President Joe Biden (D) has canceled thousands of dollars of student loan debt with a few swipes of his Executive Order pen. Lay aside the amorality of that, and lay aside, too, the enormous cost of his move.
It’s blatantly illegal.
January 2021…the Department of Education issued a legal memo saying the education secretary “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) Biden didn’t have the power to cancel student debt.
That has to be an act of Congress…the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.
Only the Congress can specify the spending—or lack of spending—that the Federal government engages in. No President can do that unilaterally.
It’s also a cancelation of existing contracts, both without consultation with and acceptance by the contracts’ counterparties, it’s done without compensation to those counterparties. These are Federal loans to the students, though, doesn’t that make the Federal government the counterparty? No. It’s We the People, the taxpayers, who floated these loans and who will lose from their unilateral modification. The Federal government only acted in our name.
It’s what we have an elected legislature for, and a legislature that is the sole source of legislation, and the House of Representatives in particular that is the origin of spending bills.
I’m reminded of the remark made by a future philosopher: I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further.
This is Biden’s Woodrow Wilson-esque contempt for and disregard of our Constitution. That document and statutes that implement it are to be themselves laid aside whenever they’re inconvenient.