What’s Biden’s End Game in Ukraine ?

Last week, President Biden signed a massive $40 billion military aid bill for Ukraine. Who cares that inflation is killing the American economy and mothers can’t even get baby formula. For Washington, spending on war and empire always seems to trump America’s interests.

To put this giveaway to Ukraine in perspective: just since late February, the US has provided nearly $60 billion in “assistance” to Ukraine. That is almost half that country’s entire 2020 GDP! Washington has literally adopted Ukraine in our name and on our dime.

The Biden Administration claims that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia and that such an expenditure to protect Ukraine’s borders is critical to our national interests and worth risking a nuclear war over.

But protecting Ukraine’s democracy is no longer the stated goal of the Administration. Defense Secretary Austin outlined the Administration’s new intention not long ago when he said that the real goal is to weaken Russia.

Biden’s neocons are fighting a war with Russia, but once again Congress has no interest in voting on a war declaration or even in debating whether war with Russia 30 years after the end of the Cold War is a good idea.

There is a reason our Constitution grants war powers to the legislative branch. Forcing Members of the House and Senate to declare the US to be in a state of war also enables them – through the powers of the purse-string – to define the goals of the war and particularly what a victory looks like. That prevents the kind of mission-creep ahd shifting objectives that have characterized our endless wars in the 21st century – including this current proxy war with Russia.

Even the US mainstream media is beginning to notice. Last week the New York Times’ Editorial Board published an editorial originally titled, “What is America’s Strategy in Ukraine?” complaining that the Biden Administration has yet to answer any questions to the American people regarding its involvement in Ukraine.

While, as could be expected, the paper attacked the “isolationists” in the US Congress who opposed the $40 billion giveaway, the NY Times editorial board nevertheless registered what can only be seen as the first major sign of dissent among the usual media war cheerleaders.

They wrote:

…it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions. And the US aims and strategy in this war have become harder to discern, as the parameters of the mission appear to have changed.

While warning that Americans’ interest in Ukraine will begin to wane without more clarity from Washington as to its goals, the paper went on to directly contradict the Biden Administration’s predictions of a Ukraine victory:

A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal.

Congress – with very few exceptions – has opened a financial spigot to the government in Kiev without asking a single question about how and why the money is to be spent. When Senator Paul simply asked for someone to keep track of the $60 billion we shipped over there he was met with near-unanimous opposition.

An endless supply of US taxpayer money to Ukraine with zero stated goals and zero oversight. Isn’t it time to stand up and demand that both parties in Congress start asking some hard questions?

Public Schools are Dangerous—Defund Public Schools—NOW

The media wants us to pay attention to the bloodbath in Texas right now — to that, and absolutely to nothing else.

They want us to pay attention to it with a certain slant. The slant is, “Guns are bad. If we just outlawed guns, this wouldn’t happen.”

They don’t want us to ask any other questions, other than, “How soon can we outlaw all guns, and repeal the Second Amendment?”

These sycophants and ideologues in the media DO NOT CARE about the pain or plight of grieving parents. They care about being SEEN as if they do. They are every bit as much the actors as the people you see performing on your favorite Netflix series. Acting is an honorable profession. Media and “journalists”, as we know them, are prepetrating the greatest, most sickening fraud in all of human history.

Nobody asks the question: What’s wrong with government-run schools? Why can’t they — or won’t they — keep children safe? Private schools keep children safe. Why can’t public schools? Because government schools are going to remain dangerous, even after you demand that all peaceful, law-abiding, nonpsychotic people turn over their weapons of self-protection.

Our government takes toys off the market if half of one percent of children die while playing with them. But government-run schools are proving far, far more dangerous to children than any toy ever could. How many brutal shootings resulting in dead children have occurred in Catholic schools? Or Jewish schools? Or Montessori schools? I can’t think of even ONE single case. ALL of these shootings are happening in “gun-free zone” government-run schools.

It seems obvious: Public schools are toxic. The risk is far, far too great of sending your children to one of these monstrosities. To say nothing of the intellectual brutality committed against children every day, by saturating them with fascist, Communist, Marxist, brazenly racist, government-sanctioned propaganda.

I fail to understand why ANY parents still send their children to government-run schools. Homeschooling seems like a better option, educationally as well as eliminating the risk that your children will be mauled or murdered on a typical school day.

Public schools are the problem. They should be defunded. Parents should get tax credits for education, as a transition to a totally free market for education. We have (more or less) a free market for shoes, clothes, airlines, automobiles and groceries. Why no freedom in education?

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

“Democrats” Are Destroying Us ON PURPOSE

Biden’s approval rating is down 24 points from his 63 percent rating one year ago in May 2021.

Only 33 percent of Democrats believe the country is headed in the right direction, down 16 points from his rating in April.

When will people realize that DemComs WANT the things that are happening to the country? We see rising, unsustainable gas prices. They see the end of fossil fuels. It’s what they want. In their fantasy-land, the end of fossil fuels will automatically mean that everyone uses solar and drives electric. That, of course, won’t happen. If those things were economically and technologically feasible, people would already be doing them.

None of that is the point. The point is that the worse things get, the more people become afraid. The more people become afraid, the more they let the government do whatever they want to do to them. Look at what happened with COVID. People behaved precisely as tyrants wanted them to behave, when afraid. Imagine when the fear isn’t only over a virus with a 99.99 percent survival rate, but instead the fear is over hyperinflation, shortages, mass impoverishment and the end of life as we have known it.

You’ve heard the phrase, “divide and conquer.” DemComs are doing that, too. Another phrase is “weaken, destroy and conquer.” People do not act like “Democrats” do unless it’s deliberate. They are destroying our currency, our liberty, our economic prosperity, our morale and our Constitution with wreckless yet surgical precision — and speed. It’s like a 9/11 coming from our own government — not just to a couple of buildings, but to the entire material and spiritual foundations of our society.

That’s why I keep saying we are an occupied country. The people occupying our country are not going to let us vote them away. They are here to stay, and once their destruction reaches a certain point, it will be too late to go back.

It’s too late for a “red wave”, and most Republicans are rotten and corrupt, anyway. We need a revolution. You don’t vote away tyrants. You eradicate them.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Will Midterms be Biden’s Last Hurrah ?

For half a decade now, America’s media elite have been obsessed with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s conversion to Trumpism.

Press and TV are daily consumed with his actions and prospects and the future of the party he captured in 2016.

Perhaps it is time to consider the prospects of President Joe Biden and the political future of his embattled presidency.

What are the odds that Biden, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama before him, will run again in 2024, win reelection, serve out a second term and transfer his office to the 47th president on Jan. 20, 2029?

My guess: The odds of that happening are roughly the same as the odds that last-minute entry Rich Strike would win the Kentucky Derby, as he left the starting gate at Churchill Downs at 80-1.

Consider the first hurdle Biden faces on the way to renomination in 2024 — the midterm elections five months off.

Since the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached record highs in January, both have seen eight weeks of wipeouts of trillions of dollars in value as we approached bear-market territory by the end of last week.

Stock portfolios, pensions and retirement benefit plans have been gutted. These massive market losses are also a lead indicator pointing to a recession right ahead, just as voters pass judgment on a Democratic Party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress.

But even before we reach recession, Americans have already been living with a Biden inflation of 8% that has lasted for months and affected all the necessities of normal life, such as groceries and gasoline.

And the worst seems yet to come.

The Federal Reserve has reversed course from its easy money days and begun to raise interest rates to squeeze the Biden inflation out of the economy. What lies ahead may remind people who were around then of Jimmy Carter’s “stagflation,” where interest rates hit 21% to kill an inflation that reached 13%.

As for the crisis on the southern border, it is deeper than ever. Some 234,000 migrants were caught illegally entering the U.S. in April alone, with thousands of others evading any contact with U.S. authorities.

This is an invasion rate of some 3 million illegal migrants a year.

Shootings, killings, carjackings, criminal assaults, and smash-and-grab robberies in record numbers are the subject of our nightly news.

And the latest national polls suggest the country is holding Biden responsible. The president’s approval rating is down to 39%, and only 1 in 3 Americans think he is doing a good job handling the economy and that the nation is headed in the right direction.

Now the omicron variant of COVID-19 is making a comeback; infections are again over 100,000 a day.

Biden might find consolation from how his predecessors overcame midterm defeats. Clinton in 1994 lost 54 House seats and won reelection easily in 1996. Obama lost 63 House seats in 2010 to come back and win handily over Mitt Romney in 2012.

Why cannot Biden ride out the anticipated storm in this year’s midterms and come back to win election in 2024, as did Clinton and Obama?

Age has something to do with it. Clinton was 50 in his reelection year 1996. Obama was 51 in his reelection year 2012. And both were at the peak of their political powers.

Biden, on election day 2024, will be two weeks shy of his 82nd birthday. Should he serve out a second term, he would not leave the White House until he had turned 86. Biden has been America’s oldest president since the day he took office.

Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers wrote of “energy in the executive” as being an indispensable attribute of good government.

Does Biden, with his shuffling gait, regular gaffes, and physical and cognitive decline manifest that attribute of which Hamilton wrote?

The likely scenario for Biden?

His party sustains a crushing defeat in November comparable to what Clinton and Obama suffered. But the party does not immediately rally around Biden as present and future leader, as it did with Clinton and Obama. Critics inside the Democratic coalition begin to blame Biden for the loss.

Ambitious Democrats, sensing disaster if Biden tops the ticket in 2024, begin to call for him to stand down and give way to a younger candidate, a new face, in 2024.

One or two progressives declare for president, and the pressure builds on Biden to avoid a personal and political humiliation in the 2024 primaries by standing down, as Harry Truman did in 1952 and Lyndon Johnson did in 1968.

By early 2023, Biden will have adopted the line that dealing with the challenge of China and Russia and, at the same time, coping with recession and inflation require his full attention. And these preclude a national political campaign for reelection.

And then President Joe Biden announces he will not run again.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

From Biden’s Own Mouth: Rising Gas Prices an “Incredible”, Beautiful Thing

Biden offered his take on gas prices during a joint press conference with Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday.

“Here’s the situation. And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said, finding nothing but positivity and future sunshine for Americans as the end point for their current pain.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas stands at $4.56 as of Monday, which is more than $.40 higher than just four weeks ago and builds on a succession of price rises. [Breitbart]

He openly admits it. Biden’s not opening up the free market for gas — which would massively decrease the cost of fuel — because he wants America to go through an “incredible transition.” He’s not hiding it. This is the whole purpose. Biden has always had loose lips; so he’s candid enough to state openly what others (including those he works for) will not admit.

Communists and Nazis did the same thing. Communists were always promising a better and brighter future. When they didn’t get it, they blamed it on their having too little power — and they simply seized more.

America’s revolution toward totalitarian control is underway. From the point-of-view of the totalitarians, it’s going swimmingly. Totalitarians have never had it so easy. Joe Biden has unlimited power — the power to destroy, which he calls (with that part demented, part naturally idiotic grin) — an “incredible transition.”

It’s hard to imagine a more undiluted picture of evil than this: Joe Biden, the least deserving fool (even from an autocrat’s point-of-view) gets to cash in on the buildup of government control that statists/leftists have been accumulating in America for decades.

For generations now, people of the more “libertarian” or limited government mindset have warned against the power of government growth. Sooner or later, we were warned, bigger and bigger government would come back to bite us. Ronald Reagan was our last serious warning, back in the 1980s. Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises and Frederic Bastiat warned us decades (even centuries, in Bastiat’s case) before the final disaster. America’s founders saw how it could happen, and now it has. Donald Trump followed in Reagan’s path, in many ways, but it now appears too late. Nobody is coming to rescue us. It’s a sinking ship. Each one of us will have to find a way to rescue ourselves from the disaster taking hold of us.

If you think an election is going to solve it all, then all I can say is: Come up with a Plan B. Now. If you think a regime with no qualms about tripling the cost of living almost overnight while laughing about it, and then smugly calling the disaster an “incredible transition”, is going to submit itself to the accountability of elections, then you probably never expected any of this to be happening.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Let’s Cancel Student Loans – Not Forgive Them, But Cancel the Program

BY GEORGE LEEF | MAY 20, 2022 | EDUCATION

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

In recent weeks, the tumult in Washington has largely centered on the issue of student loans. Almost every Democrat and left-leaning pundit has come out in favor of some degree of relief for those who have amassed debts to pay for college. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for example, penned a Washington Post opinion piece with the exhortative title, “President Biden, it’s time to cancel student debt.”

What he wants the President to do is to forgive students of their payment obligations under their federal student loan contracts. It’s highly questionable whether the President has the legal authority to unilaterally forgive student debts, but let’s put aside that problem.

I’m going to argue that Congress should do something it unquestionably has the power to do, namely to repeal a statute. The statute is the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, one of the many laws passed by a giddy Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had a host of ideas for improving America through federal money and regulation—his “Great Society”—and government meddling in education was at the top of his list. Title IV of the Act created the federal student loan program.

The first question that ought to have been raised is whether the HEA was constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate with respect to education. Article I, Section 8 sets forth the powers of Congress and education is not included. Education was among the great number of subjects that the Founders thought belonged to “the States or the people respectively” as the Tenth Amendment reads.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because of federal meddling.

BY GEORGE LEEF | MAY 20, 2022 | EDUCATION

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

EVERYTHING BELOW THIS IS REPETITIVE.

I’m going to argue that Congress should do something it unquestionably has the power to do, namely to repeal a statute. The statute is the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, one of the many laws passed by a giddy Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had a host of ideas for improving America through federal money and regulation—his “Great Society”—and government meddling in education was at the top of his list. Title IV of the Act created the federal student loan program.

The first question that ought to have been raised is whether the HEA was constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate with respect to education. Article I, Section 8 sets forth the powers of Congress and education is not included. Education was among the great number of subjects that the Founders thought belonged to “the States or the people respectively” as the Tenth Amendment reads.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

In recent weeks, the tumult in Washington has largely centered on the issue of student loans. Almost every Democrat and left-leaning pundit has come out in favor of some degree of relief for those who have amassed debts to pay for college. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for example, penned a Washington Post opinion piece with the exhortative title, “President Biden, it’s time to cancel student debt.”

What he wants the President to do is to forgive students of their payment obligations under their federal student loan contracts. It’s highly questionable whether the President has the legal authority to unilaterally forgive student debts, but let’s put aside that problem.

I’m going to argue that Congress should do something it unquestionably has the power to do, namely to repeal a statute. The statute is the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, one of the many laws passed by a giddy Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had a host of ideas for improving America through federal money and regulation—his “Great Society”—and government meddling in education was at the top of his list. Title IV of the Act created the federal student loan program.

The first question that ought to have been raised is whether the HEA was constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate with respect to education. Article I, Section 8 sets forth the powers of Congress and education is not included. Education was among the great number of subjects that the Founders thought belonged to “the States or the people respectively” as the Tenth Amendment reads.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

In recent weeks, the tumult in Washington has largely centered on the issue of student loans. Almost every Democrat and left-leaning pundit has come out in favor of some degree of relief for those who have amassed debts to pay for college. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for example, penned a Washington Post opinion piece with the exhortative title, “President Biden, it’s time to cancel student debt.”

What he wants the President to do is to forgive students of their payment obligations under their federal student loan contracts. It’s highly questionable whether the President has the legal authority to unilaterally forgive student debts, but let’s put aside that problem.

I’m going to argue that Congress should do something it unquestionably has the power to do, namely to repeal a statute. The statute is the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, one of the many laws passed by a giddy Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had a host of ideas for improving America through federal money and regulation—his “Great Society”—and government meddling in education was at the top of his list. Title IV of the Act created the federal student loan program.

The first question that ought to have been raised is whether the HEA was constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate with respect to education. Article I, Section 8 sets forth the powers of Congress and education is not included. Education was among the great number of subjects that the Founders thought belonged to “the States or the people respectively” as the Tenth Amendment reads.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass

BY GEORGE LEEF | MAY 20, 2022 | EDUCATION

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because federal meddling turned it into a mass entitlement. Turn off the federal spigot and it will rapidly improve.

In recent weeks, the tumult in Washington has largely centered on the issue of student loans. Almost every Democrat and left-leaning pundit has come out in favor of some degree of relief for those who have amassed debts to pay for college. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for example, penned a Washington Post opinion piece with the exhortative title, “President Biden, it’s time to cancel student debt.”

What he wants the President to do is to forgive students of their payment obligations under their federal student loan contracts. It’s highly questionable whether the President has the legal authority to unilaterally forgive student debts, but let’s put aside that problem.

I’m going to argue that Congress should do something it unquestionably has the power to do, namely to repeal a statute. The statute is the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, one of the many laws passed by a giddy Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had a host of ideas for improving America through federal money and regulation—his “Great Society”—and government meddling in education was at the top of his list. Title IV of the Act created the federal student loan program.

The first question that ought to have been raised is whether the HEA was constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate with respect to education. Article I, Section 8 sets forth the powers of Congress and education is not included. Education was among the great number of subjects that the Founders thought belonged to “the States or the people respectively” as the Tenth Amendment reads.

Nor does the Constitution anywhere authorize Congress (or the President) to lend money to college students—or to any other group.

If someone had asked James Madison or Benjamin Franklin or any of the other men who drafted the Constitution if it gave the new government the authority to lend money to people who wanted to go to college, the answer would have been an emphatic “No.”

Unfortunately, constitutional questions about federal programs were not being asked in the 1960s. A long series of Supreme Court decisions dating from the mid-1930s on had made it clear that the Court wouldn’t bother with challenges to federal spending and regulation. The “progressive” Justices had given broad interpretations to the General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause so that the intended restrictions of Article I, Section 8 were erased.

That’s too bad, because the federal student aid program has turned out to be one of the greatest blunders in our history, right up there with the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the pro-union National Labor Relations Act. It is responsible for the enormous increase in the cost of higher education, a vast throng of poorly prepared and disengaged students entering college, the consequent decline of academic standards, credential inflation (i.e., the requirement by many employers that applicants have college degrees if they want to be considered), and the statist drift of the country, as more and more of the citizenry has been subjected to the proselytizing of zealous faculty and administrators.

If we could take a time machine back to 1965 and show the legislators and voting public what the HEA would do, I think that it would not have been enacted.

Returning to the student debt “crisis,” it too is an unintended consequence of the HEA. It isn’t really a crisis, since most student debtors are able to handle their payments, but there are some true horror stories—students with six-figure debts who can’t even pay the mounting interest. Nevertheless, the burden of paying for very expensive college credentials that many students didn’t really want and don’t use in their work is a big economic drag.

What is the solution?

It certainly is not to decree a general forgiveness of college loan debts. That would do nothing to alleviate the problem of too many people attending too expensive colleges to obtain degrees of too little utility. It would, however, confer a great windfall on many heavily indebted graduates who have high-paying jobs in law, medicine, and other professions. They can and should pay off their loans.

A better solution that some people have advocated is to once again allow graduates who find themselves drowning in debt to have their student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy. That was permissible until 2005, when Congress decided to revise the bankruptcy law so as to make student loan debts extraordinarily difficult to escape.

Writing in the May 10 Wall Street Journal, Richard Schinder correctly observes,

“Comprehensive student debt forgiveness is bad public policy. A legal regime—the federal bankruptcy system—already exists for those who truly need debt relief, with rules and consequences that are well-established.”

If student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy, the worst horror stories would be addressed. I would favor that, especially if it were coupled with a requirement that if a student discharges his student loan debts in bankruptcy, the college or university that educated him (or at least took his money in exchange for various courses) would have to cover the loss to the taxpayers. That would make schools think long and hard before they admitted academically weak students who can only make it through by taking raft of Mickey Mouse classes.

Those changes would go far toward alleviating the student loan mess, but they wouldn’t solve it. Federal student aid money would continue to prop up needlessly high tuitions and lure many marginal students into college because the financing is easy.

The solution is to eliminate federal student aid funding entirely. (And yes, I would include college assistance for military veterans.) The HEA repeal bill might be written so that five years after the date of enactment, all federal loans and grants would cease, thereby giving students and institutions time to adjust. Alternatives such as Income Share Agreements (where funders provide most or all of the money the student needs for college in exchange for a contractual commitment obligating the student to repay a percentage of his earnings for some years after graduation) would emerge. Colleges would find many ways to shed costs that add little or no educational value, like “diversity” offices.

Higher education in the US is bloated and dysfunctional because of federal meddling.

George Leef