The alleged cost of $300 billion for the Biden tuition debt forgiveness plan was challenged by the White House as too high. Then the figure went up to $500 billion. Now the respected University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business estimates that it will cost up to $1 trillion. Putting the merits of such debt forgiveness aside, the unilateral plan to waive up to a trillion dollars without congressional approval is a dangerous and unconstitutional violation of our system of the separation of powers. Those Democrats applauding this plan in Congress are celebrating their own institutional obsolescence.
The Wharton analysis of the student loan forgiveness plan found that the cost could be $1 trillion over a 10-year period.
What is so troubling is that, not only did Biden circumvention Congress with the constitutional control of the purse, but this plan has divided the nation. While supported by a majority, there is intense opposition to the plan and its costs. The polling also shows conflicting concerns and support from the public as they learn more about the plan.
A new Emerson College Polling national survey found that 36% believe the loan handout is too much and 35% believe that it is just right. Thirty percent think it is not enough. Only roughly half of the country believes it will actually help students gain access to a college education. One poll shows roughly half of the country supporting the plan while another poll shows 59% are concerned that the plan will fuel inflation. A NPR/Ipsos survey found 82% of respondents believed the government should prioritize making college more affordable over forgiving student loans.
This is precisely what congressional action is meant to address in vetting ideas and the costs of such ideas. Instead, we are scrambling to learn the costs and expected impact after it is already approved by unilateral action of the president.
The celebration of members of Congress over the circumvention of their institution is hardly news. Members like Sen. Jeff Merkley (D, Ore.) have been calling on Biden to just act unilaterally.
When Madison described the essence of his constitutional vision of the separation of powers in Federalist 51, he declared “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”
No branch is supposed to have enough power to govern alone. Once power becomes concentrated in the hands of a president, citizens are left only with the assurance that such unchecked power will be used wisely – a Faustian bargain the framers repeatedly warned us never to accept.
The Madisonian vision has long been on the decline in Congress. One of the lowest points was the State of the Union address by former President Barack Obama when he announced that he intended to go it alone in achieving his policy goals, refusing to yield to the actions of Congress. One would have expected an outcry, or at least stony silence, from a branch that was being told it would be circumvented. Instead, there was rapturous applause that bordered on a collective expression of institutional self-loathing.
Now these members are applauding a president waiving a trillion dollars unilaterally because he knew that he could not get such a massive waiver from Congress. It is precisely what the Framers sought to avoid in a system of shared powers. Yet, even law professors are denouncing our constitutional system as the evil that must be attacked to achieve social justice. The embrace of such concentration of authority in a single politician is precisely what the condemned “constitutionalism” is meant to avoid.
For those who claim to be fighting for our constitutional system and democracy, this may be a good place to start.
123 thoughts on “Wharton Study: Biden Tuition Debt Forgiveness Could Cost $1 Trillion”
The Democrats know full well that actually having the Constitutional Presidential power is irrelevant if no one steps up and actually stops the abuse of power in a court of law.
Never forget that President Biden knowingly and openly violated the Constitution, and publicly stated as much, when he ordered the the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to ram a unconstitutional nation-wide COVID vaccination mandate down the throat of businesses and their employees. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled against this flagrant abuse of power and President Biden knew it would. President Biden’s order was an intentional anti-Constitutional act by President Biden and his administration and they all knew full well it was unconstitutional. President Biden literally and willingly chose to violate his oath of office, he knew full well he was violating his oath of office, he knew full well his order was unconstitutional and therefore it was not legal, he knew full well that the order was an actual impeachable offense and he knew full well that he would be protected from impeachment by the Democratic Party leadership in Congress. What happened to the President and those that intentionally and illegally violated the Constitution and their oaths of office, not a damn thing happened to them. The Democratic Party leadership in Washington DC did exactly what President Biden knew they would do (apparently there was collusion to violate the Constitution) and immorally rationalized this anti-Constitutional order, they publicly smeared the Supreme Court for ruling against the vaccine mandate and did absolutely nothing to the President for his impeachable offense.
This is how the Democratic Party in Washington DC operates now. They ram their agenda even when they know full well it violates the Constitution; they view the Constitution is a barrier preventing their totalitarian hive-minded agenda and they will do everything they can to push their agenda even if that means completely destroying the Supreme Court.
The Constitution is an enemy to the “progressives” wing of the Democratic Party’s totalitarian agenda.
Jonathan: What ever happened to “fairness” in this country? You say student debt forgiveness will cost $1 trillion. Didn’t hear you complain back in 2017 when the GOP passed a massive tax cut for Donald Trump and his fellow millionaire and billionaire friends costing taxpayers $2.3 trillion. Was that fair to the average working family.? But when Biden wants to give students relief–saddled with loans they can’t pay back the GOP screams that’s “socialism” and a “burden” on taxpayers. And I don’t remember you complaining when GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took advantage of the PPP program and took out over $183,000 in loans and have been forgiven. Other GOP members of Congress also got PPP loans and they were similarly treated. I call that hypocritical!
In criticizing Biden you say: “Once power becomes concentrated in the hands of a president citizens are left only with the assurance that such unchecked power will be used wisely”. Strange you would raise this issue now when your buddy, Bill Barr, has long advocated for almost unlimited power for a president. That appealed to Donald Trump who hired Barr as his AG. When Trump used his executive power to take money from the military budget to build his “big beautiful wall” along the southern border and without Congressional authority wasn’t that “unchecked power”? Didn’t hear you complain then.
You also complain that “[n]o branch is supposed to have enough power to govern alone”. But isn’t that what Trump wanted when he unleashed his followers on the Capitol on Jan. 6? He wanted to overturn an election to “govern alone”–and still demands that happen. But you continue to defend Trump’s actions in the FBI/DOJ investigation of Trump’s handling of national security material. Trump’s actions pose a threat to “our constitutional system and democracy–to use your words. When you apply the same standard to Trump, you seem to want to apply to Biden, I will consider your arguments on student loan forgiveness seriously.
“millionaire and billionaire friends costing taxpayers $2.3 trillion. Was that fair to the average working family.? “
Dennis, your glasses need to be updated as the increase was for everyone. What you want is redistribution. It doesn’t work. Your Soviet controlled economy failed.
The wall was to protect America’s sovereignty. That you wish America didn’t exist is your problem. Immigratin needs to be lawful. That you prefer unlawful actions is telling.
Jan 6 was a protest and again you are widely spinning.. The Jan 6 Committee was a political event.
You seem to like Soviet power, essentially a dictatorship.
You are obviously a Communist. My recommendation to you is a move to China. PPP went to payroll of employees due to a FORCED government shutdown. Student loans went to pay for spring break, new IPhones and partying.
I beg to differ. In my brother in-law’s case, the student loans were for a big screen tv. It has actually turned out to be a lot more useful than his degree. 🙄
“seriously?” Not likely, as “whataboutism” appears to be your game.
Tax cuts allow you to keep your own money. Debt forgiveness allows you to keep someone else’s money. This debt forgiveness codifies theft.
More important than the economics is the harmful message it sends, i.e., you are not responsible for keeping your word. The primary difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe in taking personal responsibility for your actions.