“Thoughtful people disagree on student loan forgiveness,” Arindrajit Dube, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, wrote on Twitter. He praised the plan as a form of “disaster relief” that addressed the struggles of younger workers during the decade-plus since the Great Recession began.
Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute has noted that the income cap increases the share of debt forgiveness that flows to Black borrowers.
Susan Dynarski told me she was “thumbs up” on the plan but wished people did not need to apply for forgiveness, because some would fail to do so. The government has the data it needs to cancel debt automatically, she said.
Progressive groups were mostly supportive of the plan. Indivisible called it a “bold move to improve the lives of working people.”
Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, said: “Biden’s student loan socialism is a slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college, every graduate who paid their debt and every American who chose a certain career path or volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces in order to avoid taking on debt.”
Democrats in competitive elections had mixed reactions. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia called for even more debt relief. Representative Tim Ryan, running for an Ohio Senate seat, criticized the plan: “Instead of forgiving student loans for six-figure earners, we should be working to level the playing field for all Americans.”