More than two dozen senior Biden officials are struggling with student loan debt currently, prompting questions about whether the White House education loan forgiveness proposal is personal for the administration.
A potential conflict of interest appears as many are now questioning if President Joe Biden can objectively make decisions about student debt forgiveness, as the decision will directly affect many of his key aides … even though millions of Americans carry loans for college education as well.
Financial reports from 2021, obtained by Bloomberg News from the Office of Government Ethics, disclose the complexity of the White House’s stance on this controversial issue. The proposal was often referenced during Biden’s 2020 campaign against then-President Donald Trump.
Among the nearly 30 key White House staffers with significant student loan debt currently are his new press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, and Bharat Ramamurti, his deputy director of the National Economic Council, according to Bloomberg.
Late in the day on Friday, the White House revealed financial documents for 133 employees, though some staffers both current and former had not yet filed.
In total, the 30 White House employees revealing loan debt from their education costs claim 50 loans, valued between $2 million and $4.7 million in total.
Clearly, Biden’s administration is no different from any other company in America with young, educated employees, where many understand student loan debt is burdensome. Also revealed in financial disclosures, the heaviest burden fell on communities of color…disproportionately so, revealing there is an equity agenda to this decision, as well.
Reportedly, due to the proposal’s divisive nature, Biden has struggled with the idea of canceling a certain portion of student debt through executive order, as the 50-50 Congress has frequently been unfriendly to very progressive proposals like this one.
Meanwhile, the president has, several times, extended a freeze on payments and interest, allowing many Americans who carry such loans to not worry about their sometimes high payments throughout his office tenure thus far.
However, many Americans who worked hard to pay off their student loans already are not supportive of this agenda.
Some questioned the quality of the staffers’ education, in general, given the state of the country right now.
$4.7 million of the best education money can buy controlling the country right now and look at how absolutely off the rails America’s economy is. https://t.co/3QrDdhAHq3
— Anthony Abides (@AnthonyAbides) May 19, 2022
Other Twitter users pointed to the fact that the American taxpayers are already paying government salaries and getting precious little benefit in return, in reference to the country’s many despairs, at the moment.
Great, so we won’t just be paying their salaries but also paying off their debt. That’s pretty totalitarian.
— 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝑔𝒾𝑒𝟢𝟦𝟢𝟧 (@maggie0405) May 19, 2022
Looks like they got good jobs & have the means to pay their loans. That was the plan, right?
— Katch22 🍊 (@kalyx2020) May 19, 2022
An average of $150,000 per person. This is obscene.
— Pierce Gardner (@PierceGardner) May 20, 2022
Let them learn the importance of personal commitment, integrity and perseverance by meeting their assumed obligation. I didn’t agree to assume their debt and I gain nothing by paying it. I say, “bollocks”.
— Steven-o (@steveno88) May 19, 2022
Sounds like a pretty big conflict of interest to me…
— Squatching Duck (@sttngduck) May 20, 2022
And their salaries are? Seeing as they got prized positions working in the WH, it seems like they got a pretty good return on the education they took a loan out for. So they can absolutely pay it back.
— Holly Thornton (@beachmamax2) May 20, 2022
No one can “forgive” student loans. The debt doesn’t just “go away” All that can be done is to shift the burden from the deadbeat to the taxpayer. Why should the US taxpayer be on the hook for anyone’s personal debt? I also seriously question Biden’s authority to do this.
— Eric Webster (@EricDubU) May 19, 2022
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