Is Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Vote-Buying Scheme Falling Apart? 

Monthira /
Monthira /

On the surface, President Joe Biden’s plan to buy votes with the promise of student loan cancellations seems to be working. Millions of people who have federal loans are benefiting from these changes. Many will likely support the president when he faces off against former President Donald Trump in the upcoming election to ensure their freebies continue. 

But quiet grumbling reveals the scheme is not entirely going according to plan. 

The Supreme Court rejected Biden’s plan to forgive student loans as unconstitutional. However, the Biden administration has been busily ignoring the law and refining a new proposal since then. His latest plan involves stakeholder negotiations and allows the public to comment on the scheme. 

The guidelines for this wildly unpopular plan were released on April 17 and are expected to wipe out student debt for an astonishing 30 million borrowers. Biden’s plan has already “forgiven” over 4 million Americans. Individuals enrolled in the federal Saving on a Valuable Education Plan (SAVE) and those under Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness received debt relief through program adjustments.  

Some will waive their unpaid interest, while others will receive direct relief if they have made payments for 20 years or longer.  

So far, there have been 28k public comments on Biden’s plan, and they aren’t all as rosy as the administration had hoped. 

On top of an already overwhelmingly negative view held by Americans who will be forced to foot the bill for students who took out loans to pay for their education, the comments have shown a picture of an entitled demographic who abused the student loan debt repayment pause during the pandemic. One proudly announced that he used the pause to purchase a home and is struggling now that he has been forced to resume payments on his existing debt. He adds, “If that [student loan] burden could be lifted, it would be life-changing for me.” 

Some comments have proven that the White House’s stance on the Middle East has dampened any enthusiasm they might have had for Biden’s student debt relief plans.  

Robert Shapiro, a Columbia University professor, says there’s no evidence that forgiving student loans has helped Biden. Even if students felt the benefits and appreciated Biden’s backing, he doesn’t believe they would be convinced to vote for Biden over another candidate or to vote at all. Shapiro added that dissatisfaction with Biden’s performance on various issues, such as immigration and the economy, and his stance on Israel, could sway young adults and minority voters away from supporting him. 

Alex Beene, a financial literacy instructor at the University of Tennessee, agrees that students will focus on other problems, like the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He explains, “Concerns about potential war, inflation, and various other pressing issues rightly take precedence, and efforts to forgive student debt, while well-intentioned, may be perceived as diverting attention away from these critical matters.” 

Beene expressed skepticism that the increase in the number of people qualifying for student loan forgiveness under the new proposal could significantly impact an election, regardless of how broad the new options may be. He suggested that the Biden campaign’s anticipated additional support might come from those who currently don’t qualify but could if the existing options were expanded in a second term. 

But the plan, already heralded as both financially and morally disastrous, is facing increased opposition as antisemitic protests have erupted on college campuses nationwide. 

“The only thing that matters to @JoeBiden is appeasing his radical base. That’s why he’s ok with forcing taxpayers to pay off the loans of these pro-terrorist antisemites,” wrote House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) posted on X. 

According to a post from the account @EndWokeness on X this week, “Here’s what’s happening at Columbia University right now.” The post includes a video showing a recent scene at Columbia. The caption reads, “A literal cult is occupying the campus. Remember: We all paid their student debt.” 

Although Biden’s student debt forgiveness typically takes effect years after borrowers graduate and begin repaying their loans, some critics are unhappy that Biden could ultimately subsidize the education of protesters. 

“Death to America” seems more important for some students than “Death to Student Loans.” And at a time when Biden can’t afford any more setbacks, this one is resurfacing just in time to throw his vote-buying scheme into the garbage, where SCOTUS said it belonged a year ago.