The student loan debt crisis in America reached new heights this year when the total amount of liabilities eclipsed more than $1.5 trillion.
Unfortunately, the growing problem has emboldened progressive lawmakers — like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — who believe the debt should be wiped clean.
On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez called for legislation "erasing" the total sum of student loan debt in America. In the process, she revealed the crux of her belief: Young Americans should not be held responsible for student debt because school is too expensive and following your dreams is worth it.
Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and the myriad of other progressive lawmakers advocating student debt be erased need classes in both basic economics and personal responsibility.
Federal student loans, which comprise the majority of student loan debt, are federally guaranteed and insured by taxpayers. "Erasing" them will create unimaginable burden for an economy already seized by debt because, whether Ocasio-Cortez wants to admit it or not, the debt will still need to be paid somehow, someway.
Meanwhile, "erasing" student loans robs young people of a valuable life lesson: You are responsible for repaying that which you take but cannot afford. In no other sphere — outside of bankruptcy — are people excused from their economic liabilities. Part of accepting loans is agreeing to repay the borrowed amount with interest. This basic economic principle is not erased simply because the federal government orchestrated a student debt catastrophe.
In the end, attending college is a choice, and accepting loans to pay for college is a choice. With individual choice comes personal responsibility that government cannot wholly absolve.