Right? Among the many desperate rhetorical attempts by
Senator Co-President Joe Manchin to massively slash President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) program, he has mentioned how the increased spending would lead to inflation (and a couple of points of inflation might make millionaires like Manchin a little less prosperous. Tragic, really). But now that it appears BBB will be cut from $350 billion per year to around $190 billion (for context, New York City’s entire budget is $100 billion per year–BBB is for the entire country), there is an opportunity to end the student debt crisis (most of the debt is directly held by the U.S. government).
We could simply eliminate $400 billion of student debt per year until it’s all gone (there’s around $1 trillion of student debt total). It really wouldn’t be inflationary, as the interest payments–the amount that would be pumped into the economy–aren’t anywhere near $1 trillion. And, yes, Biden could do this (boldface mine):
After President Biden unveiled his roughly $1.75 trillion budget plan on Thursday, which shelved a number of progressive priorities and policy goals Democrats had been pushing for, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that now is an opportune time to push him on student debt relief…
Ocasio-Cortez expressed her dissatisfaction with the social-spending plan — also known as the Build Back Better Act — later on that evening and specifically called out Manchin.
“I think given how much [Build Back Better] has been slashed there is more opportunity than ever to bring the heat on Biden to cancel student loans,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram story…
“He doesn’t need Manchin’s permission for that and now that his agenda is thinly sliced he needs to step up his executive action game and show his commitment to deliver for people,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We need to get this done.”
…Although some new forms of higher-education aid were included in the reduced package Biden introduced, namely increasing the maximum Pell Grant by $550 for millions of students in need and investing in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, free community college did not make the final drawing board.
Members of the progressive caucus — among them Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Representative Ayanna Pressley — have repeatedly called for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in debt for federal student loan borrowers while Biden has been in office.
Since Democrats already screwed over younger workers by not passing a $15/hour minimum wage, maybe they could not screw over everyone under 40, and do this?