Tuesday 26 March 2024

Biden wants taxpayers to shoulder $6B student loan debt of 78,000 public service workers

 President Joe Biden has revealed a plan to cancel about $6 billion worth of student loan debt for 78,000 borrowers who are public service workers as part of the Democratic administration's ongoing effort to transfer the burdens of student loan borrowers onto the taxpayers.

The move increases the total amount of student debt "forgiven" by the current administration to approximately $150 billion for four million borrowers.

The cancellation targets public service workers, including teachers, nurses, and firefighters, who are eligible for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) established in 2007, aimed at relieving student debt for those in public service roles. The average amount of debt that will be canceled is about $77,000.

Biden, addressing the issue, stated: "These public service workers have dedicated their careers to serving their communities, but because of past administrative failures, never got the relief they were entitled to under the law." 

Biden pushes student loan forgiveness despite legal opposition

Republicans, who have largely opposed student loan forgiveness measures as putting an unfair burden on taxpayers who will suddenly be beholden to the debt that has been "forgiven."

The GOP has also criticized Biden's student loan forgiveness initiatives as an attempt to skirt the rule of law. This comes after the Supreme Court back in June 2023 decided to halt an attempt by the White House to unilaterally "cancel" $430 billion worth of student loans. 

The decision was only a temporary setback for the government, with Biden vowing to explore all possible avenues as the executive to provide debt relief to Americans burdened by student loans.

As of June 2023, the Federal Student Aid website reports that there were about 43.4 million student loan borrowers in the United States. They hold a collective $1.63 trillion worth of debt, a figure that has tripled since the 2008 financial crisis, highlighting the growing urgency for the government to address the issue.

The PSFLP was established in 2007 by forme President George W. Bush to provide debt relief for Americans who go into public service. Certain employees of nonprofits may also be eligible for forgiveness.

Biden asserted that the plan is necessary to bring much-needed relief to borrowers whose debts are becoming "a barrier to opportunity."

"Because of the fixes my administration has made, we have now canceled student debt for over 870,000 public service workers – compared to only about 7,000 public service borrowers ever receiving forgiveness prior to my administration," claimed Biden in his statement. "And through all of our various student debt relief actions, nearly four million Americans have had their student debt canceled under my administration."

Borrowers who are eligible under the PSFLP to have at least some of their debt passed on to taxpayers will receive an email from the White House congratulating them on their relief.

The administration will also be sending emails directly to an additional 380,000 public service workers who will be eligible for debt forgiveness through the PSFLP within two years of the initiative.

The president's email to the borrowers will thank them for serving their communities and will notify them that if they continue their work in public service, they are on track to have their debt canceled within one to two years of additional work.

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