GOP predicts ‘blue-collar backlash’ to Biden’s student loan plans
RPublic leaders predict that President Joe Biden will live to regret “cancelling” student loans if he follows through with executive action, something the White House has been teasing for months.
Biden debates whether to shift $10,000 or more per student loan debt borrower to taxpayers, though party leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are pushing him to come closer of $50,000. While the latest reports have an income cap of $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for married couples, such action may disable two-thirds of families who have never taken out student loans.
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“What does that say to all these people? Man, you were really dumb here,” former education secretary Betsy DeVos said.
earlier this week.
DeVos and other GOPers thus predict a “blue-collar reaction” if Biden shifts student loan debt from borrowers to taxpayers. While Democrats hope the move will energize young voters in a non-presidential election year, only 13% of people have student loan debt overall.
Any student loans that the President or Congress acts on are not really “cancelled,” but absorbed by the taxpayers and rolled into the national debt.
The Trump-era education secretary also pointed out that the move, if materialized, will do nothing for the next generation of borrowers and will only “buy a bunch of political points.” One of the solutions she proposed instead was for the federal government to completely withdraw from the student loan business.
Even some top Democrats tend to agree. While Democratic Senate leadership is all in and pushing Biden to get bigger, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sounded more like DeVos in comments she gave in 2021. Pelosi said Biden couldn’t legally handle student loans on her own and suggested she opposes the idea anyway.
“Suppose… your child decides that he, at this moment, [do] don’t want to go to college, but you’re paying taxes to cancel someone else’s obligations,” she said last July. “You may not be happy about it.”
On the other hand, there is evidence of support from Republicans, especially younger ones, for loan transfers. A recent Student Borrower Protection Center poll found that 60% of Republicans between the ages of 30 and 39 back Biden for student debt cancellation, as do a slim majority of Republicans between the ages of 18-29 and 40-49. year. This GOP support drops among older age groups.
Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson has been a strong advocate for student loan forgiveness, saying it affects basic life decisions like getting married or having children, and he called on Congress to to act.
The prevalence of student loan burdens among young, educated workers is evidenced by reports that White House staffers collectively hold up to $4.7 million in loans, raising ethical questions about transactions personal on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Republicans have cried foul of staffers who would personally benefit from Biden lifting the burden on their loans, with Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and chief ethics counsel for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, claiming the issue might not just be unethical but criminal as a violation of 18 USC 208.
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But while the White House may be staffed with a number of student loan holders, the group is a small minority compared to the rest of the country. That dynamic could come back to bite Democrats this fall.
“I think Democrats are grossly underestimating the intensity of the anger that the college loan cancellation will cause,” Damon Linker, senior fellow at the Niskanen Center, wrote in a widely shared message.
. “Those with college debt will be happy, of course. But a lot of people who didn’t go to college or worked to pay off their debt? It’s going to be bad.”