Biden blows it up by making student debt repayment a priority

Anyone looking for a succinct summary of America’s dystopian state in the age of the pandemic could do worse than Dash for Cash.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, an interlude during a junior league ice hockey game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Premier Center featured cash-strapped teachers jostling for their share of $5,000. They got down on all fours, in front of an entire arena, and scooped up as much money as they could for needed school supplies. Video of the sad sight went viral over the weekend, underscoring the desperate need for investment in America’s education system. But the overhaul of this system does not seem to be a priority for the current administration. However, the Dash for Cash coincided with a statement about what is considered a high priority for the Biden team when it comes to education.

Asked by a press scrum about student loan payment break Due to expire on February 1, White House press secretary Jen Psaki Psaki gave the following response:

“In the coming weeks, we will release more details about our plans and engage directly with federal student loan borrowers to ensure they have the resources they need and are in the proper repayment plan. . We are still evaluating the impact of the omicron variant, but a smooth transition to reimbursement is a high priority for the administration.

Not only did Psaki confirm that the president was no longer interested in keeping debt payments at arm’s length for students struggling with the pandemic, but she stressed the urgency for those students to resume repayment as soon as possible. The announcement of this dash for student money seemed to strike progressives as not only in bad taste, but downright offensive.

The latest news seems to clarify, however, that debt cancellation is not what Biden wants, but rather that he wants “a smooth transition to repayment.” Biden’s evolving stance on the issue now feels less like riding a roller coaster and more like riding a roller coaster in front of a movie screen projecting a roller coaster ride.

Perhaps the reason Biden chose not to extend the pause on student loan repayment further is for appearances. This could be a show of force, signaling to conservatives that rumors of a boon for social spending have been greatly exaggerated. With the press hammering it every day on inflation, it’s a way to show fiscal responsibility.

However, if her student loan decision is seen as a show of strength, she is headed in the wrong direction. Students in debt from the pandemic are also currently facing rising prices at the pump. Like CNBC reports, a recent survey of 33,703 student borrowers found that even among those working full-time, 89% say they are not financially secure enough to start making payments after Feb. 1. In the meantime, it looks like the administration could find more money by suing suspicious PPP loans, and tax the billionaires whose wealth soared to $10.2 trillion during pandemic.

Either way, this administration that makes student loan repayment a high priority while dragging its feet on voting rights and many other issues is less of a race for the money than a race to the bottom. .

Tana T. Thorsen