Though President Joe Biden announced his plan for forgiving thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt at the end of August, 22 Republican governors are now objecting to his plan and sent a letter to the president outlining the issues.
Led by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, the nearly two dozen governors urged Biden to withdraw his plan for loan forgiveness, saying that this will have a negative impact on all Americans, especially lower-income families, Axios reported.
“Only 16-17 percent of Americans have federal student loan debt, and yet, your plan will require their debts be redistributed and paid by the vast majority of taxpayers. Shifting the burden of debt from the wealthy to working Americans has a regressive impact that harms lower-income families,” the letter stated.
“Borrowers with the most debt, such as $50,000 or more, almost exclusively have graduate degrees, meaning hourly workers will pay off the master’s and doctorate degrees of high salaried lawyers, doctors and professors. What’s more, the top 20 percent of earning households hold $3 in student debt for every $1 held by the bottom quintile, generating a lopsided reality where the wealthy benefit at the expense of the working. Simply put, your plan rewards the rich and punishes the poor,” the governors added in the letter.
The letter also added that not every American feels the need to go to college. Those that do, and decide to take out loans for it, must be responsible for that personal decision.
Those Americans who did take out loans for education should not have their debt thrust on taxpayers when it was an individual decision that they were not forced to make.
“College may not be the right decision for every American, but for the students who took out loans, it was their decision: able adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and consented to taking on debt in exchange for taking classes,” the letter read.
“Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others,” it later added.
The governors also noted that this plan is extremely unfair to all the Americans who have worked hard and paid off their student debt.
Not only did the 22 governors cite the unfairness of Biden‘s debt forgiveness scheme, but they also noted that the whole idea will likely continue to drive inflation, which is already a major crisis for Americans.
“At a time when inflation is sky high due to your unprecedented tax-and-spend agenda, your plan will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further, negatively impacting every American,” they noted.
The letter did make it clear that the coalition of governors is not opposed to higher education or to even making it more affordable.
They are simply opposed to this expensive plan that will affect all Americans in order to forgive a small amount of individual and overall student debt.
“As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few — a plan that is estimated to cost the American taxpayer more than $2,000 each or $600 billion total, a price the people of our states cannot afford,” the letter read.
The governors also noted the fact that there are bipartisan issues with the president’s plan. Not only is it an economic problem to forgive tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but the authority that Biden claims in enacting this plan is questionable.
“Bipartisan opposition to your plan includes more than economic objections but process problems as well. As president, you lack the authority to wield unilateral action to usher in a sweeping student loan cancellation plan, a position shared by leaders of your party. Last year, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, ‘People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,'” the letter noted.
In light of these many objections, the coalition of governors ended the letter by demanding that Biden cancel the debt forgiveness plan.
“For these reasons and more, we call on you to withdraw your student loan plan immediately,” the letter concluded.
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