President Biden, It’s Time to Cancel Student Debt–Ro Khann

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      Canceling student loan debt for working- and middle-class Americans is the right thing to do. No one should be prevented from pursuing higher education because they can’t afford the financial burden it poses. Furthermore, it makes economic sense: Relief from student debt would help young people buy homes, build wealth and otherwise grow our economy.

      Student loan debt was a defining issue during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a plan to cancel debt up to $50,000 for those making $100,000 or less, and would help 95 percent of borrowers, and I’m an original co-sponsor of the House bill that is based on this plan. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he’d cancel it all. Even then-candidate Joe Biden told participants at a town hall in Miami, “I’m going to make sure that everybody in this generation gets $10,000 knocked off of their student debt.”

      As president, Biden has the power to cancel student loan debt — in fact he has already used this authority to do so, but only for a small group of Americans. Using the Higher Education Act of 1965, Biden eliminated nearly $20 billion in student loans for select borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges, individuals with permanent disabilities and those working in public service. He also paused federal student loan repayments and forgave interest payments on these loans to relieve the burden during the pandemic.

      Another myth is that Americans without college degrees will have to pay for student debt relief. This is simply not true. To avoid adding to the national debt, we could pay for student debt cancellation with Biden’s proposed billionaire tax and institute a transaction tax on Wall Street speculation. As for implementation, the Education Department has demonstrated capability to deliver Pell Grants and other federal student aid targeted by household income.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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