If you’re an affluent American, President Joe Biden—to steal a phrase popularized by our former Emoter-in-Chief—feels your pain.
With a stroke of his pen Wednesday night, Biden vetoed a bipartisan bill that promoted fairness by nixing student loan cancellations likely to significantly benefit wealthier Americans.
Biden’s student loan cancellation agenda, which he tyrannically muscled in through an unconstitutional executive action, would cancel $10,000 in government student loans for Americans making less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 in government student loans for Americans who received Pell Grants, which benefit lower-income Americans attending college.
But don’t fall for the leftist rhetoric around this. Biden’s action is clear: He’s a president who hears the cry of the well-to-do.
But of course, Biden (and his advisers) know it’s not exactly considered top political skills to spell out loud how you’re there for the rich.
So Biden, in an Orwellian move, looked straight at the camera and acted like he was standing up for regular Joes.
“Let me make something really clear, I’m never going to apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans as they recover from this pandemic, never,” Biden forcefully said in a video posted to Twitter, as though a mob of rich people were just outside in the Rose Garden, only being held back from torching him by heroic Secret Service agents.
But before workers of the world get geared up to unite around Biden, they might want to consider a few pesky facts.
First, according to a University of Pennsylvania analysis, “about 70 percent of debt relief accrues to borrowers in the top 60 percent of the income distribution.” So, while Biden is touting how the absolute wealthiest can’t get the deal, he’s leaving out how a lot of upper-middle-class folks are getting a sweet handout here.
Secondly, not only are lower-income Americans receiving less money from the deal, they’re also effectively helping pay for it through their taxes. An analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation found that the burden on taxpayers from the student loan cancellation would be a whopping $2,503 per person.
Don’t think that wouldn’t fall on lower-income Americans: When National Taxpayers Union Foundation did an analysis looking at how much people paid in taxes based on income, the organization found that those making $50,000 or less a year would pay an average of $190 per person for the student loan cancellation, while those making $50,000 to $75,000 would pay $1,040 per person.
That’s hardly chump change.
Thirdly, let’s remember who has college degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly wage for those 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree was $1,432. For those with a high school degree, it’s $853. Yes, a college education is often expensive (although let’s keep in mind between community colleges, scholarships, and other efforts, there are ways to make it more affordable), but it also is a true investment that pays off for many borrowers.
Fourthly, Biden specifically cited the COVID-19 pandemic. But what he conveniently left out is government student loan repayments have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic (in fact, while even Biden has grudgingly admitted the pandemic is over, the pause remains in place now, although the debt ceiling deal means it will end soon.) Furthermore, there are income-based repayment options for student loans. No one here is having to forgo food to pay back their student loans.
So, what is going on here? Why is “Lunch Bucket Joe” Biden of Scranton fame so determined to help more affluent Americans?
Well, not to be a peevish cynic, but these numbers seem a smidgen relevant: In 2020, general election exit polls showed that 55% of college graduates voted for Biden, as did 60% of 18-29 year olds and 52% of 30-44 year olds—age demographics more likely to be affected by student loan repayments.
In the 2022 election, held soon after Biden announced his student loan cancellation ploy, 54% of college grads voted for Democrats, as did 63% of 18-29 year olds and 51% of 30-44 year olds.
Bread and circuses, it would appear, aren’t exactly in the dustbin of history.
The ultimate fate of the student loan cancellation program is unclear. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision on the constitutionality of the move soon.
But whatever happens, don’t fall for Biden’s rhetoric here. He’s fighting his darndest to give affluent Americans a handout—and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal