Seth Moulton Says Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Is A Terrible Priority

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U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-Salem) supports President Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election bid, but he fears the Democratic Party’s policies are alienating the middle class.

Moulton said one of the biggest mistakes he thinks Biden is making is his pursuit of student loan debt forgiveness. Moulton argues that it’s a regressive bailout for the professional class.

Moulton revealed this position in an interview with The Atlantic last week when asked for an example of a policy that Biden has pursued that he would not have as president.

Why on earth are we forgiving student loans for everyone who actually had the chance to go to college?” Moulton said. “I think there are good policy reasons for this, and, by the way, it would be helpful to me, because I still have student loans. But it’s a terrible priority, because it sends a message to everyone who didn’t get the opportunity to go to college that they’re less important than the people who did and can’t figure out how to pay their loans.”

Moulton, who briefly ran for president in the 2020 Democratic primary, also told the interviewer that he’s feeling “not great” about the November 2024 election for the Democrats and that it’s a reflection of how the country views his party.

“The first thing it says is that we’ve lost touch with a lot of people in America,” Moulton said. “In many ways, we have become the party of the ultrarich and the ultra-poor, and a lot of people in the middle think Democrats are out of touch, that we’re more concerned about offending people than making hard choices, that we’re so wrapped up in principle that we can’t come up with practical solutions to the problems facing many Americans across the country, that we’re more concerned about identity politics than American values. These are things that we have to address now.”

Just 37.9 percent of U.S. adults over 25 years old have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And those with college degrees typically earn more than those who lack them. Men with a bachelor’s degree make about $900,000 more in median lifetime income than high school graduates, while women make $630,000 more, according to the Social Security Administration.

Biden announced a $430 billion student loan forgiveness plan in 2022 that would have canceled up to $20,000 in student loan debt for up to 43 million Americans. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Biden v. Nebraska that the federal Secretary of Education lacked the authority to forgive that much student loan debt unilaterally.

Since then, the U.S. Department of Education has attempted to cancel student loan debt on a smaller scale a few times, most recently $7.7 billion for 160,000 borrowers in May 2024, according to NBC.

The Biden White House could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday. Nor could the U.S. Department of Education.


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