Asked in Iowa Saturday if he backed the idea of student loan borrowers serving compulsory military stints, Ron DeSantis rejected the concept of “bringing people in who just may not have any interest.” The Governor told attendees at a Never Back Down “meet and greet” event in Algona, Iowa, that a service requirement could “potentially backfire” given the population of people in today’s colleges. “I look at some of these college campuses and I’m not sure how many of those folks would thrive in a military environment.
I’m not saying none of them could, but I do think it’s something that because I want the military standards to be high and I want the mission to be above all else if you start forcing people to come in who have no interest in the military, this is not theirs,” DeSantis said. “I think it’s harder to get that cohesion.” DeSantis talked of his own military service at some length thereafter, before restating his belief “that we want to draw people that really have that sense of purpose and drive rather than, rather than force people to come in who may not want to be part of it.” DeSantis, like most Republicans, has made political hay out of moves by the Joe Biden administration to “forgive” student loans.
The latest administration plan has been to fix long-standing failures of the Department of Education and loan servicers to correct deficiencies in the Income Based Repayment program in counting payments, fulfilling an agreement for loan discharge after 20 years of undergraduate loan repayment, or 25 years for graduate borrowing. The Governor has previously called to stop “subsidizing ineffective programs at these universities,” including arguing earlier this summer that loans should be “dischargeable in bankruptcy,” which was made illegal in most cases decades ago.