Letter to the editor: Explain to me the fairness of me paying off somebody’s student loan

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President Joe Biden announced recently that he would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for Americans earning less than $125,000 per year or households earning less than $250,000.

The White House claims that 90% of the relief will go to households earning $75,000 a year or less. Students who received Pell grants, which are for low-income students, will be eligible to receive an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness. On its face, according to the New York Times, the announcement could cost taxpayers about $300 billion or more in money that they effectively lent but will never be repaid.

Many are questioning the legality of King Biden’s decision. The Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education previously determined that a presidential administration “does not have the statutory authority to provide blanket or mass cancellation, compromise, discharge, or forgiveness of student loan principal balances, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also stated the president lacks the executive authority to cancel student loan debt. And she noted that under such an action, Americans would be “paying taxes to forgive somebody else’s obligations.” What Nancy?

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warns that canceling student debt will add to inflation and will undermine the Inflation Reduction Act. Critics also claim the action is unfair to those who chose not to go to college, those paying back loans taken for other purposes (such as small business loans), those who have already paid off their student loans, those who chose colleges that required them to borrow less money, and those who will take out student loans in the future (since the president’s action is only for current loans).



The political consequences are yet to be seen. USA Today notes the president’s move “is a major gamble, presenting both an opportunity to energize young voters and handing Republicans new lines of attack on fairness and wealth.” Republican pollster Frank Luntz responded: “Make no mistake, you cut college debt and individuals in their 20s will reward Biden in record numbers. Maybe an insurance policy? It’s just that the other people who paid off their debt will be really angry.” You think?

If you’re a supporter of the president, you probably support his decision. If you’re a critic, you’re probably critical. If your student loans just got canceled, you’re probably grateful. If you paid back your student loans, you’re probably angry that some will not have to pay back theirs.

I have been reading the opinions section in The Reflector for the last four years, and keep reading posts on both sides of the aisle, “equal justice for all.” Please explain to me the fairness of me paying off somebody’s student loan, and to others that have already paid off their loans, are getting the short end of the stick. This is just another ploy to get more votes and once again zero for the majority of hard working Americans.

Norman Phillips,

Woodland

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