Despite the administration’s apparent economic hypocrisy, President Biden praised historically low unemployment just one day after prolonging the pandemic-era college loan freeze for four months.
The student loan suspension, which began in March 2020 under Donald Trump, will now run until at least August 31. Unemployment peaked at 15% two years ago, but is presently at 3.6% nationwide and 2% for recent graduates.
Taxpayers Bearing the Burden
Employment Creators Network director and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said Biden constantly brags about record job and GDP growth, knowing this is only a byproduct of the economy recovering from the epidemic.
“Biden suddenly believes America is in turmoil while promoting liberal policies.”
Ortiz thinks inflation directly influences Biden’s spending spree, and measures like extending the student loan freeze won’t help.
Asserting the economy was still improving, Biden announced the loan halt extension.
In a prepared statement, he said, “We are still recuperating from the epidemic and the extraordinary economic upheaval it created.”
“Recent Federal Reserve figures imply millions of student loan holders would experience severe economic hardship if payments were resumed on schedule in May. Delinquency rates and defaults might jeopardize American financial stability.”
If you don’t wanna pay student loans, DONT GO TO COLLEGE.
— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) April 10, 2022
Soon after, Biden released another statement praising low unemployment, claiming “America is back to work.”
Biden then emphasized, “today’s data illustrates America is on the move once more and the economy is distinctively well positioned to conquer the global challenges posed by the disease outbreak and Putin’s war of choice.”
Officials tout that Biden is the only president not to mandate student loan repayment.
The halt affects 41 million borrowers with a combined debt of $1.3 trillion and already costs taxpayers over $100 billion.
These two assertions are not contradictory, says senior fellow David Madland of the Center for American Progress.
With a healthy labor market, many individuals are suffering from debt, he said. “Paying off debt and being on the firm financial ground takes time.”
As Good as It’s Going to Get
When should the pause finish?
Madland says further months of good job growth will help, but he’d prefer to see college debt forgiven first, preferably means-tested, so only those most in need can benefit.
Biden campaigned on absorbing at least $10,000 per individual in student loan debt. Since assuming office, he’s stated he’d support it if Congress first approved it.
Last week, my colleagues & I led nearly 100 Members of Congress in urging @POTUS to extend the federal student loan payment pause & today the President heeded our calls. This extension is critical, but now is the time for the President to use his authority to #CancelStudentDebt.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 6, 2022
Though it hasn’t happened yet, many Democrats want the suspension to remain until the end of 2022, pushing the date past the midterms.
The request came last week from over 100 Democrat senators, including prominent figures like Sens. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren.
Some economists argue the halt increases inflation and mainly helps the wealthy.
“It felt right when we were in the midst of the epidemic and unsure who would be able to repay what and what people’s bills would be,” Marc Goldwein of the Council for a Responsible Federal Budget said earlier this week.
He noted a 20-year drop in bachelor’s degree holders’ unemployment. “I’m not sure it’ll be easier in August,” Goldwein added. “The scenario is as good as it gets.”