- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2022

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday accused President Biden of trying to buy votes for Democrats by forgiving student debt.

He called it an “election enhancing money grab.”

In a scathing rebuke that echoes growing criticism of Mr. Biden’s plan,  Mr. Trump said the debt bailout will fall on the shoulders of “working-class Americans who are struggling the most.” 

“Crippling inflation, unaffordable energy prices, and WAR —all things that should never have happened,” Mr. Trump said. “But if that wasn’t enough, now Americans are bailing out College Administrators who fleeced students, and those who opted for Degrees there was no way they could afford.”

“America is a nation in decline, and the cliff into oblivion is within sight,” he said. “Stop voting for Democrats!”

Mr. Biden on Wednesday unveiled his long-awaited plan, which includes canceling $10,000 in student debt for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year and $20,000 in debt for those who received Pell Grants.

The president has also extended the pause on federal student loan payments through December, the White House announced.

Mr. Biden‘s plan also calls for lowering monthly payments on outstanding undergraduate loans from 10% to 5% of discretionary income and forgives loan balances after 10 years of payments instead of 20 years for original loan balances of $12,000 or less.

The plan is projected to cost taxpayers between $440 billion and $600 billion over the next decade, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan think tank.

Mr. Biden promised student debt relief during his 2020 presidential campaign and has teased his plan to make good on that promise for months. The announcement, which is certain to attract attention from young voters, comes as Democrats eye challenging November elections.

Mr. Biden said the widespread relief will reverberate across the entire economy, and he said resuming loan repayments in January will offset the cost of the cancelation.

The move has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle and is likely to face significant legal challenges.

Republicans, who have consistently bashed Democrats for spending that they say is out of control, said the plan will add to inflation. Opponents also said the plan discriminates against those who have repaid their debt or who chose not to go to college.

Some Democrats joined Republicans in voicing concern over the inflationary impact of the plan.

Mr. Biden responded to critics Wednesday, saying his administration is “taking an economically responsible course.”

“I understand not everything I’m announcing today is going to make everybody happy,” Mr. Biden said during a White House address. “But I believe my plan is responsible and fair. It focuses the benefit on the middle class and working families. And it will fix a badly broken system.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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