Joe Biden Pushes America One Step Closer to Fracturing By Pushing Nullification and a Constitutional Crisis
We are living in crazy times when the president will spend over 1/10th of a trillion dollars to bail out people who made dumb decisions, but not a dime to secure our southern border.
For years, a fringe group on the Right has pushed the idea of nullification, which is the idea that states and citizens can ignore federal legislation and U.S. Supreme Court decisions they deem unconstitutional. During that time, the Left made fun of the Right for its nullification activities despite endorsing sanctuary cities, which nullify federal immigration law. Now Joe Biden and the Left have adopted this philosophy as a mainstream governing concept. They, like the small group on the Right, are not just wrong, but dangerously so. It may seem inconsequential, but each time Biden ignores the Supreme Court’s decision barring him from unilaterally via executive orders canceling federal student loan debt, he is undermining our Republican form of government and pushing America one step closer to fracturing. We aren’t talking about pennies here either. So far, Biden has forgiven $136.6 billion in federal student loan debt covering 3.7 million Americans. A fraction of those funds could have fully sealed the southern border with an airtight physical fence.
If Biden can ignore the Supreme Court on that issue, what is the limiting principle stopping him (or any future President of either party) from ignoring the Supreme Court on any other issue? Why should the next Republican president not ignore Supreme Court decisions on any issue in which he doesn’t like what was decided? How would the Left react if Donald Trump decided a Supreme Court decision against broad presidential immunity was wrong so he and any future president could do virtually anything they wanted without fear of prosecution after he left office (as enforcement entirely depends on who controls the federal executive branch)? Or, what if Trump decided because illegal immigrants are non-citizens they no longer are entitled to hearings on their asylum or refugee status so can be immediately deported once apprehended? Or, what if Trump decided to prosecute Barack Obama for killing U.S. citizens with drones, which he unequivocally did during his presidency? Or, what if Trump ignored any laws allowing illegal immigrants and non-citizens from being counted for U.S. Census and redistricting purposes?
You get the point. Once you start ignoring the Supreme Court, the slope gets very, very slippery.
Beyond setting the precedent for presidents to ignore the Supreme Court, Biden’s actions also open the spigot for states and citizens to do the same. That appears to now be happening in Texas where Texas Governor Greg Abbott is setting aside the Supreme Court’s purely procedural unexplained order on Texas’ right to fortify the southern border with razor wire to stop the flood of illegal immigrants being encouraged and welcomed by the Biden Administration. Given the federal government’s willful and intentional failure to secure the border, as Abbott detailed in a letter yesterday, Texas has the right to protect its citizens from the destruction and death they are experiencing due to the Biden Administration’s gross negligence/intentional recklessness.
I’ve known the head of Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw for years. There is no one better than Steve at that job. If Steve’s and Abbott’s legal team believed they had the right to act under the Constitution, then I’m glad they did. Nonetheless, we’ve entered uncharted territory raising a constitutional crisis that one has to wonder how it will end? Will Biden send troops down to Texas to dismantle the fence and possibly fight with Texas law enforcement? Will the Supreme Court substantively issue a decision against Texas? Will Texas stand down at that point? Both Biden’s dismissal of the Supreme Court’s decision on loan forgiveness and Texas’ actions to protect its citizens due to the federal government’s refusal to do its job are yet another ratcheting up of the civic war that is fracturing our country more than it already is. As I wrote about, one unthinkable outcome this ratcheting effect could lead to is an eventual consensual breakup of the United States into separate countries.
Not to pick on one person regarding federal student loan forgiveness, but Emily Withnall wrote about it so made herself a target. Specifically, in an article in The New York Times on January 14, 2024, titled, “For Some Young People, a College Degree Is Not Worth the Debt,” Withnall wrote, "I have never earned enough income to have to make payments on my student loans, which total $81,000 for two degrees. I assumed I would carry the debt to my grave.” Withnall then talks about her daughter, Alex, and another young woman who started college, but then dropped out for various reasons, including fear of accumulating loan debt. Towards the end of the article, we learn that Withnall qualified for a federal student loan forgiveness program (not the one nixed by the Supreme Court). She notes: "After so many years of watching me struggle, Alex finally had the opportunity to witness some relief: In December, my loans were finally forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. I don’t know if the program will last or if Alex will ever need it, but I hope it’s one of many solutions that could help make college more accessible for everyone.”
“More accessible” means “free,” which means everyone else pays for her to go to college.
Maybe you think Withnall’s loans should have been forgiven, but I find it troubling for three main reasons. First, what is so special about Withnall’s job(s) that she should get her loans forgiven versus the tens of millions of other hardworking Americans whose loans will never be forgiven? Secondly, why should those Americans and all of the Americans who didn’t go to college have to pay Withnall's forgiven debt (it didn’t just magically disappear) via higher taxes, higher interest rates, and higher inflation? Lastly, why should Withnall get such favorable treatment in the form of an $81,000 gift compared to Americans who didn’t go to college—what gift are they getting, especially knowing America already grossly underfunds opportunities for them after high school compared to college kids?
Thanks to LinkedIn, I was able to check out Withnall’s profile to see her educational and job history. Let me tell you some facts she conveniently left out of her “compelling” story. As has been covered extensively, Withnall is the stereotypical liberal arts major graduate who is surprised to learn that the pay for English majors is low given that the supply of people with that major is high and the demand for them is very low. She finished her undergraduate degree in 2007. Though we don’t know how much student loan debt, if any, Withnall had at that time from her undergraduate degree, we can surmise that the bulk of her student loan debt came when she decided six years later to get a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, another poor paying degree (i.e., largely worthless degree) that she finished in 2015. So, hardworking Americans with useful degrees, as well as blue collar workers, have to pay because Withnall decided to incur a huge amount of loan debt to get a master’s degree in another low paying field.
Talk about doubling down with other people’s money.
From an employment standpoint, virtually all of Withnall’s career has been spent as a freelance writer, editor, or communicator. You can see the various jobs below. Again I ask, why should other Americans be forced to pay for Withnall’s various career decisions that didn’t pay off? Many of those Americans will have to pay every penny of their student loans. Full disclosure: I paid 100% of the student loans I took on when I went to law school and I did it within the ten year window I had been given. As someone who has spent a large amount of time working for non-profits and government, I want the same deal Withnall got, so I will be waiting patiently for my check from the federal government to arrive for the loans I paid off (plus the interest I would have earned from those funds). I know, I will be waiting a very long time:-)
If I had to guess, I would speculate that the vast majority of people who are having their loans forgiven by existing programs and Biden’s unconstitutional program are left-leaning voters. If the Right was smart, which is rarely is, it would mail a one-page fact sheet featuring Emily Withnall to every American who didn’t go to college and who doesn’t qualify for any of the federal student loan forgiveness programs. The piece should detail her majors and her jobs with the simple statement and question: "Emily got an $81,000 gift you pay for with higher taxes, higher interest rates, and higher costs. Why do Joe Biden and the Left care so much for people like Emily and so little for Main Street Americans like you?”
We are living in crazy times when the president will spend over 1/10th of a trillion dollars to bail out people who made dumb decisions, but not a dime to secure our sovereignty on America’s southern border.
P.S. I am pleased to report that the Ohio Senate has joined the Ohio House in overriding Mike DeWine’s progressive veto of House Bill 68, thereby protecting kids from transradical procedures and girls from having to unfairly compete against biological boys on the sports pitch. For too long, I was one of a few Ohioans pushing back on the transradical agenda, as this issue was one I pushed aggressively across the state in every speech I gave during my exploratory run for governor. Thus, I am thrilled legislators felt the pressure to act and rebuke DeWine. For five years, DeWine and Jon Husted remained silent on this critical issue, as they have on dozens of other key issues for Ohio. Hopefully, this strong move by the Ohio General Assembly will lead to other important conservative victories over the DeWine-Husted status quo.