Earlier this week, President Biden told Congressional Hispanic Caucus members that he’s open to some debt forgiveness regardless of institution, but never mentioned a number. Amid the obvious joyfulness that this instilled in millions around the country, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) even told reporters that the government is “getting closer and closer and closer on [forgiving] student loans” with the goal of $50,000 forgiveness possible.
Of course, now that people are getting excited about loan forgiveness being within grasp, Biden set the record straight and dampened those celebrations. On Thursday, Biden said he’s only considering “some debt reduction” for student loan borrowers.
“I am considering dealing with some debt reduction. I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness, and I’ll have an answer in the next couple of weeks,” he told reporters at a press conference.
As anyone with a heaping pile of student debt know, “debt reduction” is a phrase that is divorced from the consequences of student loan debt. Student loan debt is the second largest debt held by Americans, second only to mortgages. And it’s crushing—particularly to people of color. Black Americans carry the most student loan debt, as postgraduate degrees are seen as one avenue to combat the racism in the hiring process. Hispanic Americans are the most likely to delay starting families because of their debt.
In response to Biden’s pithy “debt reduction” line, the NAACP quickly weighed in. “We agree that we shouldn’t cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. We should cancel all of it. $50,000 was just the bottom line. For the Black community, who’ve accumulated debt over generations of oppression, anything less is unacceptable,” the civil rights organization said in a statement.
Enough already! Just cancel it all! This silly little dance where Biden waits on our incompetent Congress to do something, anything on student debt cancellation is so tired. If nothing else, Biden and the party he insisted on leading in his geriatric years need to invigorate voters. Until we know the outcome of Dobbs—the abortion case that could topple Roe and abortion as we know it—the Democrats need to give something to voters, particularly the sub-30 set. Something like... full student loan debt cancellation!