During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to do “something” about the student debt “crisis.” Since the radical left thinks it’s unfair for borrowers to be expected to pay back the loans they promised to pay back, the idea is that taxpayers should foot the bill.
So far, Biden has pushed off the decision with multiple extensions of the student loan payment pause. But that’s done little to appease the radical voices in his party that want him to take executive action and wipe out the debt of millions of student loan borrowers. Ol’ Joe has suggested he might support $10,000 of relief per borrower, but some Democrats, like Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), want $50,000. And they want it done via executive action — even though a president doesn’t actually have the authority to do that. But since when has that stopped a Democrat president, right?
To his credit, Biden has said in the past that a legislative approach would be better. But his efforts to put off the decision haven’t relieved any pressure at all, and Biden confirmed a couple of weeks ago that he’ll make a decision “by the end of August.”
What will that decision be, though? Will he forgive some student debt? If so, how much? Or will he just extend the student loan payment pause, which is currently in place until August 31?
The way things look now, I’d bet that Joe Biden will assume authority he doesn’t have and forgive at least some student loan debt via executive action. Why? Just look at the polls.
In 2020, roughly 60% of young people aged 18 to 29 years old supported Biden. That support has cratered. According to FiveThirtyEight, Biden’s support among this demographic is a mere 37%, which is worse than his overall approval rating of 38%. Young voters were Biden’s best demographic, and now, 94% of them want someone else at the top of the Democratic ticket, according to The New York Times.
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, among voters under 35, Democrats still lead Republicans by seven points in the generic ballot. That might sound pretty good, until you find out that in 2018, Democrats won voters under thirty by over 30 points.
The fact is that young voters are hurt by the Biden economy like the rest of us.
“Like the rest of Americans, young voters are also suffering the inflationary consequences of the Biden administration’s policies,” Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Aside from gas and groceries, young Americans are increasingly worried about how they are going to take their next steps into adulthood by buying a home, and some are worried about future job prospects if we head into a recession.”
Naturally, young voters want Biden to bail them out of their student loan debt. After he promised to “do something” about it during the campaign, they’re anxious for him to fulfill that promise. And so far, nothing else has managed to change the trajectory of the 2022 midterm elections. Republicans are still widely expected to win back the House and possibly the Senate, too. And sure enough, the end of August is an ideal time to announce some student loan debt forgiveness — it’s roughly two months before the midterm elections.
I suspect Biden will announce an executive action to cancel some student debt (probably $10,000 per borrower) and call upon Congress to cancel more, in a bid to appeal to young voters to elect the Democrats who will support the legislation to cancel their debt.
Biden has repeatedly shown he’s not above gimmicks to try to save his party in the midterms. And with the way he’s lost support from young voters, this is pretty much the last Hail Mary he’s got.