U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, signed onto a bill that forgives all outstanding federal student loans, which is about $1.6 trillion. The loans would become an unfunded part of the U.S. debt, which is owed by all Americans.
When asked about people who actually paid off their student loans, she replied:
“I think it’s kind of this hazing mentality, like, because I was hazed now everyone else needs to be hazed in the future. As someone who has paid off thousands of dollars for student loans, I don’t think that repeating the same mistake and perpetuating it for the next generation is fair.”
Of course, that misses the point, since few if any people actively ask for hazing, while Cortez and every other student loan borrower had the choice to take out the loan. And only 35% of Americans graduate college, so there’s the question of why two-thirds of the nation should supplement the higher education of the minority.
When asked if future loans would just encourage colleges to raise costs, Cortez doubled down, suggesting the forgiveness of loans should be combined with making college free.
“Well, that’s why I think that our legislative solution should be paired. So I actually believe that student loan forgiveness should be passed in the same fell swoop as tuition-free public colleges and universities because if you don’t pass tuition-free public college, then you do recreate the problem. Then it’s just kind of a one-swoop forgiveness but then the costs continue to mount for people, so that’s why tuition-free public colleges and universities are really important to pass at the same time as student loan forgiveness.”
There was no word on whether she intends to ask working Americans if they’re interested in federally funding free college.