After announcing executive action to unilaterally and retroactively wipe away $300 billion in federal student debt, President Joe Biden looked over his shoulder to answer a question: Was this debt forgiveness fair to those who had sacrificed and saved to pay their way through college? Biden deflected.
“Is it fair to people who, in fact, do not own multibillion dollar businesses,” he replied. “Some of these guys want to give them all tax breaks,” he said, seemingly referring to unrelated Republican tax proposals. “Is that fair?” he asked the reporter. “What do you think?”
Then, the president left. The fundamental question of fairness, however, remains as millions of Americans now search the Department of Education’s website for guidance to see if they qualify for loan forgiveness. Or if they would have qualified had they not repaid their loans earlier.
According to the plan, the White House will cancel $10,000 in federal student debt loans for any individual making less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 for those with Pell grants. Republicans quickly complained that the debt amnesty was “a slap in the face to working Americans.” For many working in Washington, D.C., however, it was a sigh of relief.