- Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, calling it unfair to taxpayers and unconstitutional
- DeSantis expressed concern that the timing of the program will worsen the ongoing inflation crisis
- In addition, DeSantis questioned the lack of contemporaneous systematic reform to the student loan structure
During a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke out against the recently-announced federal student loan forgiveness program, referring to it as “unfair” and “unconstitutional.”
The Governor expressed frustration at the level of exorbitant debt accrued over the past two decades, stating that enables the universities to facilitate bloated university budgets and continue to inflate the cost of tuition. DeSantis commented that it should not be the taxpayers responsible for carrying the economic burden of the loan relief, but the universities themselves.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his administration’s plan to cancel student debts, stating that it will erase $10,000 of debt from students who made less than $125,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals that received Pell Assistance, often given to low-income students, qualify for $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
“It’s unfair to force a truck driver to pay a loan for someone who got a Ph.D. in gender studies,” lamented DeSantis. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for student loan relief and Biden’s order isn’t constitutional. If anything, universities handing out worthless degrees should be on the hook.”
DeSantis went on to claim that the relief will worsen the ongoing inflation crisis, citing Obama administration economist Jason Furman, who was outspoken against the timing of the forgiveness program.
“Pouring roughly half trillion dollars of gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning is reckless,” Furman said. “Doing it while going well beyond one campaign promise ($10K of student loan relief) and breaking another (all proposals paid for) is even worse.”
You can't use one baseline (interest payments suspended) to argue this will constrain demand & then a different baseline (interest payments restored) to describe the benefits. That is incoherent, inconsistent & indefensible cherry picking–I hope the White House doesn't do it.
— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 24, 2022
DeSantis’ final point of critique denounced the lack of reform to the educational financial system, a common complaint among policy experts. Calling it “out of whack,” DeSantis expressed a desire to systematically overhaul the way in which higher education institutions conduct their budget and loan structure.
State Representative Carlos G. Smith took to Twitter shortly after the press conference, criticizing DeSantis’ outspoken opposition to the loan relief despite granting more than $500 million in relief to various entities during the pandemic.
“Ron DeSantis issued $543 MILLION in tax refunds to the top 1 percent of Florida corporations in the middle of the pandemic for “relief”,” said Smith. “Be mad about that. Not the working families struggling to pay student loans who may finally be able to breathe.”