April 10, 2024

Student Loans

“President Joe Biden said Monday that more than 30 million borrowers would see ‘life-changing’ relief from his new plan to ease their student loan debt burdens… The Supreme Court last year foiled his first attempt to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in loans… [This] plan is smaller and more targeted than Biden’s original plan…

“The plan’s widest-reaching benefit would cancel up to $20,000 in interest for borrowers who have seen their balance grow beyond its original amount due to what Biden described as ‘runaway’ interest… An additional 2 million borrowers would automatically have their loans canceled because they’re eligible but have not applied for other forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Borrowers who have been repaying their undergraduate student loans for at least 20 years would be eligible to have any remaining debt canceled, along with those repaying graduate school loans for 25 years or more.” AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left supports the plan, arguing that borrowers need help.

“If you wanted to design a system to destroy the life chances of young adults, you could not do better than the student loan system… While state legislatures gradually withdrew tax support for universities, Pell grants steadily dropped in relative benefit. In 1980, a Pell grant covered more than three-fourths of the cost of attending a public university. Today, it covers less than 30 percent; student debt must make up the rest…

“In this shift, Republicans at both the state and federal level were worse than Democrats. But today, the typical state university is only about 50 percent tax-supported, and the figure is about the same in blue states as in red ones. At the University of Massachusetts, in a state that has been blue for generations, in-state tuition, fees, room, board, and other needs cost about $37,000 per year. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about what private college cost 40 years ago.”

Robert Kuttner, American Prospect

“The new plan offered up on Monday won’t affect nearly as many people as the original plan — but it’s definitely the best workaround that the White House has come up with yet… The focus on interest is a smart pivot for the administration, given the massive resistance that previous attempts to wipe out student debt wholesale has seen…

“In wiping out accumulated interest, allowing any remaining payments to go directly to the principle, many who have been drowning in debt may actually be able to pay back what they owe while avoiding accusations that the program is unfair to those who already paid their loans in full…

“And for those who owe more than they originally borrowed, this proposal would mean ‘they can finally get on with their lives, instead of their lives being put on hold,’ as Biden put it.”

Hayes Brown, MSNBC

Some conservatives have accused Biden of trying to buy votes — as if Donald Trump offering tax breaks to a room full of billionaires was a policy-motivated decision. Others point out the president is only doing this to fulfill a campaign promise, which, for some reason, I thought was part of the job…

“In America, the childless pay for schools they don’t need, and city dwellers pay for county roads they’ll never drive on. That kind of economic cooperation is needed in a land as vast as ours…

“Biden’s latest effort won’t directly help me. It may not help you. But should we let envy cloud our minds? Any help with college costs and loans is better for society as a whole than none.”

LZ Granderson, Los Angeles Times

From the Right

The right criticizes the plan, arguing that it is regressive and also illegal.

The right criticizes the plan, arguing that it is regressive and also illegal.

“Forgiving student loans on the back of all taxpayers is a transfer of wealth from the poorer and less-educated to the richer and better-educated — and fewer… For all Biden’s blather to the contrary, the majority who don’t go to college (or who pay off their loans) get hurt: It’s just another bill, or at least more federal debt for the grandkids to repay, and more inflation for the Fed to fight with even higher interest rates.”

Editorial Board, New York Post

“Such broad forgiveness is simply bad policy. Not only is it regressive, it also provides colleges and universities with precisely the wrong incentives. When students don’t have to pay back the money they borrow to pay for college, colleges don’t have any reason to keep prices low. On the contrary, some students will necessarily benefit from paying and borrowing as much as possible…

“It seems that this administration is more interested in scoring political points than enacting good policy. The math is simple: 30 million Americans with lower or completely forgiven student loan balances will have Biden to thank, and they may repay the favor in November by giving him their vote. As is the case with many transfer programs, costs are distributed, while benefits are concentrated.”

Beth Akers, American Enterprise Institute

“Whether it is the student loan cancellation plan, a regulatory scheme aimed at forcing consumers to buy expensive electric vehicles that they cannot afford, or refusing to secure the southern border and stem the tide of illegal immigrants that allows corporations to undercut the wages of U.S. citizens, Biden is putting the desires of the wealthy elite over the needs of the working class…

“For a man who has spent a lifetime in public office cultivating the image of ‘Scranton Joe,’ the champion of the common worker, the president deserves a new nickname: Bourgeoisie Biden.”

Jeremiah Poff, Washington Examiner

“Mr. Biden’s new loan forgiveness is [also] illegal. The High Court stressed that student loan forgiveness is a major question that requires clear authorization from Congress

“Mr. Biden is setting an awful precedent that Donald Trump will no doubt exploit. If courts say he can’t re-purpose defense money to build a wall on the southern border, he could simply use another means to do so. ​​The right will cheer him on as the left is Mr. Biden. The rule of law and taxpayers are the losers.”

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at admin@theflipside.io if you continue to have issues!