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


For Third Time, Biden Announces Another Round of Student Loan Bailouts

April 9, 2024

For the third time in less than two years, President Joe Biden announced yet another plan on Monday to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans. Experts and lawmakers say the move is a “craven attempt to buy votes” and unfairly transfers wealth from one group of people to another.

The plan calls for reducing the amount of debt owed by 25 million borrowers, including a complete cancellation of debt for over four million people. Notably, Monday’s announcement did not include how much the new plan would cost taxpayers, but reports say the price tag could be as much as $146 billion, with Biden also “dangling plans to write off up to another half-trillion” of student debt.

The new scheme comes on the heels of a plan that Biden announced in February in which over 150,000 borrowers had their student debt canceled. Both plans have come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer to block the Biden administration’s attempt in 2022 to eradicate the debt of 43 million borrowers to the tune of $400 billion, with the court ruling that the administration overstepped its authority. Biden has since made it clear that he would “stop at nothing to find other ways” to wipe out student loans.

During Monday’s tour of swing states to tout his latest debt bailout plan, Biden stated that it would take effect “this fall,” just before November’s presidential election. But legal challenges are likely to delay the implementation of the plan.

Experts and lawmakers say the plan is unconstitutional, will increase inflation, substantially increase the national debt, and unjustly transfers wealth from taxpayers who did not take out student loans to those who chose to do so.

Neal McCluskey, the director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, characterized the plan as “dangerous policy.” “The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to enact law, and the Supreme Court has already struck down a unilateral, mass student debt cancellation scheme by the Biden administration,” he told The New York Times. “It would stick taxpayers with bills for debts other people chose for their own financial advancement.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill agreed. “87% of Americans don’t have student loans,” wrote Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.). “The Supreme Court rejected President Biden’s last student loan forgiveness scheme. Now Joe is trying a new runaround. Buying votes always seems to come at a great cost to the responsible U.S. taxpayer.”

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Bill Cassidy (R-La.) concurred. “These loan schemes do not forgive debt,” he said in a statement. “They transfer the debt from those who willingly took it on to the 87[%] of Americans who decided to not go to college or already worked to pay off their loans. This is an unfair ploy to buy votes before an election and does absolutely nothing to address the high cost of education that puts young people right back into debt.”

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, also argued that the plan is politically motivated.

“This is just one of the debt cancellation schemes being pushed by the Biden administration in a craven attempt to buy votes from younger Americans,” she told The Washington Stand. “Many young people do hold large amounts of debt, but this doesn’t impact only young people. If you’ve held college debt for 25 years, chances are you have a child in college now or one who is preparing to go. So Biden is buying lots of votes with this move.”

Kilgannon continued, “Unlike other federal rulemaking in government, these maneuvers cannot be undone if there is a change in administration. Taxpayers will be on the hook for this vote buying project for Team Biden. Hardworking men and women who elected not to go into debt for a gender studies degree will now foot the bill for millions who made that choice. It’s deplorable.”

In further comments to TWS, Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at FRC, remarked that the plan “creates serious moral hazards by rewarding bad financial decisions and punishing good financial decisions. The idea that we will start to expect the government to relieve us of our debt during an election year is hugely troubling.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.