Nearly 9 out of 10 recent student debt borrowers say Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to cancel at least $10,000 of college debt affected their decision-making. And a big majority think he’ll do more than that.
The survey results come as Biden is reportedly considering $10,000 cancellations for federal college borrowers earning under $150,000 a year.
At the same time, Biden faces a decision over whether to allow student debt repayments to resume after several pandemic-era pauses, but at a time when surging inflation gives postponement advocates more ammo.
Absent signing off on his fifth extension, borrowers would resume payments after August 31—as midterms approach and Democrats stare down the barrel of a major nationwide setback.
It remains to be seen whether Biden will use debt cancellation as a spoonful of sugar to help the payment-resumption medicine go down, or if he’ll pair cancellation with yet another payback postponement as a self-serving election gimmick.
The college-focused website intelligent.com surveyed 1,000 people who’d taken on student debt since the 2020 election. A whopping 86% claim Biden’s campaign promise affected their decision to take on debt.
Of those who are still enrolled, 30% say they’re either unlikely or very unlikely to continue going to college unless Biden takes a chunk of debt off their backs and redistributes it across everyone else’s.
For this crowd of debtors, Biden’s $10,000 pledge doesn’t seem relevant, as a whopping 71% are either confident or very confident that Biden will forgive most or all of student debt. Cancelling it all would represent a nearly $1.7 trillion giveaway.
If Biden doesn’t forgive any debt, 31% of the Democratic survey participants say they’re either unlikely or highly unlikely to vote for him in 2024.
It reminds us of a sentiment that that’s been expressed in many ways and dubiously attributed to various historical figures. Its accuracy, however, is unquestionable: “When the people find they can vote themselves largesse from the treasury, it will herald the end of the republic.”