I have two subjects for you today: debt “forgiveness” and, once again, the raid on Mar-a-Lago by Biden’s secret police.
Let’s do the student debt wheeze first. “Forgiveness” without absolution: I think that just about sums up the Biden Administration’s latest publicity gambit, videlicet, the offer to “forgive” from $10,000 to $20,000 of the debt students have contracted. Note the scare quotes around “forgive.”
It is pointless to go into the details of the program because nobody knows what the details are. Tens of millions of Americans (whoever they are in Biden’s America) are apparently eligible. You are supposed to make less than $125,000 a year to be eligible, but who’s checking? The government agency handling the program, studentaid.gov, has been inundated with inquiries, since the announcement of “free stuff!,” as usual, has acted like a handful of fresh meat tossed into a pool of piranhas. How much will it cost? Who knows?
“The White House doesn’t know exactly how many eligible borrowers will actually end up applying for loan forgiveness,” one news source reported, “or how much it will cost.” According to a study from the Wharton School, however, the total tab might exceed $1 trillion. That is 1,000,000,000,000. It’s important to appreciate the number of zeros involved.
I am not sure the Biden Administration has admitted yet whether the economy is in recession, but it is. And it is certainly suffering from inflation—or “Bidenflation” as some wags denominate it—the worst, we’re told, in 40 years. Gas prices have moderated a bit from their highs in May and early June, but they are still more than twice what they were when Biden took office, i.e., when Donald Trump was president, and everyone thinks prices will climb again this winter.
So, prices are rising, your money is worth less, and, oh, by the way, you have less of it. On Friday, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average lost just over 1,000 points, wiping out billions in value. And if the “Prosperity Reduction Act” (the real name of the inflationary “Inflation Reduction Act”) weren’t enough of a blow—raising taxes and weaponizing the tax farmers of the IRS—Biden has delivered another sharp jab to the solar plexus of the American taxpayer with his hare-brained student loan “forgiveness” scheme.
True, from time immemorial, the promise of debt forgiveness has been a powerful political gesture. But as has often been pointed out since the student loan subsidy was announced, Biden’s program is not really debt forgiveness. Rather, it is debt transference. That is, the debt doesn’t go away. It is just dropped in someone else’s lap. And that someone, Dear Reader, is you.
Flying monkey Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dramatized what is happening back in 2020 when, having touted the idea of forgiving students loans herself, she responded to someone who asked her if that meant he would be getting back the money he saved so that his daughter didn’t have any student loans. “Of course not,” was the squaw’s response. The moral of the story: “So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed.”
Crisply put, that. Work hard. Save your money. Pay your debts. Then get saddled with someone else’s debts because you didn’t have the foresight to be improvident at the opportune moment.
Feel like a chump yet?
I suspect that there is a primitive impulse at work in this latest exhibition of magical thinking by our political masters. In many cultures, you find that at times of crisis people resort to scapegoating. The Book of Leviticus describes one version of the procedure. Get you a pair of kid goats. Perform a ceremony that invests one with all the debts, sins, and impurities of the community and release it into the wilderness to carry off said debts. Sacrifice the other. Feel better now?
The ancient Greeks promoted an unfortunate member of the community to the position of the goats. The so-called φαρμακός, usually from the lower class of society—those Hillary Clinton called “deplorables”—would be sacrificed in atonement for some perceived divine displeasure. Hard cheese on the victim, but sacrifices must be made for the greater good, or at least the good of the nomenklatura.
Biden’s new exercise in scapegoating has not been very popular, and even Democrats, at least those whose election prospects are iffy, are quietly distancing themselves from this insane, immoral, and probably illegal effort at wealth redistribution.
And speaking of things that are insane, immoral, and probably illegal, let’s turn briefly to our Stasi’s raid on Joe Biden’s chief political rival, Donald Trump.
The raid on Mar-a-Lago has prompted an incontinent cataract of commentary. I’ve contributed a tiny stream or two myself (and here). The result has been a sea of verbiage across which it is difficult to paddle to the truth of the event. Perhaps the single best comment was offered by Mike Davis, an attorney and former clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Though this op-ed by David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey for the Wall Street Journal deserves honorable mention.)
Davis cuts like a laser beam to the essential core of the event. The raid, he notes, was “unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful.”
All of the distracted talk about the Presidential Records Act and Trump having classified documents in his possession is neither here nor there. A president can declassify whatever he wants for any reason or no reason.
Moreover, Davis said, he has the sole authority to determine what is a personal document, which is his for the keeping, and what is a presidential document, which goes to the national archive, before, generally, being returned for a place in the former president’s presidential library.
The travesty of the raid was underscored by the heavily redacted warrant that the Justice Department was forced to produce on Friday. It’s a sea of black punctuated here and there by single words or phrases. Davis speculates that the proximate reason for the raid was that among the documents Trump had declassified and that he had in his possession were documents pertaining to the “Crossfire Hurricane” “Trump-is-a-Russian-Asset” gambit that the FBI unleashed in its long war against the former president at the instigation of Hillary Clinton and her cronies. Doubtless there are many embarrassing revelations in that narrative, about Clinton herself but also about various actors, former and present, in the FBI and various intelligence agencies.
As the Federalist’s Sean Davis tweeted, the “DOJ and FBI are so corrupt that they’re redacting their reasons for redactions in their justification for raiding a U.S. president’s home.” And he adds, “However much contempt you have for these lawless agencies, it’s not nearly enough.”
This is true. Together with last week’s revelation that the FBI leaned on Facebook to keep news about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop under wraps, the raid on Mar-a-Lago revealed the FBI to be totally beyond the pale. America, as Stephen Kruiser put it, was a better place when the FBI didn’t rig elections. The FBI long ago crossed its Rubicon. It should be disbanded and replaced.