Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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Rep. Jared Golden’s   justification against forgiving student debt is flawed. He argues that taxpayers should not be burdened with paying for someone else’s personal choice to pursue a degree.

If we were to universally adopt Golden’s perspective that taxpayers shouldn’t burden the outcomes of the choices of others, we would undermine the very foundation of our society. Taxpayer dollars fund infrastructure, healthcare, defense, and social programs that benefit the entire population. Yet, Golden does not question whether taxpayers should finance roads they don’t personally drive on, healthcare that some may not directly benefit from, or immense defense expenditures that not everyone agrees are necessary.

People with student debt are also taxpayers, bearing the burden of paying for the decisions of others, particularly businesses. When businesses receive government support or tax breaks, taxpayers with student debt are also shouldering the costs of those personal decisions made by others. Yet, Golden does not speak of fairness to taxpayers in this regard. Neither do I. Because that argument would be flimsy here as well.

I think Golden’s perspective raises concerns about his ability to prioritize the well-being of the people he represents and fails to acknowledge the fundamental role of government in shaping a fair and inclusive society. As taxpayers, we recognize the importance of investing in education to foster equal opportunities and empower individuals to contribute to society. By doing so, we build a stronger and more prosperous future for all.

Michael Beck