It’s looking like student debt forgiveness will be the Santa Claus policy that Democrats choose to champion in 2021.
Joe Biden has signaled support for cancelling up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, but has said he wouldn’t do it by executive order, correctly acknowledging that the President probably doesn’t even have that authority. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have urged Biden to cancel through executive order instead of going through Congress, presumably because they know such a proposal would fail in the Senate.
But even forgiving $50,000 isn’t enough for AOC, who is calling for Democrats to wipe the slate clean through executive order.
According to Fox Business’ Megan Henney:
AOC renewed her push for President-elect Joe Biden to bypass Congress and cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt.
The New York Democrat said progressives need to push the Biden administration to move further left on the issue after the incoming president said he was “unlikely” to use his authority to fully forgive student loan debt for individual borrowers.
“We have to push the Biden administration hard,” Ocasio-Cortez told Punchbowl News. “This whole thing. ‘We can’t cancel student loan debt’ is not gonna fly.”
One of the greatest problems with forgiving student debt forgiveness across the board would be that it disproportionately benefits the upper class. Measured by income, nearly 60% of student debt is held by the highest earning 40%. If politicians were actually interested in a debt forgiveness scheme that would disproportionately help the poor they’d advocate credit card debt forgiveness (which I’m not suggesting).
AOC’s 2019 financial disclosure report for the House showed her owing between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loan debt. In September of that it was reported that she had made a payment bringing her balance from $20,237 to $19,000. It is unclear what her balance is to date, though if she’s continued making payments at the same rate, she has made a significant dent in her debt since then. Perhaps that’s because even she believes that student debt forgiveness is a pipe dream.
So, at least the woman currently earning $174,000 a year is making payments and isn’t completely looking for the taxpayer bailout for her debt. Then again, we the taxpayer are paying for her salary regardless!