We learned of the most outrageous handout of them all, of course, when Biden announced that he will — unilaterally, mind you, and for no apparent reason that I can see — extend the pause on student loan payments until the end of the year and forgive up to $10,000 for those persons making less than $125,000 a year. This generosity with other people’s money extends up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
After the Biden administration’s most recent concessions to the laptop class, you can put an end to whatever reservations you might have had about the fact that those in power no longer pretend to be fighting for the working class. This administration is trying hard to shower its pals with giveaways paid for by hardworking lower-wage Americans, from student loan forgiveness to subsidies for those who drive expensive electric cars and profitable semiconductor firm CEOs.
Picture two young married lawyers who together earn just under $250,000 and are on their way to making even more money in the future. They will be able to collect from Uncle Joe a nice bonus of $40,000, taken from the pockets of the many people who didn’t go to college — perhaps because they did not want to take on debt — and from those who have responsibly already paid back their debt.
As David Stockman, a former director of the Congressional Office of Management and Budget, reported recently, “Only 37% of Americans have a 4-year college degree, only 13% have graduate degrees and just 3% have a PhD or similar professional degree. Yet a full 56% of student loan debt is held by people who went to grad school and 20% is owed by the tiny 3% sliver with PhDs.”
Meanwhile, Jason Furman, who headed former President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, napalmed the plan in a brutal Twitter thread. He explained that, thanks to Biden’s move, interest rates would have to rise by an additional 50 to 75 basis points to counteract the added inflationary effect. Furman made clear that he regards this outcome as remarkably unfair and regressive.
It’s no wonder that so many left-leaning economists and policy wonks have loudly criticized this so-called student loan forgiveness. The Washington Post, for instance, editorialized that the decision is “regressive,” “expensive” and “likely inflationary,” nullifying “nearly a decade’s worth of deficit reduction from the Inflation Reduction Act.”