The Hill: Endangered Dem incumbents running away from Biden’s Academia bailout

Source: Hot Air

They’re running away from Joe Biden more generally too, but even notably on Biden’s big vote-buying scheme. The Hill reminds us that Democrats on the cusp in the midterms have proven remarkably reluctant to jump on the Academia bailout bandwagon, and especially in places where blue-collar voters matter most. Despite the White House’s happy talk, they’re not seeing a great deal of enthusiasm among working-class families about paying the Harvard education bill for “thousands” of Laurence Tribe’s students:

The long-awaited move to forgive $10,000 in federal student debt was geared toward gaining support from young people and working Americans just three months out from the midterms. But some Democrats in closely watched Senate races that will help determine control of the chamber have criticized Biden’s policy for not being targeted enough and not addressing underlying issues. …

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is joining Biden at an event next month in the Buckeye State, said on Sunday he supports a broader package of debt relief and a tax cut “for all working people” over the student loan forgiveness plan.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is facing a tougher-than-expected reelection bid, criticized the student loan forgiveness plan for not being targeted enough and giving one-time cancellation as opposed to solving broader issues.

Some are trying to eat their Academia cake and have their class-warfare toppings at the same time. Splitting the baby is an electoral dodge, admits one former Obama official, but even this argument points out the trap Biden set for his own party:

“Student loan forgiveness is seen by some as a cultural war — the elites with degrees who are on their path to economic security versus those who did not attend college and are working their butts off every day to make ends meet,” said Debra Dixon, former chief of staff at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the Department of Education under President Obama.

“By supporting the idea generally, but not wholeheartedly, the senators can try not to alienate the beneficiaries of the student loan forgiveness or those who do not have student loans to forgive,” she said.

That’s the place between a rock and a hard place that Biden has left his fellow Democrats. To embrace his bailout of Academia, Democrats have to argue that the financial plight of college-educated professionals outweighs the economic plight of the working class in order to pass the costs of the former onto the latter. Dixon’s strategy is to dance between those classes, but that pas de deux is no longer sustainable after Biden’s announcement. Biden chose to privilege the privileged at the expense of everyone else, and now Democrats running for re-election have to either endorse or oppose it.

That becomes doubly tough after Biden’s earlier declarations of being a deficit hawk after signing the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.” Within a fortnight of that event, Biden proposed a program that will cost somewhere between $600 billion and one trillion dollars, burying the supposed $300 billion in deficit reduction over the next ten years. The White House tried claiming at first that the Academia bailout would get funded through revenue on other loan payments, but even they began to acknowledge that was false yesterday:

White House officials say President Biden’s decision to cancel between $10,000 and $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans is fully paid for because of a drop in the federal deficit, an argument that suggests the full cost of the policy will just be piled on top of the national debt.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House multiple times over the past week about how it plans to pay for the student loan handout or if future tax hikes will be necessary.

The White House now says the handout is “fully paid for” through deficit reduction that is already occurring.

That’s nonsense on stilts. They’re claiming on one hand that they’ve cut the deficit by $300 billion over ten years, and then plan to justify at least twice as much spending by it — 85% of which would get spent in one year. That’s deficit expansion, not reduction, and it is certainly not a “pay for.”

Marc Goldwein, a senior analyst for the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, argues that even a generous interpretation still means that the Academia bailout will get funded through monetary expansion, ie, borrowing:

Indeed, and it comes at the same time that the Federal Reserve is making that kind of borrowing a lot more expensive. And we can see why Jerome Powell wants to declare war on inflation through monetary policy in light of Biden’s actions. Washington under Democrat control still hasn’t shown the slightest interest in fiscal discipline as a way to contain inflation, so the Fed has to use its only real tool to get it back under control — interest rate hikes.

Small wonder Democrats aren’t terribly enthusiastic about putting the burden of college education costs on the working and middle classes who didn’t benefit from it. Worth noting, too — the candidates aren’t the only Democrats not talking much about this …

I wonder why that might be?