Biden mangled the teleprompter text when rolling out the plan and also offered a URL that didn’t work the next morning when I tried it; The Post reported that “curious borrowers” crashed the Department of Education’s website on Wednesday. But then Biden multiplied his mistakes by comparing Republicans and their supporters to “semi-fascists,” a facial plant that will have lasting damage, much like Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” commentary persists to this day.
The loan forgiveness program is unlikely to survive a legal challenge. It’s hard to see how a president has the power to write off the debt, even though that debt has been sanctioned by the federal government. “It’s unconstitutional,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) told me the morning after Biden’s announcement, “which is obviously something important. I don’t think it’s something that Biden cares, but he doesn’t have the power to.
The issue will resonate with the electorate in a way that will deepen many of the cultural grievances and resentments that currently aggravate and animate both parties. No one is against aiding truly desperate people in need, but the Biden administration’s suggestion that recipients must meet a means test before receiving the benefit is a joke. Rising doctors, lawyers, and investment bankers can grab their Biden gold (up to $40,000 for a married couple), and it’s available to any debtor student about to start a job at Big Law, Big Tech or Big Finance.
Compare this benefit with these groups:
All the parents who saved and saved then took out a second mortgage to help pay for their children’s college and graduate school tuition. They look and feel like suction cups now.
Veterans who went to school with the GI Bill, but to reap those benefits had to spend time in Kabul or Mosul, or at a base in Texas or on a ship in the Pacific.
counterpointThe Arguments Against Biden’s Loan Cancellation Plan Are Terrifying
Young people who went to community college for two years to get their required courses cheaply and worked to put money on the table.
Student-athletes who trained and trained for their colleges to grant them athletic scholarships, which they kept only if they participated faithfully. Many of these sports require players to practice a minimum of 25-30 hours per week. They basically made their way through college.
Think also of people who chose after high school to go to work right away, for a trade or a craft or just a job. They assembled cars or worked in a shipyard or decided to work in the hotel industry and spent two years as night clerks before taking a break from a decent shift. It’s not a path the college-bound kid has pondered; but those who wanted to — or had no choice but to take it — might think this federal giveaway to the wealthy is the last straw.
And then there’s this: Residents of DC and surrounding areas have some of the highest levels of student debt in the country. Chelsea Cirruzzo of Axios noted that “District residents aged 25-34 owe the highest federal student loan debt at $2.8 billion, followed by 35-49 year olds at $2.5 billion. .”
No wonder Democrats such as Michael F. Bennet of Colorado and Cortez Masto of Nevada took a stand saying the giveaway should have been more targeted. “The Democrats in the closest races,” Axios’ Josh Kraushaar explained, “were out within hours protesting this.” Too late: Biden stepped on another rake.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board eviscerated President Biden’s highly anticipated student loan document as “vote buying in its rawest form.”
The Post called it “regressive.”
The best summary is that it’s unconstitutional and inflationary — and the fact that it’s bad policy for Democratic incumbents provides the only silver lining.