July 19, 2024

Critics Argue Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Exacerbates $34 Trillion National Debt Crisis

In a significant move on Wednesday, the White House announced President Joe Biden’s decision to expedite the cancellation of $1.2 billion in student loan debt, affecting over 150,000 borrowers. This decision, part of the Savings on Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, was initially set for July but has been brought forward, underscoring the administration’s commitment to reducing the burden of student loans. The policy specifically targets borrowers who have been in repayment for a minimum of ten years and possess up to $12,000 in student loan debt, offering them immediate relief. Those with larger debt amounts will see their debts forgiven after an additional year of payments for every extra $1,000 borrowed. This move is expected to particularly benefit community college students and those with smaller loans, accelerating their journey to becoming debt-free.

The White House statement highlighted the administration’s goal of making higher education more accessible and ensuring it serves as a bridge to the middle class rather than a barrier. This latest action brings President Biden’s total cancellation of federal student loans to nearly $138 billion for almost 3.9 million borrowers, a significant achievement that was accomplished without Congressional intervention. This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court thwarted an earlier debt cancellation plan proposed by Biden, which would have had a heftier price tag of over $400 billion.

The administration’s proactive approach includes notifying nearly 153,000 beneficiaries of this latest round of debt cancellation via email, followed by outreach from the U.S. Department of Education to those eligible but not yet enrolled in the SAVE plan. This initiative is part of a series of measures taken by Biden to fulfill his campaign promises to alleviate student loan burdens, signaling a strong message of support to progressive constituents and reinforcing his commitment as the nation heads towards the next election cycle.

Previous efforts under Biden’s tenure have also seen substantial debt forgiveness through various programs, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, income-driven repayment plan improvements, and relief for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities, among others. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona reiterated the administration’s dedication to providing relief to borrowers with long-standing debts, emphasizing the nearly 3.9 million borrowers who have benefited from these policies so far.

However, the financial implications of these actions are significant. The Penn Wharton budget model estimates the SAVE plan will cost $475 billion over ten years, a figure that has drawn criticism from Republicans who argue that these measures exacerbate the national debt, currently standing at $34 trillion, and shift the financial burden onto taxpayers.

Key Takeaways:

  • President Biden has advanced the cancellation of $1.2 billion in student loan debt for over 150,000 borrowers, part of the SAVE plan.
  • This action is targeted at borrowers with a decade-long repayment history and loans up to $12,000, with provisions for those with larger debts.
  • The move is a step towards fulfilling Biden’s campaign promise to alleviate student loan burdens, with nearly $138 billion in debt already canceled for almost 3.9 million borrowers.
  • The administration continues to reach out to eligible borrowers, emphasizing the initiative’s role in making higher education more accessible and less of a financial burden.


President Biden’s accelerated debt cancellation reflects a determined effort to ease the student loan crisis, a move that not only benefits individual borrowers but also aims to reform the broader landscape of higher education financing. Despite the significant financial cost and political controversy surrounding these actions, the administration’s focus remains on delivering tangible relief to millions of Americans struggling with student debt. As these efforts continue, the dialogue between the potential benefits of debt relief and the fiscal responsibility of such measures remains a pivotal discussion in shaping future policies in the realm of education and economic stability.


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