by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
After nearly two years of talking about it, Joe Biden finally rolled out his student-loan forgiveness plan … and apparently nothing else. According to Axios, the White House didn’t bother to gather the data on eligibility, didn’t create a system which would check it, and has no system yet in place to fully complete the process.
Did Biden drop the ball again — or did he never expect to be allowed to run with it in the first place?
“The agency doesn’t have income data for most of the 43 million Americans eligible for forgiveness, meaning around 35 million people — including Pell Grant recipients — will have to attest that they makes less than $125,000 per year and apply for relief. …”
“StudentAid.gov, the government’s financial aid website, experienced significant delays Wednesday and Thursday after it was inundated with people seeking information on loan forgiveness.” …
… Other than that, y’know … Biden was totes prepared to roll out this policy. I mean, why not wing it? The executive-order-driven policy will only cost between $605 billion an $1 trillion, most of which will land in this fiscal year while inflation’s already raging. No biggie!
More seriously, this looks like a lot of Joe Biden’s policymaking — impulsive, unprepared, and entirely reactive. Biden and his team have had seventeen months to get these pieces in place for this policy decision. Instead, it looks like someone just pulled together a few talking points at the last minute and bundled it into a memo for Biden to wave at a presser.
Just how lazy was the White House on this massive bailout proposal? Penn Wharton managed to pull its numbers together in just a couple of days after Biden’s specifics were made public. Biden’s team didn’t even bother to try scoring it themselves or providing any data.