President Joe Biden’s unilateral move to implement a student loan forgiveness plan that “will include at least $10,000 in loan forgiveness for borrowers who make less than $125,000 annually, as well as another payment freeze for roughly four months” has understandably set off a firestorm nationwide, with Republicans lining up to express their outrage over Biden’s actions.
But Republicans aren’t the only ones ripping Biden. He’s also faced intense criticism from some surprising corners, including from Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) who as we previously reported said on Wednesday that “This announcement by President Biden is no way to make policy and sidesteps Congress and our oversight and fiscal responsibilities.”
“Any plan to address student debt should go through the legislative process, and it should be more targeted and paid for so it doesn’t add to the deficit,” Pappas, who is said to be in a tough reelection battle, also stated.
He wasn’t alone. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, did his best to sound like a Republican.
“Waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet,” he said.
Interesting statement from Tim Ryan (through his congressional office) on student loan forgiveness.
It's almost like he's running a Senate campaign aimed at winning over middle-of-the-road voters. pic.twitter.com/83xzhHUyNg
— Haley BeMiller (@haleybemiller) August 24, 2022
Ryan’s opponent is Trump-endorsed Republican J. D. Vance.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto told a local outlet in Nevada, “I don’t agree with today’s executive action because it doesn’t address the root problems that make college affordable.”
She will face Republican Adam Laxalt in November in what is considered to be a highly competitive race.
Maine Democratic Rep. Jared Golden also had a harsh response to Biden’s plan.
“This decision by the president is out of touch with what the majority of the American people want from the White House, which is leadership to address the most immediate challenges the country is facing,” Golden, who faces Republican opponent and former Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the midterms in a red-leaning district, said according to Bangor Daily News.
And in a lengthy thread on Twitter, Jason Furman – who was former President Barack Obama’s Chair of Economic Advisors – went off:
Pouring roughly half trillion dollars of gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning is reckless. Doing it while going well beyond one campaign promise ($10K of student loan relief) and breaking another (all proposals paid for) is even worse.
— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 24, 2022
“There are a number of other highly problematic impacts including encouraging higher tuition in the future, encouraging more borrowing, creating expectations of future debt forgiveness, and more,” Furman also noted.
Furman’s rant was on top of the criticism Biden faced over his plan from Obama-Biden Treasury Sec. Lawrence Summers, who didn’t have anything good to say about it.
Even the Democratic apologists on the Washington Post editorial board blasted Biden:
The loan-forgiveness decision is even worse. Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive. It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college, to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees. Though Mr. Biden’s plan includes an income cap, the threshold does not reflect need or earnings potential, meaning white-collar professionals with high future salaries stand to benefit.
CNN commentator and WaPo columnist Catherine Rampell, who typically writes about taxes and the economy and who is hardly a fan of Republicans, spoke out against it as well:
CNN's @crampell slams Biden's student loan bailout scam: "This is a very, very expensive way to deal with a problem that ends up giving a lot of money to people who don't really need it." pic.twitter.com/Hux1gDhEoX
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) August 25, 2022
“I feel like this is sort of a problem, this is my issue with a lot of Progressive policy approaches right now, that this approach of sort of like, spending a lot of money, and hoping some of it ends up in the right hands of the needy,” she went on to say.
Not mentioned in any of the Republican or Democrat criticisms of Biden was the word “impeachment,” which should definitely be on the table considering Biden does not have the authority to carry out this plan, contra to the Dept. of Education saying otherwise.
Maybe we’ll hear calls for it after November, assuming Republicans retake the House and Senate. Because if the nation’s chief executive usurping Congress’ authority in an attempt to buy off voters ahead of a crucial election is not an impeachable offense, I don’t know what is.