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Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Support for Biden’s Student Loan ‘Forgiveness’ Scheme Craters When Voters Find Out About…



Some public polling has indicated that President Biden’s unilateral student loan debt ‘forgiveness’ scheme is relatively popular with voters, and White House officials have been quick to tout those top line numbers.  But my belief all along has been that the policy is a terrible one on multiple levels, including as a political proposition.  We’ll return to the public opinion question in a moment, but let’s review some of the substance.  Biden’s action is an egregious abuse of presidential power, with even many Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi) admitting publicly that he lacks the authority to do what he’s now done.  Former Attorney General Bill Barr says the maneuver is flatly illegal.  Here’s a progressive legal scholar, who supports the outcome of the policy, conceding that it’s likely to get struck down — quite possibly by a resounding margin:

Beyond the legality of what’s happened, which is not some minor legal nicety, experts say the hugely expensive debt ‘forgiveness’ gambit will fuel inflation, and further drive up spiraling higher education costs.  It’s an awful idea that more than wipes out the largely illusory ‘deficit reduction’ of the ludicrously-titled ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ in one fell swoop.  It’s another Democratic inflation bomb.  It’s also profoundly unfair.  Only a small sliver of Americans (13 percent) hold student loan debt, and Biden is forcing everyone else to pay down some of that debt.  Most American adults don’t have college degrees.  Millions of others worked hard and sacrificed to pay off the loans they’d willingly taken out.  Others eschewed enrollment in their dream schools, opting instead for more affordable institutions.  Everybody who’s behaved responsibly is getting punished by this outrageous bailout, which disproportionately benefits wealthier people, including doctors and lawyers with much higher lifetime earnings potential than most Americans could ever dream of.  It’s a regressive redistribution of wealth — away from working class people, to upper-middle class and wealthy professionals.  Add all of that up, and this seems like a significant vulnerability for Democrats.  And the aforementioned polling falls apart upon the slightest messaging pushback:

Independents turn hard against this giveaway when even a single negative trade-off is introduced.  And there are multiple negative trade-offs.  It’s no coincidence that Republicans in key races are hitting Biden Democrats on the issue (and Arizona’s Mark Kelly is the epitome of a ‘Biden Democrat,’ obediently toeing the party line on every significant vote):

This also doesn’t seem accidental, in spite of the White House’s bragging on social media:

A Republican pollster who’s released some very sunny polling for the GOP in recent days (some of the numbers strike me as implausibly good, frankly) says the major shift they’re detecting in the field is directly traced to this issue:

And Biden’s wafer-thin justification for what he’s done is incoherent.  He doesn’t even appear to really believe it himself:

Biden’s fig leaf of a legal justification for his monarchical fiat forgiving student-loan debt is that we are still in a Covid emergency. But here is what he said last night: “I believed we could lift America from the depths of Covid, so we passed the largest economic-recovery package since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And today, America’s economy is faster, stronger than any other advanced nation in the world . . . today, Covid no longer controls our lives. More Americans are working than ever. Businesses are growing. Our schools are open.” Does that sound like a man who believes we remain in emergency conditions?

No, it does not.  I’ll leave you with one example of the healthy skepticism being directed at the veracity of various ‘success stories’ the president is showcasing on social media:





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