New York Post, November 14, 2022
by James Bovard
President Biden tweeted this afternoon, “The recent elections made an emphatic statement that in America, the will of the people prevails.”
But was it the will of Millennials and Gen-Z voters to be bamboozled by Team Biden and the Democratic Party?
Hopes for a red wave of Republican victories on Election Day were shattered by the 28% advantage that voters in the 18-29 age group delivered to Democratic candidates. Two days after the election, Biden tweeted, “I want to thank the young people of this nation” who voted for “student debt relief.” Jon Cooper, a former top Biden campaign operative, tweeted, “Young people: You saved our butts. THANK YOU.”
Legions of young voters were energized to support Democrats by Biden’s Aug. 24 announcement that he was forgiving up to $20,000 of student debt per person, which would cost taxpayers $400 billion-plus.
While the votes that 20-somethings delivered last Tuesday are irrevocable, Biden’s student debt relief is contingent on federal court approval. And his bailout is being shot to pieces in courtrooms across the nation.
Two days after the election, federal judge Mark Pittman struck down the bailout as an unconstitutional decree: “In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government.” Pittman rejected the “emergency” basis of the order in part because Biden had proclaimed on “60 Minutes” that “the pandemic is over.”
Democrats responded by vilifying Judge Pittman. Sen. Elizabeth Warren denounced the “lawless ruling from a Trump-appointed judge.” So any judge who doesn’t recognize that presidents are entitled to boundless power is “lawless”?
Last Friday, the Biden administration announced that it was temporarily closing the window for individuals to apply for student-loan forgiveness. Twenty-six million applications had already been received but their fate is in legal limbo.
But on Monday afternoon, a federal appeals court in St. Louis unanimously voted to impose a nationwide “injunction considering the irreversible impact the Secretary’s debt forgiveness action would have” on “Americans who pay taxes to finance the government.”
Some activists believe Biden intentionally swindled young voters with a bait-and-switch scheme. Briahna Joy Gray, who was the press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, asked, “Did Biden RIG student debt forgiveness to fail, just to help him in midterms?” She explained on Twitter: “They used the promise of student debt cancellation to induce young voter turn out — knowing it wasn’t going anywhere [because] they relied on faulty legal authority. Hard to convince me the Biden admin didn’t do this intentionally.”
Fordham law professor Jed Shugerman derided Biden’s plan as a “legal mess” that could lose 9-0 at the Supreme Court. Other court challenges will likely deliver further floggings to the bailout.
Heartbroken student debtors are receiving scant comfort from conservative activists. Graham Allen, the host of the Dear America podcast, tweeted, “Biden knew he couldn’t ‘forgive’ your student loan debt. . . . He lied for votes knowing it would get thrown out in court!” Another popular conservative Twitter account replied to a triumphal Biden tweet: “You conned the Gen z into voting and pulled a bait n switch on student loans! LMAO gen zombies.” “Biden lied” on student loans is percolating among Twitter users of all political stripes.
The Federal Trade Commission can sanction shady corporate bait-and-switch tactics but it has no jurisdiction over fraudulent political payoffs. Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton tweeted today: “Was Biden’s unlawful student debt scheme election interference?” Did Biden delay the announcement of student-loan bailout until close to the mid-term elections so it would not be overturned before purported beneficiaries expressed their gratitude with their ballots?
But it is unclear whether Biden understands that judges are striking down his bailout for being an executive power grab. Last month, Biden declared that Congress had passed legislation to approve his student loan bailout: “I got it passed by a vote or two.”
That falsehood was so brazen that even CNN referees threw a penalty flag.
A student activist group called the Debt Collective is circulating a petition: “I refuse to pay a debt the President promised to cancel.” But petulance is not a good legal defense. Instead, America’s 20-somethings should swallow a dose of realism from Thomas Jefferson: “When once a man has cast a longing eye on [political office], a rottenness begins in his conduct.”