Lewis Morris / September 29, 2022

The Great $420 Billion Spendthrift Student Giveaway

Now that “the pandemic is over,” why is Joe Biden being so “generous” with your tax dollars?

The Congressional Budget Office stated earlier this week that the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness giveaway will cost taxpayers $420 billion. This total includes $400 billion to virtually erase roughly 27% of all student loan debt, plus $20 billion to cover the latest moratorium on student loan payments that extends to the end of 2022.

That’s a big number, but the real number is even bigger. We must remember that CBO budget estimates are only as good as the data the agency is given by Congress or the president — excrement in, excrement out. And since Biden is granting this debt relief unilaterally for political reasons, and since Democrats in general flat-out don’t care how much it costs, we must assume that the CBO estimates are not only inaccurate but grossly underinflated.

One of the additional costs not considered by the CBO estimate is the loan payment moratorium that Biden has kept in place since he took office. That bit of benevolence has already cost taxpayers $105 billion. Then there’s Biden’s promise to ease the terms of current and future federal income-based repayment schedules. This will put taxpayers on the hook for an additional $120-$150 billion.

Put another way, according to research done by Republicans on the House Budget Committee, 87% of adults without student loans will be paying for 13% of adults who did take out loans. And don’t believe that student loan forgiveness is a tool to help minorities, the poor, and the unlucky. Fully 70% of the benefit will go to people at the top half of the income spectrum. And let’s not forget that 56% of all student loan debt is owed by the 14.3% of individuals with advanced degrees, and that those with advanced degrees vote Democrat by roughly a 2-to-1 margin.

This higher tax burden couldn’t come at a worse time. Democrats and their media lackeys refuse to admit it, but the country is currently in a recession. And there’s also a nasty inflationary spiral to contend with, along with the Fed hiking the interest rate, which will cool inflation but also drive down investments across the board. Democrats’ multibillion-dollar fiscal giveaways like the so-called American Rescue Plan are the reason inflation reached historic highs in the first place. Forgiving student debt will only add fuel to that fire.

Where does Joe Biden get the authority for this executive order granting debt forgiveness? The White House points to the 2003 HEROES Act, which was a post-9/11 law that eased student loan burdens on military service members and families during war, military operations, or a national emergency. Democrats claim that the COVID pandemic was a national emergency worthy of Biden’s executive response. Unfortunately for Biden, he himself has undermined that rationale.

Just last week, Biden said this: “The pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape.”

So, Joe, what’s the emergency?

Democrats were not at all happy with Biden’s inconvenient truth-telling, which immediately set Republicans in complete and united opposition to any additional COVID relief spending. That includes further loan repayment breaks and complete loan forgiveness.

This week, the Pacific Legal Foundation, representing an Indiana man, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Biden’s actions. In the suit, the plaintiffs point to a provision of the HEROES Act that the White House chose to ignore. Loan forgiveness cannot place borrowers in a worse financial situation. The Foundation maintains that student loan borrowers in six states will have their forgiveness taxed at a rate that will leave them worse off financially. (Our Michael Swartz recently exposed that liability.)

This lawsuit is the first in what may be a series of legal challenges to Joe Biden’s constitutional overreach. Republicans are contemplating additional lawsuits, so we can expect the legal fireworks to continue.

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