Following President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that his administration would forgive federal student loan debt, Arizona’s legislators quickly bashed the policy, including Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), who called the action favoritism.
“You may ask, rightly, why you should pay your mortgage, rent or car payments? If some people get student loans written off, why can’t your mortgage or car loan be written off? I will not tolerate such inconsistent blatant favoritism. Either we all pay our debts or none do,” Gosar said. “There is no constitutional basis for any of these actions. The problem is not student loans. The problem is exorbitant college costs and useless college degrees.”
As stated by Gosar, a college education is getting more expensive, with the cost of 2021-2022 tuition averaging $43,775 at private universities, $28,238 for out-of-state students attending a public university, and $11,631 for local students. Gosar said that because federal loans are easily obtainable, colleges can increase prices because incoming students will have government money to pay it.
Moreover, Gosar shared that Biden was able to enact this policy under the COVID-19 national emergency declaration powers. The representative has attempted to end the national emergency in the past but was stopped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Gosar’s newest effort, Discharge Petition No. 12, currently has 120 of the needed 218 needed signatures to force a vote to end the state of emergency.
Furthermore, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) said taxpayers should not have an added burden while dealing with the current inflation crisis.
“Hardworking taxpayers will be forced to pay off the debt of the 13% of Americans who have student loans and make up to $125,000 per year. Even more, 70% of the benefits from this plan will go to the top half of income earners. President Biden’s inflation crisis is already crushing working- and middle-class families, and they should not be forced to foot this costly bill for Americans who have multiple degrees and voluntarily took out student loans,” Lesko said.
As reported by The Arizona Sun Times, Biden’s policy would forgive $10,000 in student debt for individuals making less than $125,000 per year, and the loan forgiveness and income cap is doubled for married couples.
Lesko pointed to the Penn-Wharton Budget Model to explain the impact this policy may have on taxpayers. The model estimated that forgiving $10,000 per eligible borrower will cost roughly $330 to $980 billion over the next 10 years, depending on the amount of debt forgiven. Most loan forgiveness occurs in households within the top 60 percent of the income distribution. According to the Committee of Ways and Means, 87 percent of Americans don’t have student loans.
Biden’s economic plan has been to spend $3.8 trillion on far-left priorities, $80 billion to double the size of the IRS, over $350 billion for the Green New Deal, & $300 billion to pay off others’ student loan debt. This is paid for by raising taxes on hardworking Americans.
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) August 28, 2022
Moreover, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) called the policy a “moral failure” that betrays “financially responsible” Americans.
“Biden’s student loan bailout is not only a terrible policy, but it is also a moral failure. Middle-class Arizonans shouldn’t be forced to pay for coastal elites’ graduate degrees—especially when most middle-class Americans have been fiscally responsible and worked hard to pay off their loans,” Biggs said. “The proposal is simply a midterm election gimmick that is inconsiderate of the national interest.”
Biggs concluded his statement by stating that he and his colleagues are “examining methods to hold this administration accountable” by crafting congressional letters and exploring litigation.
Georgia Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) recently announced he had sent a letter, co-signed by 93 other Republicans, to Speaker Pelosi, calling for her to hold Biden accountable for the “blatant overreach” seen in the enactment of this policy.
– – –
Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Paul Gosar” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Debbie Lesko” by Debbie Lesko. Photo “Andy Biggs” by Congressman Andy Biggs. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Andrew Bossi. CC BY-SA 3.0.