22 votes

The White House will freeze Federal student loan repayments until May 1

17 comments

  1. [5]
    simplify
    Link
    I doubt this is the final freeze. Since the announcement that student loan payments would resume on January 31st, 2022, borrowers have been receiving both emails and phone calls reminding them...

    I doubt this is the final freeze. Since the announcement that student loan payments would resume on January 31st, 2022, borrowers have been receiving both emails and phone calls reminding them that payments were coming due. But even before the Omicron variant, it was obvious the pandemic was far from over and the supposed economic recovery has been K-shaped. It's been my opinion as someone who is interested in economics (but is still quite ignorant of the nuances) that student loans are a huge millstone around the necks of many working class Americans--27M have not been paying during this freeze, according to the article. Resuming student loans after two years of a pause could be the straw that breaks the economy's back.

    I think the Democrats need to get real and reform student loans if they want to have any hope of salvaging the midterm election. Consider the timing of this announcement. First, it's happening right before Christmas, so it could feel to some like a Christmas miracle. Additionally, this new extension is 90-days from the previous date they were to resume. Another 90-day extension would be August 1st, and another 90-day extension after that would be... November 1st. Right before the midterms. That's when a major reform announcement would happen. And I think that's how it will play out.

    Student loans are a time bomb. Not just for borrowers, but for all businesses that need people to buy their products and services. Turning student loans back on will be a disaster for the US economy, an economy that's still struggling for the majority of Americans. We're dealing with inflation all across the board. So many people have lost loved ones, have had to take on new responsibilities, have had to shift their lives. Housing is inflated, and perhaps in a bubble. One domino could start the chain reaction. And that domino could very well be student loans.

    10 votes
    1. [4]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      Lots of good points in your comment. I think this is especially important: Looking at student loans, and more importantly the cost of higher education is super important. However, I think it could...

      Lots of good points in your comment.

      I think this is especially important:

      I think the Democrats need to get real and reform student loans if they want to have any hope of salvaging the midterm election

      Looking at student loans, and more importantly the cost of higher education is super important.

      However, I think it could really, really backfire if one only looks at student loans and completely forgets all those who don't go to college. If the Democrats don't effectively reach voters without higher education, the numbers game just doesn't seem to add up, and won't add up in the future either.

      Student loan forgiveness could quickly look like forgetting those even lower in the social hierarchy, and is far too often forgotten by those who speak most loudly about student loans and for-profit higher education.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Rez
        Link Parent
        But how many votes would student loan forgiveness lose the Democrats? I don't think there's many people out there thinking "Well I was going to vote for the Democrats, until they forgave student...

        But how many votes would student loan forgiveness lose the Democrats? I don't think there's many people out there thinking "Well I was going to vote for the Democrats, until they forgave student loan debt that I don't have." Student loan forgiveness is something that would effect millions and millions of people, and they'd be able to directly credit Biden for that enormous positive effect on their personal lives and situations. It wouldn't be words in a speech, or some budgeted policy line that will eventually have some construction worker or bureaucrat do something somewhere years down the line that you'll never connect back to Biden. Forgiveness would instantly send millions of people into celebration as that anchor got removed from their neck. Anyone genuinely aggravated by such a move was probably never voting Democrat anyways. (I don't have student debt anymore so I don't have skin in the game here.)

        Democratic politicians are pretty horrible at throwing red meat to their base and making some populist moves - this is some red meat that should be thrown out there. If I'm understanding your comment right, your criticism is basically that some red meat needs to be thrown to those without a college education, which I completely agree with, but I don't see how that's an argument against student loan forgiveness (as a political move at least - the whole nature of higher education, rising costs, loans, etc. is another discussion entirely). Those "low in the social hierarchy" also includes tons of impoverished, first generation college-goers who go to college for a year or two and then wash out due to a lack of support and have nothing to show for it all but debt.

        6 votes
        1. nacho
          Link Parent
          I think it'd be more like "well, the Democrats have completely forgotten anyone who isn't part of the college-grad elite. They're willing to give billions to rich people, but nothing to those who...

          "Well I was going to vote for the Democrats, until they forgave student loan debt that I don't have."

          I think it'd be more like "well, the Democrats have completely forgotten anyone who isn't part of the college-grad elite. They're willing to give billions to rich people, but nothing to those who are actually poor in this country."

          It's easy for cable news and Republican social media to spin student debt forgiveness in a very polarizing way I think would be effective in enraging and engaging.

          4 votes
      2. simplify
        Link Parent
        You're right. Perception is a big thing. But my major argument, and the thing I think most about, is the economy. The student loan freeze has been sort of a hidden stimulus. If you're in a...

        You're right. Perception is a big thing. But my major argument, and the thing I think most about, is the economy. The student loan freeze has been sort of a hidden stimulus. If you're in a business that relies on non-essential consumption, you very well may see a dip when/if the freeze ends. And that certainly includes people who did not go to college. With inflation rising on the basics of life, the extraneous expenses will be cut in a downturn.

        4 votes
  2. [12]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    The article, like all of them concerning student loans and Biden, references the (always broken) campaign promises of student loan forgiveness. Something no one should expect to be done...

    The article, like all of them concerning student loans and Biden, references the (always broken) campaign promises of student loan forgiveness. Something no one should expect to be done considering Ol' Joe happily helped create the student loan crisis problem in the first place and his gleeful assistance in doing so stretches all the way back to the 70s'.

    There isn't going to be a dime of loan forgiveness or bankruptcy blocks lifted under this old fuckwit, so don't get your hopes up kids!

    3 votes
    1. [11]
      simplify
      Link Parent
      Biden will do what the economy tells him to do, whether he likes it personally or not. It would be political suicide at this point, for both Biden and the Democrats, to resume student loan...

      Biden will do what the economy tells him to do, whether he likes it personally or not. It would be political suicide at this point, for both Biden and the Democrats, to resume student loan payments this year at all. He did help create this mess, most definitely, but that doesn't mean he won't be the one to reluctantly get us out of it.

      If student loan payments were to start up again right now, how much money would that suck out of the economy? We've really painted ourselves into a corner here.

      7 votes
      1. [10]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Payments will resume when it's time for them to do so, not arguing that. My entire comment was on the student loan forgiveness points brought up in the article.

        Payments will resume when it's time for them to do so, not arguing that. My entire comment was on the student loan forgiveness points brought up in the article.

        2 votes
        1. [9]
          simplify
          Link Parent
          I'm not as pessimistic that some kind of forgiveness and reform is off the table. Indefinite forbearance is a step toward forgiveness, especially when both the economy and reelection are at stake....

          I'm not as pessimistic that some kind of forgiveness and reform is off the table. Indefinite forbearance is a step toward forgiveness, especially when both the economy and reelection are at stake. What's to stop Biden from kicking the can for his entire presidency, and then using it as a bargaining chip during the next presidential election? "Vote for me, or the next guy will start your payments back up." After two years of paused payments, the cat's out of the bag. Good luck trying to get him back in without getting scratched up.

          3 votes
          1. [8]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            44 years of his personal history as an elected official.

            What's to stop Biden from kicking the can for his entire presidency, and then using it as a bargaining chip during the next presidential election?

            44 years of his personal history as an elected official.

            1. [7]
              simplify
              Link Parent
              My argument is less about the man, and more about the situation. We'll see how it shakes out.

              My argument is less about the man, and more about the situation. We'll see how it shakes out.

              4 votes
              1. [6]
                AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Being that he's the one that makes the decision in this case, I don't see how it can be less about him.

                Being that he's the one that makes the decision in this case, I don't see how it can be less about him.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  Loire
                  Link Parent
                  He is not "the one that makes the decision" in the sense that you are implying. Student loan forgiveness should be an act of Congress, not the President, and Biden has proven reluctant to flex the...

                  He is not "the one that makes the decision" in the sense that you are implying. Student loan forgiveness should be an act of Congress, not the President, and Biden has proven reluctant to flex the executive order muscle that Obama and Trump abused so willfully.

                  Could he do it? Yes. But using an executive order in such a way is an undemocratic abuse of the system and one such that the role of President was never designed for. This is the job of Congress which they have abdicated like so many of their other roles.

                  5 votes
                  1. [2]
                    AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    Then it sounds like he's the one that makes the decision. If the person/group that "should" do something, doesn't and another person is just as capable of doing it and has been elected to do so...

                    This is the job of Congress which they have abdicated like so many of their other roles.

                    Then it sounds like he's the one that makes the decision.

                    If the person/group that "should" do something, doesn't and another person is just as capable of doing it and has been elected to do so (perhaps even elected on their statement that they'd do so) then it sure seems like the other person should do it, yes?

                    1. Loire
                      Link Parent
                      As far as I'm aware, and I'm happy to be proven wrong on this, campaign Biden said he was open to eliminating student loan debt if Congress put a bill on his desk. He didn't say he was open to...

                      As far as I'm aware, and I'm happy to be proven wrong on this, campaign Biden said he was open to eliminating student loan debt if Congress put a bill on his desk. He didn't say he was open to waiving it through executive order. That is a twisting of the narrative caused by progressives over the last year.

                      If you have evidence otherwise that he explicitly said he would wave student loans by executive order I am happy to change my ill informed opinion.

                      Executive orders can be reversed, not only by future presidents, but also through the Supreme Court. Any action by Biden waiving billions of dollars in debt will be taking to court and very likely will be reversed by the conservative super majority in the Supreme Court. That is of course assuming a Republican doesn't win in 2024 in which case it will be reversed without legal wrangling.

                      A bill from Congress can't be reversed by the next President and is significantly less likely to be ruled unconsitutional.

                      So your plan, should Biden do it which he still might to help his ailing polling numbers, lasts, at best, however long it take to navigate the courts and at worst two years. There is no route where it holds. I don't disagree that 2-3 years relief is good for debt holders but it's not a solution and should the order be struck down it is even less likely that any future Democratic Senate passes a bill to eliminate student debt.

                      4 votes
                2. [2]
                  skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  It’s not a one-person show, though. Who he hired and who he listens to also matters.

                  It’s not a one-person show, though. Who he hired and who he listens to also matters.

                  4 votes
                  1. AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    Until they're the one holding the pen, signing the orders, he's the only one that matters.

                    Until they're the one holding the pen, signing the orders, he's the only one that matters.