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Forget $10,000: AOC Wants More Student Loan Debt Relieve. I Agree

AOC
AOC on CNN. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

I don’t always agree with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I often find her to be inauthentic or misguided. Sometimes she’s downright annoying. But AOC and I are fully aligned respecting the student loan crisis. 

AOC States Her Position on Student Debt and Those Who Already Paid Theirs Off

When asked over Instagram how canceling student debt benefits borrowers who already paid off their student loans, AOC answered: “Maybe student loan forgiveness doesn’t impact you. That doesn’t make it bad. I am sure there are certainly other things that student loan borrowers’ taxes pay for that you benefit from. We can do good things and reject the scarcity mindset that says doing something good for someone else comes at the cost of something for ourselves.” 

That’s exactly right. This – this being our country – is a collective endeavor after all. “People with apartments pay for first-time homeowner benefits,” AOC continued, “young people contribute to Medicare for our seniors. People who take public transit pay for car infrastructure.”

Ted Cruz and his Trumpist Views Counters AOC

AOC’s loan forgiveness defense is matched against an onslaught of GOP criticism. Ted Cruz, for example, decreasingly serious as he strives for Trump-style shock value, is on the offensive. Cruz’s recent comments criticizing student loans even make reference to AOC, the one-time bartender.

“If you are that slacker barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless things, now has loans and can’t get a job – Joe Biden just gave you 20 grand. Like, holy cow! 20 grand. You know, maybe you weren’t gonna vote in November. And suddenly you just got 20 grand,” Cruz said. “If you can get off the bong for a minute and head down to the voting station, or just send in your mail-in ballot that the Democrats have helpfully sent you – it could drive up turnout, particularly among young people.”

Cruz’s statement is an attempt at the ‘tell-it-like-it-is-real-talk’ that Trump popularized. But Cruz, who holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard, is missing the point. First of all, working as a barista, or in the service industry, is usually a grind, guaranteed to weed out true slackers. And as the COVID pandemic demonstrated, the service industry is vital to our economy – and to our expectations of what our daily lives look like. 

Cruz’s comments, deriding service workers, offers insight into how Cruz, and his GOP peers, actually view the working class – the constituents the GOP professes to care most for. Cruz’s comments aren’t out of character. They fit. You gotta remember, this is the guy who, while at Harvard Law School, wouldn’t allow anyone in his study group who didn’t attend either Harvard, Yale, or Princeton for undergrad. 

Second of all, Cruz neglects to point out that his hypothetical ‘slacker barista’ may not be able to get a (different, higher-paying) job for reasons beyond his or her control. Like, the economy. Like, the job market. Times have changed. While Cruz, who studied public policy during the 80s and 90s, sneers at people for studying “useless things,” he might be surprised to find the job market for a contemporary public policy major rather constricted. 

Lastly, Cruz whines about the slacker barista being motivated to vote on account of having student loans forgiven. Bingo, Ted. Constituents vote for their interests. Politicians who help constituents’ interests often experience political benefits. Some politicians even craft policy with their constituents’ interests in mind, knowing there will be a political benefit. That the notion perplexes Cruz and invites his scorn, again offers insights into the mindset of a modern politician. 

I digress. AOC, despite her frequent silliness, understands what Cruz does not. Student loan forgiveness is the right thing to do. Actually, AOC is pushing for more loan forgiveness, bless her heart. Whereas many Democrats are content with Biden’s $10k gift, AOC properly appreciates that $10k per borrower doesn’t really accomplish that much. 

“It is up to us, and to you, to decide if we are going to stop here, or if we are going to keep pushing,” AOC said. “I am very grateful for this watershed moment for a first step – it is so encouraging, thrilling, and has already changed SO many people’s lives. But I am also thinking about how this still leaves a question mark for those in the highest amounts of debt, who need the most amount of help. So let’s celebrate and keep going.”   

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Wanda Haag

    August 29, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I can’t believe the politicians who make the STUPID comments about SS !!! Weneed an extra $20,000.a year. Helluva lot more than the student loan forgiveness. They can work just like we did to get the pissy ass amount of SS

  2. Susan

    August 29, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    All that education …and yet an economic illiterate and holds an utter lack of respect for property rights…there you go…

  3. Chip Henry

    August 29, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    I would only agree with you that taxpayers could help pay off portions of student loans if, one, they held a 3.0 GPA and two, earned a degree with that portion of student loan.
    When I was in school I was trying to work full time and attend school full time. I didn’t succeed but I also didn’t take a loan out.
    Student loans paid more than just tuition and books so they tended to prey on borrowers. It was free money. Pay it later. Borrow more.
    My other point is that colleges and university are awash in cash. They take money from the government, quite often from China’s CCP and then also from their alumni. If you got the government out of the upper education business we would find an equilibrium based on costs and value. Employers could become more involved in paying tuition when they were interested in a student’s success. Under this current system they wouldn’t touch it- only to repay some classes based on grades. Oops.. I messed up. That is EXactly how this should be set up. Drop the government out of education. That is socialism and obviously leads to teaching propaganda.

  4. David Crocker

    August 29, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Just pay your bills, kid, and don’t try to rationalize theft. Pushing off your obligations onto others is really subpar.

  5. John

    August 29, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Nobody forced them to sign for the loan. They made the choice to go deeply in debt for a degree that can’t cover the cost of the loan.

    Now you want to give the finger to everyone who did the right thing. They worked hard, went to a school they could afford, paid their bills and became a productive member of society.

    Transferring the student loan debt sends the wrong message to everyone. It rewards bad choices. It rewards bad behavior. It tells people they are not responsible for their actions.

  6. jeff

    August 29, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Kass must have outstanding student loans. He is all in on this program and keeps embarrassing himself trying to justify stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

  7. Jack Cross

    August 29, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    “Student loan forgiveness is the right thing to do”

    Please explain WHY you believe this bulls**t
    Why should taxpayers pay off students loans?

    As to your ridiculous Cruz attacks, he derided AOC not the service industry

    “Like, the economy. Like, the job market”
    The president claims the economy is on fire
    The greatest jobs president in history (lies) but you cannot have it both ways
    So which is it?
    This is not “Politicians who help constituents” – I didn’t realize those without student loans are not biden’s constituents

    And the elephant in the room
    The POTUS doesn’t have the CONSTITUTIONAL POWER to do this.

  8. Scottfs

    August 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    So the guy slaving at McDonald’s will be forced to pay some trust fund kid’s college debt?

    Not just no, but F**K NO!!!

    This is just naked vote buying.

    I thought Cobgress actually had some purpose. Us Biden now a dictator?

    I will never vote Democrat again.

  9. Yrral

    August 30, 2022 at 5:14 am

    Ted Cruz is an example of an mind is a terrible thing to watse,you have a bunch of educated people, supporters of Trump,one of the dumbest people in the world,when it come to the law,no amount of education,will help insane people

  10. Fluffy Dog

    August 30, 2022 at 10:05 am

    “I digress. AOC, despite her frequent silliness, understands what Cruz does not. Student loan forgiveness is the right thing to do.”

    I would replace “silliness” with “stupidity.” The student loan system is the number one reason for skyrocketing tuition. 40-50 years ago one could pay for a college education by working while studying; that is no longer possible. The reason is government provided student loans. For the colleges, the logic is simple: the goal of those loans is to allow people to pay for education; if the tuition is higher, the loans will get bigger, and the colleges would get paid anyway. The loans themselves do not differentiate between useless and useful degrees, so all kinds of crap degrees are offered and paid for by the taxpayer.
    Were the student loans eliminated, the market forces would ensure that money was spent on those studies that would pay off, and useless degrees would disappear. Along the way, the anti-American social activities on campus would subside as a degree in engineering or medicine require hard work rather than demonstrations for the next cause celebre.

  11. Scooter Van Neuter

    August 30, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    Socialists and communists remain the most generous people on earth – with other people’s money.
    The knowledge that there are Americans among us who voted this mouth-breathing bartender into high office is nothing less than terrifying.

  12. Omega 13

    August 30, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Harry, just pay your damned bills. You sign for a loan. It is an obligation you made.

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