The latest insult directed at progressives by Joe Biden is a particular eye opener. Biden gave conservative, David Brooks, a NY Times contributor, an interview in where he basically mocks progressives. It’s one thing to snub those who seek a more just society. But why do it with an enemy of the left:
“The progressives don’t like me because I’m not prepared to take on what I would say and they would say is a socialist agenda.” He thinks the people who take the big risks to generate wealth should reap the big rewards.
He’s suspicious of the generous college debt forgiveness plans that have sprung up on the left. “The idea that you go to Penn and you’re paying a total of 70,000 bucks a year and the public should pay for that? I don’t agree.”
Biden seemed unable to keep his own campaign pledges straight, muddling his student debt cancellation proposals. For the record, he campaigned on two distinct planks. One: “immediate” cancellation of $10,000 for every borrower as a form of Covid relief. Two: the cancellation of all undergraduate student loans for debt-holders who attended public universities and HBCUs and who earn up to $125,000 a year. Keeping these two promises is the absolute minimum the Biden administration needs to do to keep the public’s trust.
But the Biden administration should, and can, do much more. Biden should cancel all student debt using executive authority. It is the simplest way the new administration can help tens of millions of people who are being crushed by the double whammy of unpayable loans and an economy-destroying pandemic.
Yet, to date, all the Biden administration has done for this country’s 45 million student debtors is extend Trump and DeVos’s federal student loan payment suspension. Continuing a flawed Republican policy is hardly a progressive victory – especially not for the 8 million FFEL borrowers who are unconscionably left out of the moratorium.