Senate Democrats Are Still Calling on Biden to Cancel Student Debt. He Should Listen.
Ending the student debt crisis isn’t just good policy, it’s good politics as well.
With the $1.9 trillion covid relief package out of the way, Democrats have begun to set their sights on the next issues that they would like to address while they enjoy unilateral control of the White House, House of Representatives, and the Senate for the next almost two years.
While voting rights and infrastructure legislation have been a priority for many Democratic lawmakers, some Senate Democrats and the progressive caucus in Congress have been calling on Joe Biden to cancel the staggering $1.7 trillion dollars Americans owe just for seeking the higher education we have been told virtually our entire lives is important to get. Surprisingly, among the Democrats in the Senate calling on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 loan debt for those who owe it is none other than Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who happens to be up for re-election.
All things considered, the fact that Schumer is using this as a re-election tool more than anything else serves as an important reminder that the cancellation of student loan debt isn’t just good policy, it’s good politics as well.
With the stroke of a pen, Joe Biden has the ability as President of the United States to put an end to the student debt crisis. If he chose to do so, Biden could bypass congress on behalf of the Republican party and bring untold financial and psychological freedom to tens of millions of people. People who would now feel free to do everything from having a child and putting that money towards a mortgage payment, to pursuing the career of their dreams or even starting their own business. Not only would Biden be making that a reality for tens of millions of people, he’d be guaranteeing Democrats electoral success for decades.
If even more conservative Democrats in the Senate can see the political benefit of doing that for their voters, why can’t Joe Biden?
The only thing stopping Joe Biden from doing this is the donor class whispering in his ear. They will tolerate it from Schumer, because they know it is a re-election tactic, but they will not tolerate talk of mass debt alleviation from someone who has the power right now to make it a reality. For the donor class, ideas that would benefit an untold number of regular people are much better as political theatre than as a reality, and Biden with his decades long career is entirely aware of this.
Biden has been insisting since before he he was even elected that he wanted to approach this current moment we find ourselves in like FDR, and he should. The greatest health and economic crisis in modern history is going to require bold, necessary action, and the relief of student loan debt could be a critical part of that. Frankly, one might even argue it would be the most significant stimulator to the economy that the country has ever had. If Biden had the courage to ignore the advice of his donors and put the interests of the people first, he would almost certainly have a legacy akin to the very man he claims to want to emulate.
He should do it.