Recent Op-Eds

A Slap in the Face

By Sen. John Thune

September 9, 2022

On August 24, eight days after signing the so-called Inflation Reduction Act into law, President Biden announced that with a stroke of his pen, he would authorize a student loan giveaway of up to $10,000 in qualifying student loan debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for borrowers who received Pell Grants. Eight days. That’s how long it took President Biden to completely erase any of the supposed deficit reduction included in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.
I want to be very clear about this: Despite what the president and other Democrats might say, not one penny of debt is being “canceled” or “forgiven.” This debt is being transferred from the 13 percent of the country with student loan debt to the 87 percent of the country that does not have student debt. It’s a slap in the face and blatantly unfair to expect Americans who either never went to college, paid off their loans, or paid their way through college to shoulder the cost of other Americans’ loans that they agreed to pay back. What about all the parents who scrimped and saved to send their children to college, or the students who chose a lower-cost college or worked to put themselves through? Not to mention the men and women in the military who fought for this country and earned money for their college education. 
The president’s plan isn’t even targeted to the people who need it most. Families making $250,000 – nearly four times as much as the average household – will now be eligible to have their obligation to repay student loans erased. Instead of focusing on ways to control the rising cost of college education, President Biden’s decision will provide a disincentive for colleges to lower costs for students, and it will likely encourage students to incur even more debt, since he has now set up an expectation that the government will step in and write a check. Also, given the fact that student loan debt is expected to be back to its current level in six years, I imagine we will be hearing more Democrat calls for student loan “forgiveness” in the very near future. 
Our country is in the middle of the highest inflationary period in four decades, and families are already struggling with high grocery bills, high energy bills, and high rent prices – largely because of Democrats’ big-government, big-spending agenda. Instead of focusing on policies that would help lower inflation for American families, President Biden instead chose to pursue policies, like the unprecedented bailout of student loan debt, in order to appease the radical wing of the Democrat Party. To add insult to injury, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, this bailout could cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion over the next decade, which would only pour gasoline on the inflationary fire. 
While President Biden’s reckless student loan plan may buy him a vote or two, a lot of other Americans may decide that they’ve had their fill of inflationary spending, soaring prices, and far-left appeasement.