Gov. Carney calls student debt erasure unrealistic, warns against increasing government spending
The price of higher education is on the rise, and it has been at the forefront of national politics as students struggle to pay back loans. Presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), corporate executive Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Vice President Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have all included student debt as a major talking point on their platforms for the 2020 presidential election.
But the question remains open as to how the government will finance any solution to this problem.
At a town hall event hosted by the Biden Institute last Wednesday, in Trabant, student debt was one of the many topics to which Gov. John Carney directed his audience’s attention.
He said that erasing student debt, an idea gaining currency in the Democratic presidential primary race, is not realistic, and that government should instead focus on slowing the rapidly increasing cost of a college education.
Carney also discussed recent steps he has taken to address issues such as climate change, gun control and the opioid epidemic. Throughout his discussion, his emphasis returned to financial feasibility of the proposed solutions.
Carney warned his audience about excessive government spending and the debt that accompanies it.
“We are financing all of this with U.S. obligations, which means it is a tax on future income,” Carney said. “People are gonna pay when those treasury bills come due down the road.”
Carney has spoken at dozens of town hall events across the state, where he engages directly with his constituents. The goal of these events is to draw more Delaware residents into state and local politics.
“Accessibility to elected officials, the local governments and state governments, in my view, is much greater here in the state of Delaware because we’re so small,” Carney said. “There’s a great opportunity for people to be involved.”
He pointed to bills proposed by individual constituents and emphasized one bill in particular, which was pioneered by a college student.
Nicholas Schrieber, a junior political science and public policy double major,attended the event to hear Carney’s perspectives on issues Delaware faces.
“Delaware is kind of a really small state, so it’s really easy to have access to your state legislators,” Schrieber said. “Personally, I’m on my local Democratic committee, and I speak with my state representative on a pretty common basis.”
Schrieber identified ways in which individuals can get involved in Delaware politics.
“Lobbyists and the public are allowed on the house floor in Delaware to meet with their representatives,” Schrieber said. “I feel like Carney’s comment that it is easier to have access to politicians in Delaware is pretty accurate.”
Perry Spiegel, the events manager at the Biden Institute, commented on Carney’s presence at the university.
“That’s the great thing about Delaware politics,” Spiegel said. “Politicians are looking to engage with people around the state. Everybody knows everybody in this state and we really want to make everyone’s voice heard.”