Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) appears to have found an issue that connects with voters. Two recent polls show considerable support for Warren's proposal to pay down college loan debt. Bad idea.

The Washington Examiner says during a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday, Warren said she doesn't conduct her own polling when formulating her positions on issues such as student debt forgiveness.

“I know what I’m out here fighting for. But I’ve watched the national polls on that wealth tax, and paying off—forgiving, canceling the student loan debt, and it’s popular with more than two out of every three Americans,” Warren said. “That’s Americans. That’s not just Democrats.”

Whether Warren puts the finger in the wind or not the student debt proposal is connecting. The paper says recent national polling shows support for student debt forgiveness: "Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 56 percent of American voters support Warren’s student debt relief program and 27 percent of voters oppose the proposal. A Quinnipiac poll found that 57 percent of voters approve of her student debt relief program, while 40 percent disapprove."

UMass Dartmouth Photo
UMass Dartmouth Photo

Warren's debt forgiveness strikes a nerve with many Americans who are saddled with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for themselves or their kids after graduation. The idea that some fairy godmother—a.k.a. taxpayers—could wave a magic wand and make some if not all of your debt disappear is exciting, but it's not realistic.

Government bailouts usually flop and they don't address the real problems anyway. Using taxpayer money to relieve people of debt they willfully signed up for is a band-aid solution and is unfair to those who did repay their student loan debt.

The higher education system is rife with corruption and badly in need of reform. Rather than throw more taxpayer funds at a broken system, let's fix the system.

The cost of higher ed is ridiculous and must be brought under control. And if you are planning to sign on to debt, be sure you are going to be willing to repay what you owe.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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