Biden’s new student loan wipe-out is no more lawful than his first scheme that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as blatantly unconstitutional. In fact, it’s worse.
Like a Fairy Godmother, Biden once again waived his magic wand to make more than a half a trillion dollars in student debt disappear. This time, he conjured up the Higher Education Act, which is even more restrictive in how loans can be forgiven than the HEROES Act that he previously invoked.
The new plan, like the old one, won’t work. Among other things, it violates that pesky document called the Constitution.
The Education Act is narrowly tailored with very specific and limited conditions for waiving or modifying the debt of individual borrowers, not a mass of borrowers that would encompass millions of people. But Biden is ignoring all that. Typical Joe.
What’s more, Biden knows that he is exceeding his power because the White House first considered the Education Act and rejected it as impermissible under both the law and the Constitution. It does not grant the president blanket authority to cancel debt.
No matter. Biden seems determined to contort statutes, usurp the power of Congress, and treat the Supreme Court with unabashed contempt. That is not a recipe for success.
By the way, the cost is not $39 billion, as the president claims. The Penn Wharton Budget Model pegs it at $475 billion or roughly half a trillion over ten years, which makes it even more expensive than his first misbegotten scam to purchase votes with government money.
Biden’s latest hustle will surely be challenged in court —likely with the same result. The identical plaintiffs in the first case could file another action and seek expedited review by the Supreme Court, citing Biden’s utter disregard for their recent ruling.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts made it abundantly clear that only Congress can forgive wholesale debt. Under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, the legislative branch has the sole power of the purse, not the president. This includes taxation, spending, and the payments or assumption of debt.
Here, the accumulated student debt doesn’t simply vanish upon cancellation. Instead, the financial burden is transferred to the federal government, which is funded by taxpayers. They’re the ones left holding the bag for Biden’s political machinations.
Defying the law is a consistent pattern with this president. He admits publicly that he has no authority to do something, and then he cynically proceeds to do it. His eviction moratorium and his vaccine mandate are prime examples. Both were struck down.
What’s so astonishing is that many Democrats are enraged that the president cannot unilaterally commandeer their legislative authority. They seem perfectly fine with dissolving the separation of powers in favor of tyranny and authoritarianism, as the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal correctly pointed out.
Biden’s loan forgiveness was always a transparent bid to buy votes by mangling the law and the Constitution. Going to Congress was the proper course. But Biden knew legislators would vote against him because many Americans who did not go to college or who dutifully paid off their debts object to sweeping forgiveness. So, Biden circumvented Congress and acted by executive fiat.
But in our Madisonian democracy, presidents are not kings or dictators. They don’t rule alone. Fortunately, the Supreme Court serves as a backstop to preserve fidelity to the Constitution. Just as our Founders intended.