The case for student debt relief is getting weaker
Stimulus success means tradeoffs are real again
I’m getting more skeptical of student debt relief, which has been a renewed flashpoint ever since Joe Biden poured some cold water on it at a town hall. The reason is that two big things have changed since I last addressed this on December 4 — Democrats won the Georgia Senate races, and the Biden administration seems to have succeeded in convincing moderates in Congress to back a huge COVID-19 relief package.
The debt situation, summarized again
This is important because in my view, the core of the whole case for debt relief was the insight that the executive branch could probably cancel student loan debt unilaterally.
Absent that context, it’s just clearly a bad idea. We can debate the merits of $2,000 checks for everyone versus a program more directly targeted at the poor. But compared to “checks for everyone,” student loan cancellation looks like targeted relief for the rich.
Kids from lower-income families tend not to go to college at all.
Those who do, tend to enroll at cheaper sch…