POLL: With a margin of 17 points, voters want Biden to write off $ 50,000 in student debt

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While President Joe Biden faces ongoing criticism for rejecting calls to cancel $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower, a new poll released Thursday shows strong support for him, “go big “ and carry out this proposal.

Progress data found (pdf) that 54% of likely voters believe Biden should use his executive powers to cancel $ 50,000 in student debt, compared with just 37% who said he should not cancel that debt.

“It’s almost as if the American people want the government to do justice to the scale of the crisis,” wrote Rep. Mondaire Jones (DN.Y.) – a Co-sponsor of legislation introduced in December, Biden called for up to $ 50,000 in federal debt to be cut on student loans – in a tweet in response to the poll.

Prerna Jagadeesh of Data for Progress wrote in a blog post In analyzing the results, Biden should view student debt relief as “not a commitment but rather an opportunity given the popularity of student loan debt relief among the American population”.


The poll of 1,219 likely voters took place from January 6th to January 11th. The error rate of the survey is ± 2.8 percentage points.

The progressive group also asked respondents to cancel just $ 10,000 in student debt per borrower. It found that 52% supported this proposal, compared to 38% who said Biden shouldn’t cancel this amount of student debt.

“As the graph shows, the support was slightly higher on the $ 50,000 condition, albeit within the margin of error,” wrote Jagadeesh. “There’s no evidence that it will help Biden get smaller.”

The Data for Progress poll came out that same week, Biden called at a CNN City Hall that it “will not” cut $ 50,000 in student loan debt and told the audience that it opposed the cancellation of “billion dollar debt for people who went to Harvard and Yale and Penn,” and said the funds should instead be directed “towards early education for young children who … come from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“Who cares what school someone went to?” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), another co-sponsor of the debt relief proposal, tweeted in response to Biden’s comments. “Generations of working class children have been encouraged to go into debt even more under the guise of elitism. That is wrong.”

“Nowhere does it say that we have to swap early childhood education for student loans. We can have both, ”she added.

Further evidence against Biden’s objection to the cancellation of $ 50,000 for students came Thursday with a report from the Jain Family Institute social science research group showing how the action would reduce the country’s economic inequality.

“Given rising debt levels in all groups and countries, coupled with the current pandemic-induced recession and its impact on unemployment, any forgiveness policy, in addition to its egalitarian impact, is also an opportunity to stimulate the economy,” the report said.

Passing the $ 50,000 debt relief proposal would mean:[n]85% of young borrowers in the poorest communities would be cleared of student debt. “

Research also shows that “the flat rate waiver is progressive: for lower-income communities, canceling a given dollar amount of student debt means a greater proportionate reduction in outstanding debt, such that such cancellation narrows the gaps between student debt and income between.” Rich and poor, “the report said.” This is more evident the higher the dollar amount of deletion, to the point that removing all outstanding student debt altogether will reduce the disparity between debt and income the most. “

Data for Progress’ Jagadeesh also noted that “The elimination of a full $ 50,000 per person student loan per executive order will not just be a one-time handout to college graduates – it will also help people who have not graduated. ” . “She continued:

Cancellation of student debt will improve the overall economy and strengthen every component of President Biden’s pandemic recovery package. The average American student debtor makes loan payments of $ 200 to $ 300 each month. Canceling this debt would be like giving these people an extra stimulus check every month. Not to mention, people drowning in student loan debt are significantly less likely to start a small business or buy a home – when they cancel $ 50,000 of their debt, those people can make sense of the American economy for the first time in their lives participate.

Speak with Democracy now! On Thursday, the filmmaker and organizer of the Debt Collective, Astra Taylor, stressed that President Biden has the authority to cancel all student debts. “It was approved by Congress decades ago. And he can cancel all federal student loans. And he should,” she said.

Joining Taylor in the segment was Braxton Brewington, a digital strategist with the Debt Collective. He called the decision not to scrap student debt a “political attack” and said those who would “benefit most from student loan debt”. [cancellation] are individuals like me, black and tan borrowers, mostly black borrowers who, frankly, have more than $ 35,000, $ 50,000, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. “

But, added Brewington, “this is a cross-generational problem”, noting that seniors can get some of their “social security checks on student loan debt which is insane”.

Taylor said in her remarks that student debt relief as “a question of economic justice, a question of racial justice, and student debt cancellation is also a question of democracy because we all have the right to live in a society where our fellow human beings.” live “can do an apprenticeship.”

This article first appeared on Common Dreams. You can read it Here.

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