DISCLAIMER: The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.
Former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly going to formally announce his candidacy for president this week.
I used to think of Biden as being left, as in Lefty McLeft-Face. Now I’m thinking of him as a moderate. Especially given the recent views of three Dems running for president.
Warren’s Democratic student loan plan
Let’s start with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is proposing canceling student loans, forgiving up to $50,000 of debt for more than 42 million Americans.
“This is a first step toward helping young people who are drowning in debt. Unlike the big banks, students don’t have armies of lobbyists and lawyers. They only have their voices, and they call on us to do what is right,” she said Monday.
She wants to tax the wealthy. This makes the problem even worse. I want to ask a question that I think will get to the heart of the student-loan crisis. If there were never students loans, nor federal or state aid to students, would college tuition have gone up so dramatically? No, unequivocally, no. Because colleges can only charge what students can afford. If they are charging more than students can afford, then students just won’t go to class. Schools then would have to cut costs, lower prices or go out of business.
Warren should instead ask this question: Why has higher education become so expensive? We’ve given permission to colleges to raise fees and tuitions over and over because no matter how expensive college education has become, we’ve made it the job of the federal government to make sure students can pay that price. And so the built-in factor of competition has been removed. So has supply and demand, which is fundamental to capitalism.
It’s the same with health care. Competition has been taken out of the equation for years. Any program that allows you to pay whatever the cost is without checks and balances is a failed program.
Sanders and the right to vote
Up next is Sen. Bernie Sanders, in the Senate as an Independent, but running for President as a Democrat, who said on Monday that even incarcerated prisoners should have the right to vote.
“I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy — yes, even for terrible people — because once you start chipping away and say, well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote… you’re running down a slippery slope,” the Vermont senator said. “I do believe that even if they are in jail paying their price to society, that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”
Sorry, Bernie, you are way out of bounds on this one.
Inherent in our Constitution is also the right to roam freely — can’t do that in prison. Everything inherent to democracy is lost when a person is placed behind bars. Now, I don’t believe you should lose your right to vote forever. Once you pay your debt to society and are off probation, your right to vote should be restored.
Harris’s liberal take on gun control
Moving on to candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California. She said Monday if elected, she would give Congress 100 days to pass reasonable gun-control laws. If they do not, she vowed to use executive orders to institute universal background checks for any firearm dealer who sells more than five guns a year. She also called for renewing the ban on assault weapons.
Harris also said, “None of us has been sleeping over the past two years” since the Trump administration “took fugitives off the list” of people prohibited from buying firearms.
“I’d put them back on the list, meaning that fugitives from justice should not be able to purchase a handgun or any kind of weapon,” she said.
I purchased a weapon recently and was asked if I was a fugitive. I have to laugh at this question. I don’t know any fugitive who is in a store, buying a gun, who would say yes to being a fugitive. These are voluntary controls.
But this is what stood out for me: Harris and others in her party have been very vocal recently against the use of executive orders and how it’s the job of Congress to legislate. What she’s saying here is, if Congress doesn’t do their job in the first 100 days, she will do it from them.
I will give her the same response I gave to Trump while invoking an executive order to declare a national emergency for funding the southern border wall: all legislative powers are reserved for Congress, according to the Constitution. There’s no place in that document that says if Congress is not doing what you perceive as their job, then you as president can use executive orders to force them to do it.
Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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