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The New York Times editorial board argued that “canceling student debt across the board” was a bad idea in a Saturday piece.
“The Biden administration should spend its finite resources and political capital on fixing the higher education system to make it more affordable while helping those borrowers in the most distress. There are already ways to do this, although they have not gotten nearly enough attention or resources,” the editorial board argued.
The authors wrote that fixing “a shattered system” via executive order could make things worse and would “set a bad precedent.”
President Biden said at an April press conference that he was considering canceling “some” student loan debt.
“I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I am in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness,” Biden said. The authors said that the Biden administration’s plans do not address students that graduate in the future with more student loan debt, “along with the blind hope of another, future amnesty.”
“Such a move is legally dubious, economically unsound, politically fraught and educationally problematic,” the editors wrote.
The writers contended that if Biden’s plan comes across as unfair, it could hurt Democrats at the polls in November.
Income caps on student loan forgiveness eligibility were “crucial” because “they direct the help to those most in need,” they continued. The authors also called for lawmakers to make it easier “to discharge student loans through bankruptcy.”
“The Biden administration should focus on confronting the problems with college affordability and loan repayment so more students and graduates have a better chance at that prosperity,” the editorial board said.
The Biden administration extended the student loan payment freeze, which started in March 2020, until Aug. 31, after previously extending it until the end of May.
The White House said in early May that the administration was looking at an income cap for student loan forgiveness. Now-former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the time that an income cap would ensure it helped those who needed it the most.