lavish Life While at the White House:

She should stick to eating salad with a comb–and abusing her staff.

The entire issue is a collusion between the government, schools and loan servicers that is specifically designed to take advantage of people whom are, by and large, considered too irresponsible to legally drink a single beer in our society.

The left has used the word “fair” as a bludgeon. When they speak of fair or equal, they speak of outcome whereas the correct understanding is fair and equal opportunity which is color and gender neutral.

The average interest rate on student loans is 5.8%. This compares more or less favorably with home loans. However, a student loan is an unsecured debt which means that it should be more in line with credit card interest rates.

Being unsecured, student loans should be closer to 20%, but they aren’t – which tells you how much of a scam this whole business is. Why aren’t questions such as these ever tossed to the candidates?

Antifundamentalist | July 5, 2019 at 11:42 am

Right. We already have a “Free” college program – It’s called the GI Bill. Every one who uses it has put in the time to earn it.