Nate Jackson / August 26, 2022

Team Biden’s Phony Accusations and Claims About Student Loans

From drastically underestimating the cost to blaming Republicans for hypocrisy, the White House is flailing.

Joe Biden is being awfully “generous” with your money. His student loan “forgiveness” scheme is the biggest news of the week (maybe the summer), and we’ve covered it here and here. Today we want to focus on two things: Cost and hypocrisy.

Before full details were known, the Penn Wharton Budget Model estimated the cost of Biden’s plan to be “between $300 billion and $980 billion over the 10-year budget window.” Then Biden increased the giveaway to $20,000 for many recipients, which will of course increase the cost.

For the most part, White House officials have gone out of their way to avoid answering the question of cost. “Well, that that remains to be determined, and it will be a function of what percentage of eligible borrowers actually take up this opportunity,” said domestic policy adviser Susan Rice. “If 43 million borrowers take it up, that’ll be different than if 50% of those 43 million take it up.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave the same line initially, though she later threw out some actual numbers. “Assuming that 75% of folks who take this on,” she said, “it’s going to be about $24 billion per year.”

That comes in conveniently well below the Penn Wharton estimate, and, again, that estimate is a low-ball given that the parameters have changed. It’s also about half the number from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which on Thursday estimated a 10-year cost of $500 billion — roughly $3,500 per taxpayer.

Not to worry, says Jean-Pierre, “We see this as a fiscally responsible.” Redistributing all this wealth will “be fully paid for because of the work that this president has done with the economy.”

What the heck is that supposed to mean? We’re all paying vastly more for everything because Biden and his radical leftist puppet masters so badly screwed up the economy. Transferring wealth from high-school graduate plumbers to PhDs in gender studies will only exacerbate that record-high inflation pain. It’s anything but “paid for.”

Next, we’ll move to hypocrisy. Democrats have two basic rebuttals for Republican objections: Either you’re childish and cruel for not wanting something good for someone else if you didn’t get that good thing yourself, or you’re a hypocrite for taking advantage of other government programs.

Unfortunately, the first one will resonate with voters because Democrats are experts at exploiting envy. Projecting it onto their opponents will only make them feel better.

The second point is far sillier. After Republicans objected, the standard White House Twitter response followed this formula: “Congressman X had $X in PPP loans forgiven.” Lather, rinse, repeat for any business owner who took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program loans that were forgiven during the COVID pandemic.

Some folks will also buy that “logic,” but it’s total nonsense. Whether or not you agree with the government giving and then forgiving business loans, the reason for that program was that the government shut down the economy and millions of people were losing their jobs. That the government (albeit with taxpayer money) paid for damage done by the government is at least an understandable argument. PPP loans were also designed to be forgiven, and they were designed by Congress. Government (i.e., the president) stepping into the middle of a private contract between a student and a lender for totally voluntary decisions is an entirely different matter.

Phony accusations of hypocritical cruelty while insisting that all this “free” money is totally paid for — what else would you expect from a White House team with virtually no experience in the private sector?

(Updated)

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