When the founding fathers gave Congress the power of the purse, they never anticipated the presidency could preside over a $1.6 trillion loan portfolio drawn directly from the U.S. Treasury. Nonetheless, the federal student loan portfolio places President Joe Biden in that exact position, and if he gets his way, he will spend more than a trillion dollars forgiving student loan debt, and do so without Congressional approval.
Big ticket forgiveness proposals are taking center stage, but they obscure the hundreds of billions the president has already spent toward that mark.
The grandest of Biden’s proposals is his blanket forgiveness of up to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning $125,00 or less, which comes before the Supreme Court at the end of February. The administration maintains the president’s authority to categorically forgive student debt comes from the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 to address “financial harms of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a pandemic whose public health emergency declaration Biden will end on May 11. The Penn Wharton Budget Model pegs the cost of Biden’s plan at $469 billion this year.
The court may rule against the president, at least in part because his plan violates the bedrock principle of separation of powers, but we know what the president will do if he can, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Less flashy, but just as consequential, are the administration’s proposed changes to Income Driven Repayment (IDR) programs. IDR ties borrowers’ monthly payments to their income, and after a period of successful payment, forgives remaining balances. Biden’s changes to the program will adjust multiple factors—the amount of exempted income, the minimum percentage of discretionary income, and the repayment periods required for forgiveness—all in ways that increase forgiveness.
The Urban Institute projects these changes would result in 49 percent of average Bachelor degree borrowers enrolled in IDR repaying half of their federal loans, or less. Such generous terms will not only increase forgiveness costs, they will increase future borrowing. Penn Wharton projects IDR changes will cost $333 billion over 10 years, not accounting for the likely increases in borrowing. Even worse, the administration’s IDR revamp comes through regulatory changes that will not require Congressional approval, and will be difficult to challenge in court.
Still absent from this accounting is how much the Biden Administration has already forgiven. AEI’s Student Debt Forgiveness Tracker, which I produce, captures the amount of federal student loan revenues that have already been foregone by the US Treasury during the Trump and Biden administrations. This month, the total due to Biden’s actions reached $201 billion—from one-time discharges, Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waivers, and the pandemic pause on federal student loan payments. That total will grow $6 billion each month Biden maintains the pause. If he does so through August, as he promised, that total will grow by $30 billion.
Adding his immediate $469 billion plan to forgive up to $20,000 per borrower, the $333 billion cost of his proposed IDR changes over ten years, and the $201 billion he has already forgone, Biden could divert a trillion dollars in total forgiveness from the US treasury. Much of this could be returned to taxpayers, but even if not, $1 trillion could fund other potential priorities, including Build Back Better’s ten year proposals for Pell increases, Universal Pre-K, and Birth through Five Early Learning provisions, twice over.
Adding insult to injury, these forgiveness measures are far from progressive, benefiting many relatively advantaged Americans and almost none who never chose to attend college. The unimaginable amount Biden is working toward would equal to over $8,000 for every American household, and if Biden has his way, he will spend it without Congressional approval. Worse, these expensive measures will not stem the flow of student loan debt, and are more likely to increase the root problem in the future.
President Biden has quoted his own father saying “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.” Despite what he said in the State of the Union, his budgeting is clear. Student debt relief, much of it going to relatively advantaged Americans, is among his highest priorities.
The Biden administration is spending the people’s money, without action from Congress, and has attempted to avoid interference from the Supreme Court. Both bodies should stop this profligate spending and executive overreach where they can. The Court should rule against the forgiveness proposal, and Congress should right size adjustments to IDR. Longer term solutions will require Congress addressing the root causes of these challenges, including the rising cost of college, the increasing disbursements of student loans, and ultimately, the unrestrained presidential control of a huge loan portfolio housed in the U.S. Treasury.
Reprinted with Permission from - AEI by – Nat Malkus
In the early 80’s I left federal service after 10 years for a non-federal job. The government sent me my retirement contributions of $10,000. I retired from my other job after 30 years and hired on to a job with federal service again. After working 10 more years, I retired with 20 years of federal service time. To get the full federal retirement I had to pay back the retirement funds they sent me. I sent them a check for the $10,000 they sent me. They rejected my check; I owed them $52,000 – they want interest. I took a 30% reduction in my federal retirement. So, what you ask? Well, if these folks borrowed money 5-10-20 years ago they own a lot more than the original amount too under the rules I was penalized with. If we’re going to play hardball, we should play under the same rules.
It is totally wrong for Biden to pay off student loans with Debt Money & the same goes for Trump tax cuts that were estimated to increase debt by about 1-Trillion per year. What is wrong with White House leaders that are willing to increase our National Debt?
I would never want a handout from him when you make a loan you pay it off when you go to school you pay off your student debt when I went to school in Georgia for photography my loan is paid off did not need the government for help. What our great president is going to do any one that goes to school and does not want to finish they will expect the government to pay off there loan this is just a start. I do not need his help for that fact I do not need help from anyone in his White House to help me. He just wants to make himself look he is our savior in chief just to win votes.
This kinda shows me that the federal government has no business being in the student loan business!! But what did I expect because they make a mess of everything they touch!! That’s why we need a smaller government with Senators and Congressmen who actually have a job in their home town and they don’t spend all of their time finding more ways to interfere in our daily lives and to take more money out of our pockets!!
How much more student debt is there now than there was in 2003 when the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 was put into place?? This act did nothing to fix the problem any more than Biden’s executive order is not only an illegal action but it does nothing to fix the original problem!! I understand when people have had major hardships that loans can be forgiven but to simply give a blanket forgiving of “federal student loans” is unfair – what about those who borrowed elsewhere?? Joe, don’t you want to try to buy their votes, too??
So, Biden is doing this even though there are challenges in several courts as to his authority to do so?? That goes towards a president breaking the law!! Why didn’t he get this passed thru Congress while he had the majority and do it the legal way with the proper authority??
Agree with the puppet theory but it’s bigger than Soros/Obama. It’s the World Economic Forum￼ funded by Bill Gates and his billionaire cronies pushing for One World Order after the USA is defeated economically.
It’s not the puppet called Biden doing this. He is only the talking head and is completely oblivious until someone tells him what he is supposed to say and when to say it.
Soros/Obama and company are the ones taking this country/world apart.
They have already completed their mission goals and it is way too late now to ever turn it around.
A world war will just ruin the planet and those that survive will be no more than animals again if they can actually survive…
If one looks at the CFR membership, he can see that there are a lot bigger fish on it than Obama.They are the ones in control. But Obama and Soros are both members of the CFR. And even though Biden may not be listed as a member, he is part of the club!
This story needs to wait until the Supreme Court hears this case. Anyone who is breathing is waking up to the fact all of this is a sham to take down our country… Absent from all of these reports is:
Treason, and other descriptive words which should now be stated in all of these stories. When the constitution is being violated we the people are prosecuted to the end. NOTE: January 6th people. Well I guess its time for AMAC to start to use this language in the subject lines. It’s about time we start using the same rules and tactics to win lawfully! Bring the discussion to the law, traitors, disloyal, untrustworthy, violation of the “oath of office”, and alike, I will leave the word salad to the writers of these posts. We must start calling them out for who they are by using the laws which they have sworn to uphold.
Where the hell is Congress to stop this madness ?
This demented Sociaist is killing our economy. He needs to be stopped by any means.
The Supreme Court will allow Biden’s loan forgiveness program to stand, because the HEROES Act clearly gives that authority. While the law talks a lot about military service members in its preamble, the actual provisions grant the authority to modify student loans for anyone affected by a “national emergency” declared by the President. It just shows the President has too many emergency powers and Congress doesn’t exert enough control over the President’s ability to declare emergencies.
Only an idiotic Democrat Party headed by idiot Biden would force Americans who had nothing to do with making unwise student loan decisions to foot the bill and make people who have never enslaved anyone pay for slavery reparations on people who have never been enslaved. I’m so sick of the stupidity of the Democrat Party.
I am retired nurse and have a retired social worker friend, who never has paid a cent of her college loans back. When we were working together she would buy rings, buy the newest tablet and apple i- phone deal with her phone carrier, always running out of money, borrow money from friends, she did pay back so she could borrow again. Terrible credit slow or didn’t pay. I know because she talked about it like ,poor me! When I took her out to eat on her birthday she ordered the most expensive thing on the menu plus and extra, not free, specialty bread roll, and tea and dessert. I had water with my meal and no dessert. I was always frugal, and always owed nothing at the beginning of every month and did without to save. Do you think I want to see her student loans she has never paid forgiven??? Heck no. It’s insanely unfair.
freeloaders will always let(expect) others to pay for them. marxists like biden will NEVER use their own money to pay for those freeloaders, they will use your money (taxes) in order to buy the votes of those freeloaders.
Biden is not thinking rational which is a characteristic of dementia, this country is possibly on the verge of a world war, hasn’t anyone acknowledged this before choosing him as a presidential candidate or president of our nation of millions of people.
I don’t understand why Biden is buying all the education votes when he has all the illegal voters flooding in. Oh, I forgot. Everything in America should be free!
just remember, he is not using his money to pay these freeloaders.
Didn’t these dead beat people sign a contract stating that they would pay it back and in full in order to get the money. Their signature is worthless and no bank should ever consider giving any of them loans for anything.
Make the colleges and Universities pay back the loans. Not the American taxpayers!
The colleges and universities don’t want to give up their cash. Just raise tuition.
Yes they did but who is going to go after them to enforce repayment? The $80 billion in new IRS agents? ha,ha,ha,ha. They are being hired to come after what little the irs hasn’t yet taken from middle class taxpayers!
The Dems have no spending limits when it comes to getting re-elected.
In dollars OR morals.
President Biden’s actions concerning student loans is strictly unconstitutional. The Constitution gave to Congress the power of the purse. However, President Biden hates the Constitution and has already violated the Constitution in any way he possible can. Another violation is the open borders, regardless of immigration law. He nominated and secured confirmation of the most anti-Constitutional judge ever named to the Supreme Count. If you vote for and elect corrupt officials, you reap the most corrupt government. As vice president, he was the most corrupt second in command in American history. He is now the most corrupt president in American history.
Higher education relief There is no education Lower or higher Only equal semi literacy
Democrat favorite game, buying votes.
Social Security and Medicare?
Biden caring about the people who worked hard all their lives and built this country and kept it civilized? To Biden we are not important, he wants to give more money to illiegals and young people up to their eyeballs in debt.
“up to their eyeballs in debt”, AND do not want to WORK for a living!!
Now we know how much it cost to buy one vote. $8,000.