Steve Forbes, who inherited a fortune, was Fox News’ choice to argue that a hypothetical possibility that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez persuades Joe Biden to cancel student debt would be unfair to those who have already paid.
In 1997, Fortune estimated Forbes’ wealth to be $439 million, “mostly from his inherited stake in the family publishing and land empire.”
But, after announcing that AOC is “calling on her colleagues to pressure Joe Biden to wipe out student loan debt” with an executive order and after playing a clip of a “working class” man yelling at Sen. Elizabeth Warren that forgiveness would be unfair, Fox News host David Asman made Forbes the stand in for the working class guy. Asman “asked” Forbes, “There is a fairness issue to all this, isn’t there?”
Not surprisingly, “everyman” Forbes said there is.
FORBES: Yes, there is David, and it makes people who paid their debts, took their obligations seriously, look like fools, and if they have this debt forgiveness in any kind of scale, we’re going to have people wondering why should I pay those obligations, why should I take those extra jobs, why should I sacrifice a private university to go to an in-state university to save money and honor my obligations? So, you make a mockery of people who have played by the rules.
Forbes blamed “bureaucratic obesity” for the rise in tuition. As he spoke, Fox posted facts showing U.S. student loan debt at $1.7 trillion. Average tuition and fees have gone up 18.3% over 10 years at four year private schools, according to Fox, up 16.4% over 10 years at public four year schools, and up 15.6% over 10 years at public two year colleges, seemingly making the case for cancelling student loan debt.
But not to Forbes. “Why should those 210 million [without student debt] be subsidizing the other 45 million [with student debt]? It’s not right. So, they got to get to what the Democrats love to call as the root cause.” He claimed that was “bureaucratic bloat, obesity in the universities.”
Asman sneered as his closing for the interview, “Why can’t Harvard and Yale and the others with billion dollar endowments have free tuition?”
Neither mentioned the extra burden the COVID-19 pandemic and economic losses have caused those with student debt, especially people of color.
You can watch Asman and Forbes try to pre-empt Biden giving the non-wealthy a break below, from the November 28, 2020 Cavuto Live.
A Jacobin article makes a good case for why the “don’t cancel student debt because it’s unfair” argument doesn’t hold up.
I, personally, was able to go to university during the early 1960s because my education was subsidized by the state. The GI Bill made a huge contribution to America’s post WW2 economic boom. Forbes is a nasty old man.