Republican slams student debt forgiveness for ‘reckless’ college dropouts

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Reports that President Joe Biden will potentially write off thousands of debts for particular borrowers has angered some economists and conservatives, including a Republican senator, who says it will improve the “reckless decisions” that contribute to students not are not university graduates.

Biden is considering waiving $10,000 in student loans to eligible people earning less than $125,000 a year. Senator Kevin Cramer told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday that the economic effects associated with government-provided student debt relief make no sense given the number of people who take out loans but never get their degree.

“If you look at the stats of freshmen not finishing college but going into debt to experience college, if you start forgiving people that first $10,000, that just makes those decisions better. reckless,” said Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota.

“We should have people who make more thoughtful decisions and apply good economic principles and their personal circumstances. Then you have fairness and a much more economically educated electorate.”

Senator Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, leaves the Senate chambers during a round of amendment votes in the Capitol building on August 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Cramer said during a television appearance on August 23, 2022, that canceling the student loan would lead to “reckless decisions”.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

An estimated 45 million Americans owe a combined $1.7 trillion in federal student loan debt. A CNBC/Momentive poll found that 59% of Americans were worried about the negative impact of loan forgiveness on inflation, with 32% of respondents in favor and 30% wishing no forgiveness from anyone.

The Education Data Initiative (EDI) reported that most students who drop out do so in their freshman year, with for-profit schools having the highest dropout rate of all freshmen – approximately 34.2% of students left school between the fall semesters of 2019 and 2020.

The average annual cost of college in the United States is $35,551 per student per year, according to EDI. The amount, which includes books, supplies and day-to-day expenses, is growing 6.8% each year, EDI said. Students across the state attending four-year public colleges are expected to spend about $25,707 in a single academic year.

Forbes reported that less than 60% of students attending four-year institutions graduate on time, while less than 20% of community college students graduate with associate’s degrees or certificates.

If the students’ parents do not have a university degree, statistics show that three-quarters of them do not obtain a diploma either. Additionally, more than two-thirds of college dropouts are low-income students with an adjusted family gross income (AGI) of less than $50,000, while high-income students with a family AGI of more than $100,000 are 50% more likely to graduate.

Larry Summers, who was former President Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, said widespread student debt cancellation would be “inflationary by raising tuition fees” and “could be better used to help those who don’t have not, for some reason, the chance to go to university”.

The Republican National Committee seized on comments from Summers and former advisers to President Barack Obama, saying “cancelling student debt would be a regressive and inflationary bailout for wealthy Americans.”

Cramer agreed with Summers, telling Bartiromo that canceling student loans would create “so many perverse incentives,” including tuition increases.

A spokesperson for Cramer referred to Newsweek to the comments he made in February 2021, when he said unilateral student debt cancellation would “encourage others to needlessly rack up more loans without doing anything to address the real shortcomings of our higher education system “.

In Cramer’s home state of North Dakota, residents are 15% less likely to be college dropouts compared to the average American, according to the EDI.

For some organizations, like the nonprofit Student Debt Crisis Center, a $10,000 write-off doesn’t go far enough.

“Today we recall [Biden] that $10,000 is not enough and that an income cap will exclude many borrowers who need help,” the organization tweeted on Tuesday.

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