Finley: Warren takes pandering to new heights

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Elizabeth Warren is making the pre-Depression promise attributed to Herbert Hoover of a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage look like a scrawny pigeon and a couple of rusty Schwinns.

Just in time for Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, the Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful unveiled what well could be the most expensive piece of campaign pandering in modern history.

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden talk during a break, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa.

Warren vowed that if she’s elected president, she’ll cancel the student debt of 45 million Americans, who cumulatively owe $1.5 trillion.

And she’ll bypass Congress and the democratic process to do it.

The senator claims federal law gives the president broad authority to restructure the student loan program, and so she’ll issue an executive order to forgive the debt backed by the government.

But as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pointed out, the Constitution vests responsibility for spending in the Congress, and it's hard to see how what Warren is promising is not an expenditure. It certainly would have to be reflected in the budget, which Congress must approve.

Warren says she’s not a socialist, but this promise and how she intends to fulfill it reflects the dictatorial instincts of socialism. She doesn’t feel obliged to ask the people’s representatives to do what she feels is best for the people.

Sure, those with big student debt bills may welcome Warren’s cancellation order, damn the consequences for the nation. But how will those who didn’t borrow to go to college, or who have paid off their debt, feel about paying higher taxes to cover other people’s loans?

Warren says don’t worry about that. She won’t need a broad tax hike to fill the hole her promise will blow in the Treasury. She’ll pay for it by taxing the rich and big corporations.

That’s the same way she says she’ll pay for free college, free health care, free child care, loans to help women and minorities to start small businesses and the host of other giveaways that form her campaign platform.

Warren has built her career on whoppers, and this is the biggest one of all. Taxing the wealthy at a 100-percent tax rate wouldn’t even raise enough money to cover the current $1 trillion budget deficit. If she’s going to pay for her explosion of the entitlement state, it will be middle class taxpayers who will cough up the money.

That’s always the case. And it’s why the middle class ultimately disappears in socialist states.

Those holding student debt shouldn’t stop making their payments just yet. As Hoover demonstrated, campaign promises are easier to make than keep.