The student loan industry lobbied the U.S. Congress to pass The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 to rewrite the federal bankruptcy rules to not allow an individual to escape from paying off their student loan by declaring bankruptcy.

This resulted in financial institutions lending money to people who pursued degrees with little likelihood of yielding big enough salaries to pay off their student loan debts, or to people who had little likelihood of succeeding in their college careers. The financial institutions were willing to issue these risky unsecured loans because they knew the debtors could not escape their burden through bankruptcy anymore.

Consequently, there are now millions of people buried in student loan debt who are looking for the government to unburden them from their foolishness. Ironically, they are looking to the same government that created the problem in the first place with reckless legislation.

Many federal politicians are advocating for the forgiveness of student loan debt. But what does “forgive” mean? The debt doesn’t simply disappear – people who originally funded the loans (often taxpayers) are now not going to be repaid. Therefore, forgiveness can only mean the confiscation of money from people who did not authorize the risky loans, who did not go into student loan debt themselves, or who perhaps did not even go to college at all. The confiscation will come either through increased taxation or increased money-printing that will fuel inflation and devalue savings.

Does the Constitution even permit the federal government to forgive student loans (which necessarily means to transfer money from some people to others)?

The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

So, the Ninth Amendment reserves to citizens every right that is not specifically limited by the authority delegated to the Federal Government in the Constitution. In the case of student loans, the Constitution does not delegate the authority to the government to transfer wealth from some individuals to others to pay off debts. Doing so clearly violates the right to private property of each citizen.

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes the Federal Government to interfere in student loans or even to interfere in the realm of education. Therefore, the authority to address these issues is reserved to the States, via the 10th amendment, or to individuals, via the 9th amendment.