Rep. Dan Crenshaw appeared on Fox and Friends this morning and was asked to respond to the viral video of Elizabeth Warren talking with a father who was upset about her college debt forgiveness plan.
“He’s asking the question that a lot of Americans would like to ask Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and everybody who’s offering to cancel student debt,” Crenshaw said. He continued, “It’s a false sense of compassion that they’re offering. They always cloak their policies in compassion, but it’s a lie. This isn’t fair. It’s not fair to take from other people and give to someone else just because you want their votes. That’s the definition of buying votes.”
“Is that what’s happening?” co-host Steve Doocy asked.
“Oh, it absolutely is. If you look to the pandering that these Democratic candidates do it’s always about getting votes,” Crenshaw said. “We’re going to give you something. In return we want your votes, we want your support. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
“But no, you cannot take the taxes away from people who have paid off their student loans or people who didn’t get to go to college and maybe got a vocational training certificate instead, working hard. You want to take their tax money and pay off somebody else’s investment? Because this isn’t just a loan it’s an investment in your future and it was your choice to do it and they each need to pay that back.”
I think this is taking a lot of people on the left by surprise. After all this issue has been out there for months without sparking this kind of backlash. But I think that father really crystallized for me, and for a lot of other people, that this isn’t just another cash giveaway Warren wants to promise, it’s one that effectively penalizes those who did the right thing. As I wrote yesterday, in my personal case that meant more than a decade of aggressively paying off a mortgage so that debt wouldn’t be hanging over me by the time my kids were headed to college. If Warren’s plan takes effect, I would have been better off not bothering.
I’ve been arguing with people about this on Twitter for the past day and what I’ve heard from the left is pretty much the same thing Warren said in response to this, i.e. this is about making things better for the future. But as Allahpundit wrote earlier, Warren’s plan doesn’t just make a change for future generations. It doesn’t just propose free tuition to people starting school this fall. Instead it changes the game for people who took out debt perhaps many years in the past. Some of the people who would receive this money may have finished school a decade ago and have been making minimum payments ever since. How is that the future? Meanwhile, people who graduated, got a job and aggressively paid off their own school debt during that same period of time will get nothing.
Finally, I think Crenshaw is absolutely right about why Warren is offering to pay off people’s past debt rather than simply starting with a clean dividing line at some point in the future. It’s because this is an obvious attempt to appeal to voters who want that $50,000. Vote for me and I’ll pay your fees. Unfortunately, this is a socialist pitch which has often worked.