MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough took aim Monday morning at universities that pump out what he called “worthless” degrees, likening them to “predatory lenders.”
President Joe Biden announced his plan to cancel certain student loans Aug. 24, sparking backlash about wiping out student debt.
Scarborough paraphrased a moment in the Bible during a segment of “Morning Joe,” speaking about when Jesus declared it was time for people stop sinning and turn over a new leaf.
“We need to say that to the predatory lenders. Say that to the universities that are actually putting out degrees that are worthless in subjects that are worthless, that are raking in millions and millions of dollars,” Scarborough subsequently added.
Scarborough then recounted his own experience paying college tuition, noting how the cost of tuition has ballooned over the past few decades and pointing to several examples of universities, such as Louisiana State University and Baylor University, whose tuition has increased more than 300%. (RELATED: ‘I’m Not Sure Biden’s Policy Here Works’: Former Democratic Senator Casts Doubt On Student Loan Forgiveness Plan)
“These numbers are indefensible. I just, my only point is … if you’re going to do debt forgiveness, do it in a way that tells the universities, ‘We’re going to forgive this debt, but here’s the deal: if you want universities to be able to take part in the loan program, state colleges: you’re going to have a fixed fee. Maybe it’s a $5,000 tuition. Private universities, $10,000. You don’t like that? That’s fine. You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to be a part of the federal loan program. But we’re no longer going to let you get rich off the backs of poor students, middle class students, and taxpayers.'”
Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan would cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individuals making under $125,000 per year.
The Biden administration is relying on a post-9/11 law known as the “HEROES Act” to cancel student debt. The law was intended for service members risking their lives in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks. The Department of Education cited the “COVID-19 pandemic” as a reason Biden could legally use the law to cancel student debt, since the legislation allows for federal student loans to be modified in the midst of a “war or other military operation or national emergency.”