The US president signed an executive order to forgive a large sum of federal student loans for millions of Americans – but not everyone is happy
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that the federal government would implement student loan forgiveness for tens of millions of borrowers across the country, marking perhaps the first time for many young Americans that their government has done anything to significantly impact their lives.
For me personally, this is great news. Thanks to the fact that I received scholarships when I went to university, I ‘only’ owe about $14,000 in total for the four and a half years I attended. This plan has virtually erased my debt. Several of my friends and family members are also receiving some breathing room from this, and I think it’s fair to say we’re quite pleased with the results – even if it didn’t totally zap our balance.
Still, the public reaction has been diverse but also rather predictable – and it appears that no one is really that elated. The elite certainly isn’t and that’s reflected by, for example, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal describing it as a “The Half-Trillion Dollar Forgiveness Loan Coup” that is “The worst domestic choice of all [Biden’s] Presidency and makes chumps of Congress and every American who repaid loans or didn’t go to college.”
This is the paper that represents a lot of corporate America’s opinion – which is generally disdain for working-class people. That is to say that a lot of the media reaction reflects the privilege of those people who didn’t need to take out loans for college, e.g., the wealthy. Those people didn’t benefit from this program and they feel that it’s coming out of their pockets through their tax dollars.
As the Midterm elections approach, the Republican Party has begun to paint those who enjoy loan forgiveness as scum who are being coerced by Democratic Party rivals. elections. It reminds one of the middle school class president candidate who promises a jacuzzi in the school lobby – except what seemed far-fetched actually came to be.
The Republican Party’s base is both the same pro-corporate interests that aren’t concerned with working-class Americans, plus riled-up blue-collar, heartland Americans with less education. It’s that latter part that Republicans are focusing on, trying to paint the loan forgiveness as a hand-out to liberals that takes away from ordinary workers. This is what many people want. are floating the question of whether those that didn’t go to college should just receive a $10,000 direct deposit.
Finally, there are those progressives within the Democratic Party who point out, accurately, that Biden’s campaign platform promised to wipe all student loan debt. Biden’s plan is gracious in that it eliminates $10,000 for all borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients who meet the same requirement, plus it reduces interest rates and caps income-based payments at five percent of income. This isn’t the same as blanket loan forgiveness.
I believe these people have the greatest concerns. The problem with college in America is not that it is expensive or inaccessible. The Biden administration should have forgiven a portion of the debt which might be helpful to about half of students loan debtors. That’s what they promised, after all. They would claim that it would socialize higher education and make it free. And they might be correct, since higher education should always be free in America.
This policy was a benefit to me, as I stated at the start of this article. This is not a complaint. The odds of getting any relief from debt were only 50/50. If buying voter enthusiasm was the objective, however, I can say that I – and, more importantly, the people I talked to on this – are no more enthused by Democrats now than we were before, since the idea of student loans in the first place is, to be frank, stupid.
This is because it shows how serious the nation’s problems are for youth, especially when a policy that is objectively beneficial for millions is often met with disdain from all angles. Although Biden helped millions, the circumstances he created were fundamentally unfair and unjust. This isn’t something to celebrate.
These opinions, statements and thoughts are the sole opinion of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of RT.