". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘Desperate’ for Votes: Biden Expands Student Loan Forgiveness by $1.2 Billion

February 23, 2024

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a new round of federal student loan debt forgiveness, in which almost 153,000 borrowers will have their loans forgiven at a cost of $1.2 billion to American taxpayers under what the White House has termed the SAVE program. Since Biden took office, he has now canceled over $131 billion of student loan debt. Experts say the policy, which will further deepen the over $34 trillion national debt, is a “desperate” attempt to garner the votes of young college students.

In a social media post on Wednesday, Biden indicated that his administration’s effort to cancel student loan debt is far from over, stating that “we’re pushing to relieve more.” As Penn Wharton estimated last July, the SAVE program is projected to cost “$475 billion over the 10-year budget window.”

The administration’s latest announcement is further proof that Biden is undeterred by the Supreme Court’s decision last June which struck down the administration’s plan to cancel up to $400 billion in student loans held by as many as 43 million people, finding that the HEROS Act of 2003 did not give the Secretary of Education the authority to forgive student loans, as the administration tried to claim. Following the decision, Biden stated, “I will stop at nothing to find other ways” to cancel student loans. Last week, Biden further boasted of ignoring the nation’s highest court regarding student loan forgiveness. “The Supreme Court blocked it,” he said. “But that didn’t stop me.”

Legal experts say that Biden’s latest loan cancellation is unconstitutional. “Despite the Supreme Court clearly saying that under our constitution the president cannot rewrite our nation’s laws, President Biden continues to do just that,” Karen Harned, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Responsibility, told National Review. “With this latest Executive Order forgiving over $1 billion in student loans, the President is once again breaking the law in a transparent attempt to garner votes.”

Observers are also noting that Biden’s policy clearly favors college graduates — one of the most privileged classes of Americans — over those who are less fortunate. “Per the Pew Research Center, there exists ‘a growing earnings gap between young college graduates and their counterparts without degrees,’ and that gap only ‘widened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,’” wrote the editors at NRO on Thursday. “College graduates have better employment prospectsbetter health outcomes, and lower divorce rates than everyone else. Despite this, the federal government chose to spend around a quarter of a trillion dollars during the pandemic on an unnecessary pause in student-loan repayments. Now it wants to double that number with an amnesty?”

NRO’s Charles Cooke further pointed out that Biden’s student loan policy does not address the underlying issues that have caused Americans to amass billions in student loan debt. “This isn’t alms for the poor; it’s a brazen cash-grab by Joe Biden’s friends. ... There’s no principle here; the debts owed by others remain untouched. There’s no reform here; the education system remains exactly as it was before this started.”

Others say that the move boils down to a frantic attempt by a president with historically low approval ratings to capture more votes in November’s election.

“President Biden knows how deeply unpopular he is with young voters and his base, and his student debt plan is a desperate attempt to win them back on the taxpayer’s dime,” Sentinel Action Fund President Jessica Anderson said Wednesday. “Biden hopes that wiping away some student loan debt will make voters forget that he is responsible for record-high inflation, rising food prices, and our stagnant economy. Americans won’t be fooled by Biden’s latest campaign stunt.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are echoing these sentiments. “He unilaterally is forgiving this debt, supposedly forgiving, which means he doesn’t care what the law says — Congress,” Rep. Keith Self (R-Texas) commented on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Thursday. “He doesn’t care what the judiciary says — the Supreme Court. [A]nd yes, of course he’s buying votes. But the rest of the taxpayers, there is no forgiveness [for them]. Someone is going to pay these loans back, and now it’s going to be you, the taxpayer.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.