CAGW Names Sen. Elizabeth Warren May 2019 Porker of the Month | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Sen. Elizabeth Warren May 2019 Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) May 2019 Porker of the Month for proposing a taxpayer-funded student loan bailout and “free” college.  

On April 22, 2019, Sen. Warren proposed a plan for universal free college and the cancellation  of “debt for more than 95 percent of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt.”  The plan was immediately panned by several observers.  USA Today wrote that it, “flunks fiscal and fairness tests.” 

While her solution is foolish, Sen. Warren’s focus on the student loan bubble is laudable, because it resembles the housing bubble before it crashed in 2007-2008.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “the average cost of a four-year education rose by 64 percent” over the past two decades, with the average college cost now more than $100,000.  This never-ending increase in tuition has been caused by the artificially expanded availability of loans, which provides no incentive to colleges and universities to keep tuition low.  The New York Federal Reserve found that, “for every dollar in new subsidized student loans the government offers, schools jack up the price of tuition by 60 cents.” 

Sen. Warren’s plan would pour taxpayer-funded gasoline on this fiscal inferno and accelerate the backwards incentive structure that necessitates taking out ever-costlier loans.  Worse yet, the Brookings Institution found that, “nearly half of the estimated $640 billion to be forgiven under her plan would go to the top 40% of earners.”

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Sen. Warren needs to be reminded that the worst way to lower the cost of something is for the government to deem it ‘free.’  Tuition continues to rise because of the endless availability of credit, which perversely necessitates higher loans.  Sen. Warren’s unfair and costly plan would exacerbate this crisis and push students deeper into long-term debt.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  For more than two decades, Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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