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Editorial: Student loan forgiveness adds up to zero help for taxpayers

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 9/21/2022 Boston Herald editorial staff
FILE – President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 10, 2022, in Washington. Biden is set to announce $10,000 federal student loan cancellation on Aug. 24, for many, extend repayment pause for others. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) © Provided by Boston Herald FILE – President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 10, 2022, in Washington. Biden is set to announce $10,000 federal student loan cancellation on Aug. 24, for many, extend repayment pause for others. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

When looking at Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness scheme, the numbers have never been good.

Not in terms of the multi-billion-dollar price tag, its affect on the national debt, and especially the impact it has on inflation.

As former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman said, Biden’s move pours “gasoline on the inflationary fire.”

But a new set of numbers released Tuesday is also incendiary in that it shows how many borrowers in each state will get a fiscal kiss from the Biden administration.

The Department of Education broke out the estimated number of individuals eligible for student debt relief, and the estimated number of Pell Grant borrowers eligible for relief within each state, according to the White House.

In Massachusetts, that’s 813,000 borrowers eligible for student debt relief up to $10,000, and 401,200 eligible to trim $20,000 off their Pell Grants.

How that breaks down for everyone else:

For people who went to college and paid off their loans, you get zip.

For people who by choice or necessity went into the workforce instead of college, you also get zero.

Democrats and the Biden administration are keen to hype up the fairness of student loan forgiveness, how people who make less than $125,000 per year, or married couples or heads of households earning less than $250,000 are the ones eligible for the windfall.

But if they’re really concerned with fairness, why not target those without a college degree who work in jobs that don’t garner the kinds of salaries college grads can earn? In Massachusetts, that number would exceed 813,000.

A study last year by HireAHelper found that about 24.7% of Massachusetts residents’ have a bachelor’s degree, and 20.3% earned a graduate or professional degree.

The rest? They get to work and pay the taxes that will fund debt forgiveness for those in the lucky slice of the pie. And if they work in the fossil fuel industry — Biden and Co. can’t give them a pink slip soon enough.

As Republican Representative from Texas Troy Nehls tweeted, “Nothing is free, and someone is ALWAYS footing the bill. This time it’s 87% of Americans without student loans.”

Student loan forgiveness is, of course, a grand political gesture, designed to gin up support for Democrats among younger voters and cement the college-educated as the Democratic demographic of choice.

Older voters, the Boomers with children they put through college, their invitation to the party blew off the porch.

That this is a limited offer gimmick aimed at earning the party victory in November is underscored by the fact that students who took a loan out after June 30 of this year will miss the boat.

What happens after the $10,000 and $20,000 goodie bags are dispersed? How will it help people afford groceries, or supply chains untangle?

It won’t, that’s not the point.

Democrats just have to keep riding the happy wave that lifts up the chosen to the midterms. But it doesn’t take a college graduate to know that those without degrees will also be voting.

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