Forgiving student loans with such a broad stroke would create tremendous moral hazard. Individuals who scrimped for years, forgoing dinners with friends and vacations and fancy phones to pay off their student loans, would effectively feel ripped off knowing that had they only been more profligate, the federal government would have wiped away all of their debt. Those who were much less careful about their spending patterns, on the other hand, would feel vindicated.
If a president could wipe away debt with a stroke of a pen, Biden would not be the last president to do so. Those taking out debt in the future would be sent the signal that if they simply hold out long enough, they can avoid repaying the money.
In addition, it would, in effect, mean a huge injection into the higher education racket that would encourage colleges and universities to raise tuition even higher. Many studies have shown that the increase in federally subsidized student loans explains much of the extraordinary tuition increases we’ve seen in recent decades. If loans are forgiven, it will increase demand for new loans and thus provide an opening for further tuition hikes.
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