Democratic strategists spent the last several months begging President Joe Biden and his party to push an agenda more popular with its younger base.
Less than three months before the November elections, Biden listened, moving to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt for Americans on Wednesday. Still, this midterm play is not guaranteed to win the Democratic Party control of Congress as it handed Republicans a new line of attack.
“Didn’t go to college? Worked your way up the old-fashioned way? Made a good living for your family? Well, as a reward, Joe Biden will let you pay for the student loans of the wealthy ‘gender studies’ major,” tweeted Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
Didn’t go to college?
Worked your way up the old fashioned way?
Made a good living for your family?
Well, as a reward, Joe Biden will let you pay for the student loans of the wealthy “gender studies” major.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 25, 2022
Biden announced Wednesday that the Executive Branch will forgive $10,000 in student loans or $20,000 in Pell grants for individual borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year (or $250,000 for married couples). (RELATED: Biden Admin Using Post-9/11 Law As Legal Basis For Canceling Student Debt)
For the Democrats, winning in November will give them the mandate to continue on their path of uncontrollable spending and tax hikes during a period of a looming recession, high inflation, and crippling debt.
Biden won 60% of the vote from Americans ages 18-29 in the 2020 presidential election, but recently his support among these voters trended down, reported FiveThirtyEight. “Polls released in mid-July by Fox News (of registered voters) and SSRS/CNN (of adults) found that less than 30 percent of American adults under 35 approved of Biden’s work on the economy (28 percent in Fox News, 35 percent in SSRS/CNN),” the outlet reported.
After recent legislative wins and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Democrats showed signs they would beat the traditional midterm loss that the incumbent president’s party typically suffers, according to elections analyst from Inside Elections, Ryan Matsumoto.”
“Democrats have now outperformed Biden’s numbers in each of the four U.S. House special elections since the Dobbs decisions in June,” said Matsumoto. These four races show that Democratic party support increased, including in Nebraska, where former President Donald Trump’s electoral lead was cut from Trump +15 to Republican +5, a drop of ten points.
Democrats have now outperformed Biden’s numbers in each of the four U.S. House special elections since the Dobbs decision in June.#NE01 – Trump +15 -> R+5#MN01 – Trump +10 -> R+4#NY19 – Biden +1.5 -> D+2.2#NY23 – Trump +11 -> R+6
— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) August 24, 2022
With this new momentum, the Democrats are surely hoping to capitalize on Biden’s loan forgiveness plan to activate their young voters. For the past several decades, Democrats have successfully portrayed themselves as the working class party. Still, as party demographics shifted, the blue-collar party became reliant on white-collar votes. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: How Did ‘The Least Racially Diverse,’ And Most Radical Faction Of The Left Hijack The Democrat Party?)
Former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Kevin Hassett told Fox Business Tuesday that Biden’s declaration of student loan forgiveness was nothing more than a handout to his base.
“They’ve got to reward their base, which is the teachers’ unions, the trial lawyers and liberal academics,” Hassett said on Fox Business. “The real irony is Democrats pretend to be for the little guy, but the typical blue-collar worker doesn’t have a college degree, doesn’t have [a] student loan. And a lot of folks who have worked hard to pay off their loans and all those people are getting left behind by the Bidens, and they are tossing money at people who haven’t paid their loans.”
However, a new survey yet to be released by Deseret News and Brigham Young University shows that only 25% of Americans ages 18-29 believe forgiving $10,000 in student loans will have a significant positive impact on their finances, Deseret News reported.
The debt forgiveness plan opens doors for Republicans to hammer Democrats on giving more handouts to the wealthy college-educated elites at the expense of blue-collar workers and the middle-class – a much larger voting bloc that’s been recently slipping from the Democratic party’s hands.
Democratic data scientist David Shor warned in The New York Times in December 2020 that the political realignment between the parties saw working-class Americans fleeing the Democratic Party.
“The big-picture problem is that the Democratic Party is increasingly reflecting the cultural values and political preferences of educated white people,” Shor told the outlet. “Culturally, working-class nonwhite people have more in common with working-class white people.” (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Legendary Democrat Pollster Says Party Is Dooming Itself Among Working Class Voters)
The total cost for the average taxpayer to pay for $10,000 in student loans for individuals making <$125,000 will be around $2,100, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), which used the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) for its analysis.
The NTFU found the tax burden for Americans making $50,000 – $75,000 a year would average around $866.87; for those earning $75,000-$100,000, the estimated cost is $1,477.78, and earners with a yearly salary between $100,000-$200,000 will pay on average $3,158.35 for random borrowers’ debt.
Why cost per taxpayer? Ultimately, that $330 billion is money the federal government lent but will not receive back under cancelation. Policymakers will have to account for the new gap with:
1) decreased government spending,
2) increased taxes, and/or
3) increased borrowing.
— Andrew Lautz (@andrew_lautz) August 23, 2022
Republicans aren’t the only ones arguing against Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
Several Democrats denounced the move, including Democratic Ohio Senate nominee Tim Ryan who released a statement criticizing Biden’s debt forgiveness scheme. “While there’s no doubt that a college education should be about opening opportunities, waving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet,” Ryan said.
The Democrats shouldn’t be “forgiving student loans for six-figure earners,” he said, arguing that the Democrats “should be working to level the playing field for all Americans … not just college grads.”