As President Joe Biden contemplates offering sweeping student loan forgiveness for thousands of young adults across the country, maybe he should take some time to ask those in the military and veterans what they think about his agenda.
What do you think the impact of Biden’s decision will be on all those who were willing to serve our country and even risked their lives so that they could earn opportunities to pursue an affordable education?
Certainly, most people who have served in our military did it because of their love of their country. But for many, it was also about earning the benefits that would enable them to attend college without debt.
The GI Bill involved giving up years in their life and putting their neck out in dangerous situations. Has the Biden administration considered what a blanket of loan forgiveness will mean to these men and women?
There was a recent Mission Roll Call poll that included 6,202 veterans. A total of 77% indicated that they opposed student loan forgiveness from the government.
No one is arguing that a college education seems out of reach for many in America today. The tuition necessary is a hurdle that is high for young adults wanting to get on a professional track. Many who attempted this now have debts that impact lives and futures when considering having a family or buying a home.
But in America, there has been a path to overcome these hurdles in higher education. In fact, for 80 years our military service has provided a way to help millions of Americans get through college debt-free. If you serve in the military, the federal government will aid in getting you the resources for education without a burden of debt.
For those in college, there is the possibility of joining the ROTC. The GI Bill is available for those who want to continue their education through graduate school. For those that choose to make the military their career, there is the opportunity to transfer your GI Bill benefit to your children.
Men and women for generations have decided to serve their country in the military right out of high school and while they protect this country, they are figuring out what they want to give their lives to after education.
Our United States military continues to be a volunteer force that only makes up 1% of the total civilian population. And year after year hundreds of thousands of young men and women earn the GI Bill as a benefit of their service. They earn this incentive, they are not entitled to it.
The thought that the general population feels entitled to student loan forgiveness minimizes the sacrifice of a man who has served in the military. While the White House administration debates this move for loan forgiveness, they may not be focusing on the consequence that will take place among those who are serving or have served and sacrificed.
The taxes that they are paying now with the money they have earned from their professional career will be going to people who chose not to sacrifice.
It seems reasonable that the Biden administration considers the commitment and courage it took for many to postpone their education while serving their country.
It seems reasonable that we fight against the sense of entitlement that is being promoted in America today and reinforce the value of hard work and living within the means of what one earns.
Biden should remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, “You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”