Medved: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan fails majority of Americans

Aug 26, 2022, 5:20 PM | Updated: 5:48 pm
student loan...
US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona (R) on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Many conservatives have pushed back on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness announcement Wednesday, with several high-profile Republicans publicly condemning the decision.

Top-ranking GOP members including, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ken.), Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) have all come out against the decision, with Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), calling the decision “unfair to those who paid their own way.”

“It’s truly outrageous because you’re talking about 13% of Americans who went to college and have student loan debt,” Michael Medved, host of the Michael Medved Show, said on the Gee and Ursula Show. “The overwhelming majority of people who have gone to college do not have student loan debt, they paid it off. And what’s unfair about this is obviously people who go to a four-year college or university have an advantage anyway. This is big spending in government money, about $300 billion minimum, to help people who are among that minority who go to college and complete a four-year college degree.”

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Nearly 94 million, or 42%, of Americans (age 25 and over) have a college degree of some type. In June 2022, about 4.1% of recent college graduates were unemployed in the U.S., down significantly from the 13.3% unemployment rate two years earlier, according to the Statista Research Department.

Biden cited colleges’ exponentially-rising costs as part of the reason to go forward with the student loan forgiveness plan.

“An education is a ticket to a better life. But over time, that ticket has become too expensive for too many Americans,” Biden said in a recent news conference.

Since 1980, college tuition and fees are up 1,200%, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items has risen by only 236%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Adjusting for standard inflation, to attend a degree-granting public school would have cost just $1,856 in today’s dollars, and to attend a private school would have cost $10,227  after adjusting for inflation 40 years ago.

“All this will do, however, is increase the cost of college and encourage and reward those university institutions that basically have been ripping people off in some regards,” Medved said.

The comparison of student loan forgiveness to the federal government for giving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans has been brought after the conservative backlash crescendo.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), for example, called the debt forgiveness plan “completely unfair” while her family’s construction company received $183,504 in PPP loans two years ago, which was eventually forgiven, as pointed out by the official Whitehouse Twitter account.

“PPP loans were different because that was a direct response to a government policy which had to do with the pandemic shutdowns and the fact that we were in this terrible financial bind,” Medved said. Now, the question is, was it the right thing to do to forgive the PPP loans? And there, I think you’d have an argument one way or another. But this is not comparable to getting a college loan, because basically getting a college loan, you have decided that you’re going to buy on-time something. What are you going to buy? I’m going to buy a college degree.”

There is currently $1.75 trillion in total student loan debt held among the 45 million citizens in the U.S., with 55% of students from public four-year institutions having student loans.

The aftermath of Biden’s decision has his job approval rating up by six percentage points to 44%, his highest in a year.

(Data courtesy of Gallup polls)

“I think that some of the stuff that has been accomplished is probably going to help him politically, I don’t know if it’s going to help the country,” Medved said. “I think that the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act, the impact on the climate, the impact on the economy and economic growth, all of that may sound good, but I think it’s probably going to be much more minimal.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Medved: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan fails majority of Americans