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GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday there’s a “real risk” that President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program could drive the Democratic turnout this midterm election season.
“If you are that slacker barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless things, now has loans and can’t get a job, Joe Biden just gave you 20 grand,” he said on his podcast “Verdict with Ted Cruz.”
WHITE HOUSE SAYS STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT TO COST $24B PER YEAR, APPLICATIONS TO BE AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER
“Like, holy cow! 20 grand. You know, maybe you weren’t going to vote in November, and suddenly you just got 20 grand. And you know, if you can get off the bong for a minute and head down to the voting station,” he continued. “It could drive up turnout particularly among young people.”
Borrowers on average in the US owe $37,667 in student loans according to the Education Data Initiative, though amounts owed can vary based on degree and location.
Biden this week announced a student loan forgiveness plan that could help lower undergraduate loan payments by $10,000 for individuals who earn less than $125,000 a year.
Pell grant recipients can see relief of up to $20,000.
VAST MAJORITY OF VOTERS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT
While some championed the plan as a way to reduce student debt and assist lower and middle-classes, others questioned how fair it was for people who have already paid their mammoth loans but will see no relief.
Republicans have also questioned how it will affect the American taxpayer, particularly those who did not receive relief but could theoretically see an increase in taxes.
“All of this could play badly for Democrats,” Cruz said Friday. “But let me give you the flip argument – it may be a political master stroke.”
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The White House said Friday that the student loan forgiveness plan, estimated to cost $24 billion a year for the next decade, will not trigger a federal tax bill.
The administration also said it considers the plan to be “fully paid for” by 2022 revenue earnings alone, which are on pace to lower the US deficit by $1.7 trillion.