President Joe Biden defended the fairness of his plan to eliminate up to $20,000 of federal student debt for those earning less than $125,000 annually.
He said that he knew not everything he announced today would please everyone, but that he still thought it was “responsible and fair.”
Reporters questioned the president on how he could consider his proposal to be “fair” in comparison to students who either did not take out loans or had already paid them off after his address at the White House.
The question seemed to upset Biden, who then likened his choice to 2017 Republican-passed tax reform legislation.
Is it fair to watch as these men get all the tax cuts while the people who really don’t own multibillion dollar corporations do not? Is that equitable? Biden answered. What do you believe?
Biden’s proposal is expected to cost at least $300 billion, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model.
In a speech at the White House, the president explained his choice while acknowledging that it will be criticized.
“Just to be clear. How do we pay for it? Is a question I often hear.” Despite authorizing trillions of dollars in expenditures during his 18 months as president, he said, “We pay for it by what we’ve done.”
All students seeking debt forgiveness were advised by Biden to visit a website, but it was inaccessible because of heavy demand.
Jason Furman, an economic advisor to former President Barack Obama, blasted the choice as a “reckless” action that would merely “throw gasoline” on inflation on social media.
He disputed the White House’s assertion that Biden’s plan to cancel student loans would help American families dealing with inflation.
“The stimulus has a multiplier of just around 0.1., he concluded. “So the effect on inflation is probably between 0.2 and 0.3 pp. For a normal family, such extra expenses range from $150 to $200.”