“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
This famous line by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reminds us that while government handouts may sound good, someone still has to foot the bill.
Despite inflation remaining at a 40-year high, last week, President Biden announced his plan to unilaterally “cancel” hundreds of billions of dollars in federal student loan debt. This gimmick is little more than an attempt by Biden to boost his abysmal and well-deserved approval rating and will likely worsen our nation’s dire economic condition.
What’s more, this debt will not magically go away but rather will be unfairly transferred to hardworking Americans across the country. According to the University of Pennsylvania Penn Wharton Budget Model, Biden’s student loan scheme could cost American taxpayers between $300-$980 billion. Yet, this tab will be paid primarily by those who either never went to college or have worked hard to pay off their own loans. Of the 332.4 million Americans, only around 45 million have student loan debt. Despite this, Biden and Democrats in Washington want to force you to pay this debt with your tax dollars.
This big government socialist scheme is simply not fair. That’s why last month, I cosponsored the Fairness for Responsible Borrowers Act, a bill that will prevent the Departments of Education, Justice, or the Treasury from taking any action to “forgive” outstanding student loan balances and transfer the costs to you.
Many are questioning if the president even has the legal authority to do this, including Nancy Pelosi, who last year said, “People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power.”
While the Democrats pursue overreaching political stunts that will hurt our economy and unfairly punish you and your family, Republicans are focused on long-term solutions to actually address the high cost of education and get our economy back on track.
At the same time, we must also take steps to help protect the health and safety of our communities.
Over the past few years, drug overdose deaths have surged across the United States. Much of this surge is driven by synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. The trafficking and usage of it continues to plague our communities in record numbers. In North Carolina alone, there were 3,759 deaths from opioid overdoses last year. This crisis is devastating families, overwhelming medical providers, and straining prevention and treatment efforts nationwide. To help combat this epidemic, I cosponsored the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act of 2021 and the HALT Fentanyl Act, bills that will help keep this deadly drug off the streets as well as improve addiction treatment services in communities nationwide.
It is more important than ever that we get communities the resources they need to overcome this crisis, and I will continue working hard to make this happen.
In addition to providing resources for communities in need, we must also stop these drugs from entering our communities in the first place. This starts by ending the Biden border crisis, which is spurring an influx of fentanyl and other deadly drugs into our country. Last month, roughly 2,100 pounds of fentanyl were seized by law enforcement at our southern border — a 202% increase from June and more than double the 780 pounds seized in July of last year. Washington Democrats’ open border policies have created an avenue for deadly, illicit drugs to enter the country, and it must be stopped. This is why I introduced the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act, which will help stem the flow of this deadly drug through our border. Furthermore, I am pushing policies to secure our border, including reinstating the “remain in Mexico” policy, maintaining Title 42 authority, giving Customs and Border Patrol the resources and support it needs, and finishing the wall.
Whether it’s our economy, public health, or the border, Democrats in Washington have continued to make the problem worse. I will continue to work hard to hold them accountable and promote common sense solutions that help make our communities safer, healthier, and more prosperous.
Richard Hudson is serving his fifth term representing North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and in House leadership as the Republican Conference Secretary.