A Few Thoughts on Biden’s Student Debt Policy

Yesterday, the White House released its student debt plan. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order, about it:

  1. It’s a good start. Like so many Democratic initiatives, it is better than nothing, but it doesn’t go far enough. That said, it really does make a difference for millions of Americans.
  2. For all those who think this is unfair, this is no different than Pell Grants or tax deduction mechanisms. Of course, those assholes want to kill those too…
  3. Yes, the student debt activists get some credit here. Sure, Biden said he would do something during his campaign (though far less than either Sanders or Warren), and then he dithered for nineteen months. When Biden was a senator, he was one of the main reasons why the current shitty system exists, so, yes, pressure was needed, and was brought to bear successfully.
  4. One key component is that the usurious nature of federally-funded student loans is pared back through multiple mechanisms. This is good, and long overdue.
  5. What is uncertain is how much this helps the worst cases, especially as repayment is starting. There really needs to be some kind of jubilee for those who have paid far more than the original loan amount, but are still in debt.
  6. No, this doesn’t solve the problem of out-of-control college education costs, but there’s no way Biden can do that unilaterally. Don’t buy the Imaginary Pundit policy proposals that aren’t actually being offered.
  7. Execution matters here: we can’t have another ACA-website style fuck up here.
  8. It seems to be pissing off the right people, so that’s a bonus!
  9. Related to the above, the people who are going to be butthurt over this weren’t going to vote Democratic anyway, so fuck ’em. Dance with them that brung ya for once, professional Democrats!

Overall, it’s not enough, but it is a significant improvement.

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1 Response to A Few Thoughts on Biden’s Student Debt Policy

  1. Kaleberg says:

    I always love the fairness argument. We’d save your life you with a course of antibiotics, but that would be unfair to the people who died of infections in the past. It’s a wonderful argument.

    Maybe, we should emphasize that the student debt forgiveness is making up for the unfairness of previous generations getting heavily subsidized college educations and current generations unable to do so. It’s a tiny bit of evening out.

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