Biden’s Bribe to the Rich: Student Loan Forgiveness

The rich get richer, the old saying goes. And President Joe Biden wants it to stay that way.

Concrete example: the White House announced a major measure concerning student debt, cancel it for nearly 40,000 borrowers and bringing 3.6 million people closer to forgiveness. Yet student debt relief primarily benefits the wealthy.

Yes, like much of the progressive agenda, this is being framed as “fairness” – with a massive contingent of Democratic lawmakers calling for relief late last month as a means of “advancing equity as our country strives to rebuild a stronger and fairer economy.

But look at the numbers. A January article from Left-wing Brookings Institution showed how unevenly distributed student debt is, with almost a third of everything US student debt owed by the richest 20% of households, while the lowest-earning fifth of households owe less than 10% of that debt.

Students with higher degrees – doctors, lawyers, etc. – hold 40% of the debt.

And another recent study shows that universal student debt cancellation demanded by Democratic lawmakers would benefit the top 10% five times as much as those below.

The student loan freeze in place since the start of the pandemic has already saved these mostly affluent borrowers $195 billion in loan repayments, even as economic life has become more difficult for those who are at the bottom of the economic scale. Unemployment among university graduates, meanwhile, is less than 2%.

That forgiving student loans is a gift to the wealthy should come as no surprise to anyone with more than a passing knowledge of life in this country: the vast majority of American adults don’t have college degrees, and those who tend to earn more.

So why want to forgive? Well, a large portion of those indebted, well-educated voters are Democrats who live in suburban areas where the party is trying to shore up votes. The pardon would also appeal to younger voters, among whom Biden’s support has plummeted.

It’s the exact opposite of fairness: a transfer of wealth to the already well-to-do to bribe major Democratic constituencies, and both an insult and a curse to the less well-off.

About Kimberly Alley

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