Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-N.Y., urged leftists to “keep pushing” the Biden administration after President Joe Biden publicly rejected a progressive plan to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt for every college graduate.
The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day.
We’ve got the *Senate Majority Leader* on board to forgive $50k. Biden’s holding back, but many of the arguments against it just don’t hold water on close inspection.
We can and should do it. Keep pushing!
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 17, 2021
The case for student loan debt forgiveness “is looking shakier by the day,” Ocasio–Cortez admitted, adding that Biden’s reasons for opposing the plan are not acceptable.
“Who cares what school someone went to? Entire generations of working class kids were encouraged to go into more debt under the guise of elitism. This is wrong,” she tweeted. “Nowhere does it say we must trade-off early childhood education for student loan forgiveness. We can have both.”
Biden was asked during a CNN town hall on Tuesday whether he would agree to use executive action to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, which is what Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have been urging him to do.
“Massive student loan debt is exacerbating the historic and overlapping crises our country is facing, especially for communities of color, which have been hit hardest by the health and economic consequences of COVID-19,” Warren and Schumer said in a statement. “Our resolution lays out a way for the president to change that.”
Despite the claims that it would benefit lower-income and working-class families, many of those who have the luxury and privilege of attending pricey institutions where they accrue such debts are unlikely to be those who fall into the “essential workers” category.
The plan would effectively shift the burden from those who went into reckless amounts of debt to finance their education or those with high-earnings-potential degrees onto responsible taxpayers who either paid their debts already or were denied the benefit of attending college due to its prohibitive cost.
The massive spending package would also drive the country deeper into debt as it struggles to dig out from the unprecedented spending in a series of multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus bills.
The cost of servicing those debts could shift the burden back onto future generations or else create hyperinflation that drives down consumer purchasing power wreaks further havoc on the economy.
Biden shut the progressive senators down on the $50,000 loan forgiveness pitch, saying he would “not make that happen” during his town-hall appearance.
“I do think in this moment of economic pain and strain that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, No. 1,” he said. “And No. 2, I’m prepared to write off the $10,000 debt, but not [$50,000].”
At one point, Biden was reviewing whether he could take unilateral action to cancel student loan debt, but Press Secretary Jen Psaki clarified this week that Biden is only willing to sign a bill from Congress.