After President Joe Biden unveiled a plan on Wednesday to cancel $10,000 in student loans per borrower, conservative commentators reacted by discussing how they made tough decisions to pay off their own loans or avoid them in the first place.
The White House’s policy applies to individuals earning less than $125,000 per month, while individuals who paid for college using Pell Grants are eligible for a $20,000 loan cancellation. Biden also decided to extend the pause on federal student loan repayment to January 2023 and will permit borrowers with undergraduate loans to cap payments at 5% of monthly income.
Many noted that the policy is unfair to those who have already repaid their obligations.
“I worked hard to pay off my student loans and it’s a real slap in the face to see that I made so many sacrifices for them to just be forgiven anyways,” Kassy Dillon, the U.S. bureau news editor for Jewish News Syndicate, said on social media.
“I made $37k a year out of college living in northern VA and paid off my $10k in student loans in 6 months. The fact that my tax dollars are going to a family making $250k a year is f***ing insanity,” Amber Athey, Washington editor for The Spectator, added. “Yes, it’s possible. I managed to save a few thousand from my summer job as a lifeguard & swim instructor working 60+ hours a week while in school. Afterwards, lived in a basement for $900 a month. Took the bus to work. Didn’t blow money on eating out or entertainment.”
“I went to an in-state public college, worked nights as a security guard from my first day & graduated in 3 years instead of 4 … so I could graduate w/o loads of debt,” Foundation for Economic Education policy correspondent Brad Polumbo remarked. “Guess I’m a sucker. I should’ve gone to a bougie private school, ran up the tab & then cashed in on taxpayers.”
In an opinion piece published earlier this year, The Daily Wire’s Zach Jewell likewise noted that taxpayers who pay for college after saving their money — including himself — will be the ones who bear the penalty for purportedly canceled student debt.
“If Biden could wave a magic wand at the request of leftists in Congress and suddenly make student loans disappear, this would be great news,” Jewell wrote. “But since we don’t prance around in the magical fairyland some Democrats want us to believe in, no one can ‘forgive’ student loans for some without burdening others.”
“Those taking the hit for student debt cancellation would be the taxpayers like me who paid their way through college or who responsibly paid back their loans and like others who never went to college and never needed student loans.”
Eliminating $10,000 of debt per borrower would cost $298 billion in 2022 and a total of $329 billion by 2031 should the policy be renewed every year, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Less than 32% of the funding would benefit Americans in the two lowest income quintiles, while 42% would benefit those earning more than $82,400 per year.
Indeed, a report from the Brookings Institution explained that one-third of student debt is owed by the wealthiest 20% of households, while only 8% is owned by the bottom 20% — likely because graduate degrees are often necessary for the most lucrative professions.