Joe Biden should cancel all student loan debt in the early days of his Administration. He will have ample avenues and rationales to cancel all student debt as soon as his Administration assumes power. He has administrative authority to do so under existing law. In the event Biden would need additional legislative powers, well, he would have a Democratic House and the Senate to craft any legislative powers that might be needed. Again, though, no additional powers are needed. The real thrust of this article is: this incompetent and corrupt government instituted this failed program under a failed ideology and shackled forty-five-plus million Americans with the chains and cuffs of debt…most of that debt today is sitting on federal balance sheets already…just cancel it.
I shouldn’t have to say more, but because this Empire loves to grind down humanity in every feasible way, almost like it takes pleasure in inflicting physical and psychological pain on its population and other populations whenever it can get away with it. I’m not sure why, I’m sure some political or economic theory written hundreds of years ago justifies it or something (Hint: no, it doesn’t) or maybe some dominant economic theory justifies all that debt (Again: no, there isn’t one). Or maybe the leaders of this order finally settled on a moral code where paying a debt is considered some kind of moral act rather than an accounting act (Hint: there is nothing immoral about not paying debts in this unjust, debt-driven, grossly unequal, U.S. economy of predation).
Honestly, I don’t even want to spend a lot of time writing or talking about the specifics of cancelling student debt. If Biden isn’t serious about cancelling the debt, then he’s simply not fit to govern in the era of climate change. We don’t have time to continue to play games with our corrupt inaptly-labeled elites as they try to save their reputations and/or legacies. Logic, history, simple mathematics, and basic reason – especially in light of overwhelming evidence presented in the studies linked to herein – are all screaming for the rapid conclusion of the $1.7 trillion fiasco and human tragedy we all refer to as Student Loan Debt Crisis.
I’m going to list from most effective to least effective student loan debt actions or reforms that could be performed by Biden in his first 100 days. First, Congress and the Senate could pass a statute abolishing the debt. This would be too simple for a corrupt government where everything must be overly complicated, obfuscated, or be laced with loopholes to ensure understanding falls just outside that of lay people. Where technical knowledge is easily comprehensible, insert technical jargon to prevent lay-persons from gaining understanding. Corporations love complexity. First, they buy politicians to make complex laws, then they buy Ivy League Analytical Idiot attorneys to navigate the complexity they paid to have put in the laws. It’s all a cost-benefit analysis to the corporate scum that bought the U.S. Congress decades ago. With a simple statutory solution likely to remain off the table, the second-best path for full student loan debt cancellation is via an Administrative Law discharge. Separate proposals offered by Senator, Elizabeth Warren, and by Yale Law PhD student, Luke Herrine, show multiple pathways by which student loan debt could be canceled using existing law.
The last option is to enable discharge in bankruptcy proceedings. This is basically a slap in the face to most debtors everywhere because it’s a bureaucratic nightmare fraught with multiple trapdoors, but could offer relief to people going through the doldrums of bankruptcy by simply allowing student loan debt to be discharged along with most other debts. Again, student loan debt is an issue that has been studied from virtually all angles, I hesitate to say absolutely all angles because there are always blind spots, regardless of the varied intellects tackling almost any given problem, such as student loan debt…there are always blind spots. Anyway, the last, and absolutely least favored option is to remove section 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(8) to allow for student loan debt to be discharged with all other debts in bankruptcy proceedings. The kicker? The provision was likely put into law by a law maker who had to openly explain to the media that he wasn’t wholly owned by creditors. Spoiler: the lawmaker was Biden and he was working for his creditor-constituents to make it harder for people to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy. Student loan debt has led many to contemplate or completesuicide due to this ruthless rigging of the powerful higher education system of finance against weak students.
Bottomline: if the Biden Administration assumes power without the intent and a plan to discharge all student debt and reformulate public higher education, then progressives and other Americans of conscious need to internalize this as yet one more example of a failing, planet-destroying, humanity-eating neoliberal order that the status quo is unable to see past or reform in a way as to make it compatible with the humans it is supposed to serve or the planet on which it depends. Cancelling student debt is a no brainer. Biden’s Administration would do well to abolish the debt so they can more rapidly and intensely focus on covid-19, inequality, and climate change, all of which are at their own respective breaking points and in need of legislative fixes. Like inequality and climate change, the days of debating student debt are over. Now comes action.
The next move to make on student debt cancellation is Biden’s, it will either be action or inaction. Inaction should absolutely be read as this incoming Administration simply not reading the gravity of the moment properly to govern the U.S. as it needs to be, this was a mistake made by Obama during his administration. If he’s not ready to deal with student debt, he’s in no way prepared to deal with climate. If this is the case, that Biden isn’t ready to tackle climate and inequality, then there can be no sidelines in American Politics Post-2020, because we will have yet another corrupt government not willing and able to govern in the era of climate change. We don’t have time to play this game.
As a Senator, Joe Biden used to be chided from time to time as Senator from MBNA Corp. because of his faithfulness to them and other creditors when it came time to vote. It’s time for the President of the United States Joe Biden to undo the error made many years ago by the Senator from MBNA. President Biden should do what Senator Biden rarely did: use the financial system for the people, not just corporates, banks, and other creditors. For more information on the cancellation of various debts, checkout The Debt Collective and dig into resources they have to offer.
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