Welcome and congratulations, graduating class of 2023!
Now to deliver the commencement address is President Joe Biden.
“Thank you and congratulations, seniors!
“A commencement address is an opportunity to pass along important life advice for young people like yourselves preparing to begin your adulthood.
“Because actions speak louder than words, I’d like to use the policies advanced by my administration and my progressive allies as guidance for your actions moving forward. There are clear messages for how you should approach life contained in these policies, and I’d like to highlight three for you today.
“First, for those of you choosing to go to college, be sure you don’t fully pay for tuition by working or saving or having your parents make sacrifices to pay the expenses. Borrow!
“And don’t worry about going tens of thousands of dollars into debt in exchange for a degree with no market value. The government will bail you out. Taking financial responsibility for college education is for suckers. Don’t worry about the bill; let the government force working people who were foolish enough to pay their own way through hard work and sacrifice to pay for your college too.
“Second, I know many of you have noticed how the prices of things you need have risen dramatically over the last couple of years. That of course is the result of our policy choice to print trillions of dollars out of thin air to pay for massive government deficits.
“The message here is also pretty clear: spend now before things get even more expensive. And certainly don’t save money, because it is losing value by the day. Either way, don’t plan for the future. Spend! Spend, borrow, and spend some more!
“And if you do want to try to set aside some money for later, forget about searching for safe investment vehicles. The returns on those can’t keep up with inflation, so they are losing value too. Instead, you’ll need to venture into more risky and sophisticated investments like the stock market, bonds, or even ETFs.
“Good luck with that! As a product of public schooling, you’ll be ill-equipped to understand financial investments because your schools were too busy teaching you about gender fluidity and white privilege and didn’t bother to even teach you how to balance a checkbook, let alone about long-term investment strategies.
“Third, don’t worry about paying your bills on time to build up a good credit score. In fact, a good credit score will get you punished when you go to make the biggest purchase and investment in your life: buying a home. Instead, a bad credit score will be rewarded at the expense of those who responsibly built up a good one. Pile up debt!
“Some critics of my policies may say that a society based on irresponsible spending and borrowing with little to no savings for the future is one with a short shelf life. Rewarding irresponsible financial behavior while punishing responsible behavior is a road to ruin. You can’t consume your way to prosperity, they’ll say. They’ll claim that without investments — fueled by real savings — in the nation’s stock of productive capital, output diminishes, which decreases our standard of living. It’s especially devastating for the nation’s poor, they’ll argue.
“But look at the example we set in the federal government. We’re closing in on $32 trillion in debt, and have already added more than a trillion to that debt in the seven months of the current fiscal year. Despite this long track record of what our critics call absolute fiscal irresponsibility, half of the population of this nation is still convinced that the cure for society’s ills is more government spending. We must be doing something right!
“In conclusion, don’t be a sucker. Don’t save, don’t pay your bills on time, and don’t pay for your own college degree. Pay attention to the strong signals we’re sending with our policy choices. Savings will be eroded by inflation, good credit scores will be punished and bad ones rewarded, and your college debt will be repaid by others.
“[Whispering] On election day, just remember who took care of you.”