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Biden’s Student Loan Bailout Destroys The Societal Bond Of Duty

If you undertake a burden voluntarily, you have an obligation as a moral person to fulfill it.

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The highest court in our country heard oral arguments last week on President Joe Biden’s multibillion-dollar initiative that would erase student loans, and many are surprised what side of the argument I, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, fall on: I hope the Supreme Court rules against the administration’s student debt relief plan.

I rejected the plan from the beginning. Four years ago, I made the same choice millions of young Americans do upon leaving high school — I enrolled at a university to invest in my passions, my future, and myself. Along with that investment came student loans I’m required to pay. Many of my peers were elated by the original announcement that Biden will forgive up to $20,000 of their student loan debt. But I will gladly pay back my student loans independently.

The proposed initiative brings me confusion rather than elation. How much will this cost, and who should be responsible for footing the bill? The National Taxpayer Union projects that this initiative will cost more than $330 billion over the next 10 years. If you break it down, that’s $2,500 per taxpayer — $2,500 that someone can no longer invest into their own dream because they now must cover the cost of someone else’s.

Defying Our Values

Beyond the economic and financial implications, the true consequences of Biden’s plan are fundamentally moral in nature. This plan goes against the beliefs of our founders and the great thinkers before them who helped create this republic. Our nation was constructed on the premises of liberty and responsibility — in particular, duty.

Duty is a critical aspect of society; without it, society doesn’t exist. Natural law philosopher Hugo Grotius, a major influence on John Locke, said our rights as human beings are established upon our understanding of our duties toward each other. He highlighted several duties in his examples, one of them being to respect your debts; if you have debts, you simply pay them. Society was formed on this sense of obligation among its members — to respect the property, integrity, and character of each other, and to behave accordingly.

This is not some abstract, esoteric theory. You don’t have to be a philosopher to understand that if you undertake a burden willingly and voluntarily, you have an obligation as a moral person to fulfill it. When I took on student loan debt, I did so with complete knowledge of my responsibility to repay that burden. If I completely and utterly omit my duty and presume that someone else will carry it out for me, that would show an utter lack of character.

Destroying Society

Yet Biden has advocated the biggest, most flagrant abandonment of duty. Millions of students have now been told that the sacred bond you have with your fellow citizen doesn’t matter. They are led to believe a major building block of a moral society is not that important.  

Such is the true cost of the Biden loan forgiveness plan: the loss of duty to oneself and to fellow citizens. When a civilization forgets its foundations of morality, it heads down a destructive path. The money lost as a result of these misguided policies can be recovered; the societal expense of violating sacred American principles cannot.

That’s why regardless of the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision in this case, I intend to respect my obligation as a loan holder and, in the spirit of America’s constitutional ethos, recognize my duty for what it is, rather than burden someone else because it’s convenient for me. In the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, “The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price … safety first instead of duty first, and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

I hope many more members of my generation will eventually agree with President Roosevelt rather than President Biden and join those of us rejecting this immoral loan cancellation plan.


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