This week, President Joe Biden finally announced his long-awaited student-loan forgiveness package.
For those whose families are making under $125,000, the government will cancel out up to $10,000 in federal student loans if they didn’t receive Pell Grants, and up to $20,000 if they did, according to The Associated Press.
“In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023,” Biden stated in a tweet.
In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023.
I’ll have more details this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/kuZNqoMe4I
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022
This is supposed to be a slam-dunk for the Democrats — and, indeed, presents a tantalizing closing pitch to apathetic millennial progressives before the 2022 midterms. Uncle Joe just paid off their college debt with magic money, after all. Why wouldn’t they go out to the polls and pull the lever for the Democrats?
For the rest of us, who only take on debt we can pay off, the move was a slap in the face — and that’s why there’s one clip Republicans should be playing non-stop from now until the elections in November.
The clip doesn’t feature Biden, surprisingly. Instead, it involves Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, speaking in January of 2020 during her presidential run.
Warren, if you even needed to ask, is a vocal proponent of student loan forgiveness. Yet, at a town hall in Iowa just a few days before the caucuses there, the inherent unfairness of the policy was highlighted by a father who’d worked double shifts to pay off his daughter’s college education.
Do you think that student loans should be forgiven?
Yes: 0% (0 Votes)
No: 100% (54 Votes)
“I just wanted to ask one question. My daughter is getting out of school. I’ve saved all my money. She doesn’t have any student loans,” he asked Warren during at the event in Grimes, Iowa, according to the New York Post.
“Am I going to get my money back?”
“Of course not,” Warren shot back.
“So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?” he asked.
“My buddy had fun, bought a car, and went on all the vacations,” he continued.
“I saved my money. He makes more than I did. I worked a double shift,”
“You’re laughing at me,” he said. Warren insisted she wasn’t.
“Yeah, that’s exactly what you’re doing. We did the right thing and we get screwed.”
“I appreciate your time,” was all Warren could muster in response:
“I’ve saved all my money. [My daughter] doesn’t have any student loans. Am I going to get my money back?”
Warren: “Of course not.”
“So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed.”pic.twitter.com/Z19hR5Vsdg
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 23, 2022
Warren’s plan, it’s worth noting, would have been far more comprehensive than what Biden has announced. She proposed canceling up to $50,000 in debt and providing universal public college for free, and estimated the would have cost about $640 billion, according to an Associated Press report from 2019.
Nevertheless, the same principles still apply here: Why are we rewarding those who haven’t paid their college loans at the expense of those who either have or who didn’t take them out in the first place?
In May, the nonprofit group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found a plan like Biden’s would “cost at least $230 billion, with roughly 70 percent of the benefit going to those in the top half of the income spectrum.”
Even with income requirements like the $125,000 household income limit announced by Biden, the group also found the “slight reduction in cost would do almost nothing to alleviate the central issues with the policy, namely that it is regressive, inflationary, expensive, and would likely do more to increase the cost of higher education going forward than to reduce it.”
Yet, point that out to the Democrats and they couldn’t care less. As the man said, they’re laughing at us.
If Republicans want to highlight how regressive and unfair student loan forgiveness is, they should play this one clip ad nauseam until Election Day.
We’ll see who’s laughing then.