American indebtedness is at an all-time high today — and now functioning as the nation’s largestThe Department of Education, a consumer bank, is the most obvious culprit of creditors. The federal government holds a $1.6 billion federal student loan portfolio. This unique position makes it the only lender, regulator, and debt collector. This debt cloud is systemically preventing communities of 47 million from having the opportunity buy a home, start their own families, or save enough for retirement. Biden can change the reality of predatory loans that impose financial burdens on families by issuing an executive order. This will allow them to receive financial grants that help them.
Clear, convincing and well-researched arguments support cancelling student loans on all levels: economic, moral, pedagogical, and racial. It could be a good idea. createMillions of jobs could boost the average GDP to $108 billion per annum over the next ten years. narrowThe racial inequality in wealth has increased by 40%. The largest bottom-up economic stimulus in American history would be the cancellation of all student debt. Eliminating the country’s largestThe promise of education as a right and not a privilege will be realized regardless of household debt. For a simple and obvious reason, President Biden could cancel student debt completely.
A recent Morning Consult poll found Biden’s extended pause on federal student loan interest and payments is popular, but that the president could “reap rewards” by going even further. Another poll revealed that 82% of respondents said they were satisfied with the current state of affairs. nearly half of voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would be either “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to vote in November if President Biden canceled $10,000 in student loan debt. This increases the likelihood of voters. IncreasesAsking if all student loans should be canceled will result in 11 points
With Biden’s Build Back Better agenda thwarted by obstructionists and recurring difficulty upholding the key pillars of our democracy, canceling student debt may be one of the few political wins Biden can score heading into a historically tough midterm election.
If executed well, cancelling all federal student loans would greatly expand the democratic electorate. It would also give Biden one the greatest political rewards in electoral historical history. The alternative was a grim one said plainly by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts): “If we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms.”
After a herculean effort won two Senate seats in Georgia and essentially saved Biden’s presidency, the White House would be wise to heed the political advice of organizations like New Georgia Project, which, in a joint letterThe Debt Collective, my organization, declared student loan relief to be a key electoral strategy in November. They wrote, “broad-based student debt cancellation would provide [Georgia’s] community leaders with the ammunition to confidently engage and grow the electorate in this crucial midterm election year.”
In a welcome rhetorical shift in his approach to student debt cancellation, Biden says he’s now consideringCancelling an order “substantial”amount of student debt. But Democrats risk snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory by picking and choosing which debtors are worth or unworthy of relief — basing cancellationbased on income, education attainment, or other factors. For starters, “focusing on household income,” says the Roosevelt Institute, “significantly underestimates the socioeconomic impact on low-wealth borrowers, especially those who are Black and Latinx.” Worse, income cutoffs would simply create additional administrative burdens for the exact borrowers whom a more regressive form of cancellation aims to benefit.
However, income cuts or a lesser-than-full cancellation would not only be impossible to implement administratively, but also a political disaster. Programs like Medicare and Social Security are precisely because of their success. becauseThey are universal. Sparky Abraham is a Jubilee Legal lawyer put it, “If student debt is a good policy, why cancel any? If it’s a bad policy, why leave any?” Abraham is right — Biden should erase all federal student debt for everyone on the grounds that this debt is illegitimate and an unjust poverty tax on disproportionately Black and Brown families.
Some naysayers have attempted to throw cold water on this issue by chalking up student debt cancellation as a policy that could “alienate” those without student debt. Surveys and data prove otherwise. A majority of students favor cancelling student loans. majority of voters Without a college degree. 58 percent of voters don’t owe any student debt and support paying off some or all of their student debts.
Ironically, it’s the means-testing approach — not full cancellation — that could possibly alienate people. The White House is considering capping cancellation at the undergraduate level — a presumed attempt not to be seen as bailing out “elites.” But a quick glance at essentially any data set available would reveal this targeted proposal leaves out to dry a group of people who desperately need cancellation: borrowers with high debt-to-income ratios like our nation’s public defenders, social workers, teachers, librarians, nurses and other health care workers.
It’s not just that any amount of cancellation less than full cancellation is unnecessarily regressive, it’s also just not in line with what voters say they want, and certainly not the voters Biden needs to vote for Democrats in November.
Biden’s approval among young people recently hit “depths no Democratic president had plumbed in decades,” dipping into the mid-to low-30s. In a new Harvard pollNearly 9 out of 10 young people support government action on student loans. A majority favor full cancellation. And for years now, Black voters of all ages have overwhelmingly supported full student debt cancellation — so much so that 40 percent of Black voters would “consider staying home for the next election” if Biden refuses to take action.
Will a few Republican demagogues be upset that working-class families are finally getting debt relief? Most likely. But that’s not who Biden needs to mobilize to go to the ballot box this Fall in AnotherOur democracy must be saved from a fascist coup
The recent extension of the payment pause — which wouldn’t have happened without pressure from organizations like the Debt Collective — ensures 45 million Americans can keep cash in their pocket rather than handing it over to a predatory debt collector with the title U.S. Department of Education on its door. But it’s not enough to pause a crisis — or solve half of it. If Biden wants to prevent extremists from taking control of the House or the Senate, he has to inspire people — and a wide-scale student debt jubilee might just be his best bet with which to get started.
The student debt cancellation winds are at Biden’s back. Biden should once again treat student debtors as the too-big to fail bank that they really are. All student debt should be cancelled. This will reduce the economic burden on millions. And maybe even brag about it.