Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Politicians are notorious for making extravagant promises on the campaign trail only for them to fall flat when the presidential position is secured. Joe Biden has unfortunately been showing this to be true for him as well, especially with his promise of student debt forgiveness. Many young people voted for Biden, helping him win the election and not without cause. Student loans continue to be one of the leading causes of debt in America, and its predatory presence has made it difficult for an entire generation of Americans to afford houses and other amenities that are expected for their age group. But unlike his other campaign promises, this promise is far too important to let fall through. Student debt forgiveness needs to be addressed as soon as possible by the Biden administration, or it will cost the American public an access to a stable future and it will cost Biden his presidency.

It’s nothing new to say that the American student debt crisis is the product of inflation and the rising cost of living. This isn’t even to mention the fact that most American universities behave as though they are bureaucratic businesses rather than places of education for the next generation of public servants. Student loan providers take advantage of the lack of money in most students’ pockets and wrap them up in debts that they often have to pay for the rest of their working lives. While some might say that if you don’t want to pay the loans back, you shouldn’t take them out in the first place, it’s not feasible for low-income students or first-generation students to pay college tuition in full. Unfortunately, they have to rely on student loans to get a degree, even if it means being stuck in debt for the next 20 to 45 years. Student loans loom over the heads of people and their families for years because of this, preventing them from living fulfilling lives. It is for this reason that Biden must act on his promise to forgive student loan debt, otherwise the generations of America will continue to live in the shadow of predatory loan companies that continue to raise interest rates year after year. 

Furthermore, Biden’s moderate and milquetoast actions have left most of America disappointed in his first year as president. To at least go through with one major promise like this, even if it means only canceling about $10,000 per person, would warm him up even slightly to the public once again. With Donald Trump suggesting he will likely run again in 2024, Biden needs to start putting his money where his mouth is if he wants Democrats to win down the line. To refuse to follow through with this student debt forgiveness will further turn the public away from Biden’s administration and possibly put more people on Trump’s side. 

Biden needs to stop trying to play both sides and set down some hard and fast laws that will benefit America as a whole. He should not try to keep pushing for a greater amount of student debt forgiveness and in the meantime follow through with the $10,000 he already promised the American people. Even if it will only make a small dent in the trillion dollars that Americans owe in student debt, it is better to tackle the issue with this small amount and hopefully push for more forgiveness as we move on into the future. Indeed, his focus shouldn’t only be on this forgiveness where the money comes out of taxpayer dollars. He should focus on taking some of the trillions of dollars that are poured into the military every year and use that to assist the student debt crisis and help fix the infrastructure of the education system. 

If Biden wants to make one defining move as a president, it should be keeping his promise to help absolve some student debt. It’s too large of a problem to tackle all by himself, but even a little bit goes a long way. The topic of student loan forgiveness could possibly become less taboo as a result if he relieves some of the immense debt that millions of Americans are in. There are only positive outcomes to Biden passing some form of student loan forgiveness, and he needs to take a stand for it as president if he wants to relieve America of one of its most pervasive issues.

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