In the run-up to the midterm elections in 2022, the approval ratings of President Biden are at an all-time low; it appears the White House is becoming increasingly desperate.
The idea of reportedly “canceling” some student loan debt is the latest attempt by the administration of Biden to divert voters’ attention away from the economic instability, sky-high inflation, and international strife that have all occurred under its watch.
However, recent polling data suggests this strategy might not be the political “Hail Mary” Biden hopes for.
Benefiting the Wealthy
At stake in this situation is the White House’s intention, which is now being developed, to issue an executive order that would cancel up to $10,000 in student loans for each debtholder.
To clarify, “canceling” debt, in reality, means taxpayers of the federal government assume the burden of payment.
Under Biden's student loan plan, a cashier with medical debt who never attended college will pay the law school loans of a lawyer earning $300,000.
It's hard to imagine a more regressive, counterproductive, and cruel plan.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2022
According to reports, people with an annual income of less than $150,000 or households with an annual income of less than $300,000 would be eligible for Biden’s plan.
The radical wing of the Democrat Party has been pushing for the cancellation of all student debt, or up to $50,000 per borrower, but President Biden correctly rejected this proposal.
This would be an outrageously regressive move because it would benefit wealthy, high-earning, and highly educated individuals at the expense of all taxpayers.
According to the findings of one study, those in the top 20 percent of income earners would profit six times more from the total cancellation of student loans than those in the bottom 20 percent.
However, even the president’s more limited proposal, which includes an income restriction, would likely still be regressive, albeit to a lesser extent.
The reason for this is that, by its very nature, it can only benefit a small percentage of the population. Those individuals already have an average income that is substantially higher than that of the rest of society.
Canceling student loans is a gift to the rich and unfair to students who worked to pay for school.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 2, 2022
Not as Popular
This may be why a new poll reveals that “cancellation” of student debt is less popular than Biden might imagine it to be.
According to Echelon Insights, most of those likely to vote believe canceling student debt is “unfair to individuals who worked hard to pay off their student loans” and “disproportionately favors wealthier families.”
It’s interesting to note over 30 percent of voters who lean Democratic thought the same thing.
New @EchelonInsights polling finds a plurality of Americans, including 30% of Dem-leaning voters, view student debt cancellation as unfair. pic.twitter.com/D29KaSfJt6
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) June 1, 2022
Echelon also polled college graduates who are likely to vote, which is a twist that sets this poll apart from others conducted recently.
This time around, 50 percent of people agreed the cancellation was unjust, even though it’s likely many of them will gain from the policy.
To be clear, the voters who participated in this study were asked about the issue of student debt forgiveness in general, not about Biden’s specific proposal. It’s possible the White House’s approach, which is more targeted, is better received by the public.
Even among those who are intended to benefit and a considerable number of voters who lean Democratic, the issue of “cancellation” of student loans remains a contentious and controversial one, as seen by the latest polling results.
Therefore, President Biden may very well be in for some letdown if he thinks a student loan rescue will save his party in the midterm elections.