by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
No doubt, President Joe Biden and his advisers believed student-loan forgiveness would be a big winner in the upcoming midterm elections. If so, it was a political miscalculation, with most Americans rejecting the idea as unfair and a political stunt, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
Under Biden’s plan, unveiled in late August, he will cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for those who had have Pell Grants and up to $10,000 in debt for those earn less than $125,000 per year, $250,000 for married couples.
By a margin of 59% to 32%, Americans agreed that Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan “is unfair to those whose children are not in college or who have already paid for their kid’s education to have to pay for other people’s education.” Another 8% called themselves “unsure.”
Perhaps surprising is that the rejection of the idea is multi-partisan in nature. While Republicans, as might be expected, agreed that it is unfair at the highest rate (67%), Democrats (55%) and independents (56%) weren’t that far behind.
Among all respondents, only one group was below 50%: Those who self-identified as “liberals.” Just 42% of that group agreed student-loan forgiveness was unfair. Among “moderates,” the level of agreement was 60%; for “conservatives,” it was 72%, tied for the highest for any of the other major demographic and political groups that I&I/TIPP polls routinely measure. …
… Some other interesting, and perhaps surprising, trends emerged from the data. One was that, in general, the younger the respondent the poll, the more likely they were to agree that student-loan forgiveness was a bad idea.
Among those 18-24 years of age, 65% agreed it was unfair; for those 25-44, that number shrank to 60%; for the 45-64 group, to 57%; and for those over 65, it was 59%.