Hundreds of White House officials could see their student loan debt forgiven under President Biden’s plan, according to the watchdog organization Inside Biden’s Basement.
In August, Biden announced his plan to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000. Pell Grant recipients who make less than $125,000 would be eligible for $20,000 in cancellation. For couples that file jointly, the limit would be $250,000. The plan also extends the moratorium on student loan repayments until the end of the year.
According to Inside Biden’s Basement, at least 223 high-ranking Biden appointees have outstanding loan debt between $12.6 million and $31.2 million.
Of all White House employees with public financial disclosures, 336 of 474 officials make less than $125,000 a year. While we do not know the salaries of those employees without disclosures, these workers tend to be lower level and, therefore, would likely make less than $125,000 a year. Even more could be eligible under the household income cap of $250,000.
To avoid a conflict of interest, the White House could have restricted the benefit to exempt its employees, but chose not to.
While White House officials make up a small portion of the millions of borrowers who will receive the handout, it certainly does shed light on the types of people this handout will go to: young, well-off elites with high earning potential.
It cannot be ignored that federal student loan borrowers make up just 17% of the adult population and are disproportionately wealthier than the average American. The top 20% of households currently hold $3 in student loan debt for every $1 of debt held by the bottom 20% of earners. About 75% of student loan repayments come from the top 40% of earners.
The median income of households making active payments on their student loans was $76,400, with just 4 percent of these households being below the federal poverty line.
The administration’s plan is also set to cost up to $1 trillion. This massive amount of spending worsens inflation. Already, inflation is costing American households an extra $635 a month. Even if prices stopped increasing altogether, the average American household will spend over $7,600 more this year due to inflation. Of course, inflation is most damaging to low-income Americans, many of which didn’t go to college at all.
White House officials have guaranteed radical economic instability for low- and middle-income Americans to give a handout to wealthy elites… including themselves.