Debt union blasts Biden's possibly capping debt relief at $10k per student in NBC op-ed: 'Nowhere near enough'

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Debt Collective, a left-wing debt union seeking the cancellation of all student debt, railed against the possibility President Biden might only approve the forgiveness of $10,000 in debt per student, arguing it was “nowhere near enough,” and that he “should instead be wiping out all federal student loans.”

The group’s co-founder, Astra Taylor, made the argument in a Saturday op-ed for NBC, while also claiming it would be a “disaster” to implement income caps on student debt forgiveness, and that it would exclude and disappoint the people to which Biden “owes” his election.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: On the second anniversary of the student loan payment pause, We, The 45M, use signs and projections outside of the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the pause and ask Education Secretary Cardona to cancel student debt on March 14, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 14: On the second anniversary of the student loan payment pause, We, The 45M, use signs and projections outside of the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the pause and ask Education Secretary Cardona to cancel student debt on March 14, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)

BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PLAN: EVERYTHING WE KNOW SO FAR

Taylor described how Debt Collective partnered with Bennett College, a historically Black school in North Carolina, to eliminate the debt of hundreds of its former students in order “to call attention to the disproportionate impact the student debt crisis is having on Black women and to push President Joe Biden to keep his campaign promise on student debt elimination for the country’s 45 million borrowers.”

“But student loan holders are still waiting for relief. Biden should be wiping out federal student loans through an executive order. He could send letters like the one we just sent to former Bennett students, only to every single borrower in the country, lifting a crushing weight from their shoulders,” Taylor wrote.

She noted that Biden pledged during his 2020 presidential campaign to eliminate a “minimum” of $10,000 for all borrowers, and to wipe away all debt for those making less than $125,000 per year and who attended public colleges and universities, or an HBCU.

“Unfortunately, the White House seems determined to move the goalposts,” Taylor wrote, mentioning Biden’s newest suggestion that an elimination of $10,000 would now be tied to incomes of less than $125,000 per year.

“Debt cancellation is the right thing to do. But $10,000 is nowhere near enough, and it should not be means-tested in any way. In fact, these provisions are recipes for disaster,” she added.

FILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit. Biden made various campaign pledges regarding the cancellation of student debt throughout his presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FILE – In this March 9, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit. Biden made various campaign pledges regarding the cancellation of student debt throughout his presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

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Taylor claimed there were “no convincing reasons” debt relief should be limited to $10,000, or that borrowers should be excluded because of an “arbitrary income threshold.”

Referencing various studies, she then argued that research showed “maximum economic and social benefits flow from canceling all student debt and to making that cancellation universal.”

“The restrictions on loan forgiveness are doubly nonsensical given that almost everyone would be screened in under the contemplated income cap,” she wrote, citing data that showed less than 5% of those holding student loans were outside the suggested $125,000 cap. 

She argued that such data showed there was no need to “exclude wealthy people from cancellation,” and that most “rich people” didn’t even have student loans.

WHITE HOUSE EYES INCOME CAP ON STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS, HAS NOT STUDIED HOW IT MAY IMPACT INFLATION

“In other words, cancellation is already means-tested: If you have debt, it means you need relief,” she said.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Students protest the rising costs of student loans for higher education on Hollywood Boulevard on September 22, 2012 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 22:  Students protest the rising costs of student loans for higher education on Hollywood Boulevard on September 22, 2012 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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“Why is the president so resistant to this fact? The answer seems to lie in his stubborn and mistaken belief that a significant number of borrowers are white elite graduates of Ivy League institutions,” Taylor wrote.

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