Paul Begala, who served former President Bill Clinton as a top adviser, fiercely condemned on Sunday President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt.
What did Begala say?
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Begala not only called Biden’s plan “bad policy,” but he rebuked it as “bad politics.”
According to Begala, instead of forgiving debts that Americans freely enter, the money that will be used to execute Biden’s plan would be better served helping improve the lives of Americans stuck in under-resourced and under-privileged situations.
“For that amount of money, you could fund free pre-K for every 3 and 4-year-old for 10 years,” Begala said. “You would do a lot more good for poor people, communities of color, and the underprivileged by doing pre-K. You could forgive all medical debt, which, unlike student debt, is not freely entered into.”
“I’m a progressive. I want to help folks,” he added. “But I think this is terrible policy.”
To prove his point, Begala pointed to numerous Democrats who have not only not embraced Biden’s plan, but have openly criticized it.
The end result, Begala said, is both “disadvantaging” the Americans that Democrats have pledged to help and disadvantaging Democrats who are battling in tight elections.
“I think they’re not helping the people that we’re here to help, which is poor people and underprivileged communities,” Bagala said. “And they’re not helping their politicians who are running.”
How much does the plan cost?
The White House believes the plan will cost roughly $240 billion over the next 10 years. But other analyses suggest the true cost will exceed $500 billion and perhaps even $1 trillion.
Just like Begala said, universal pre-K — which would cost approximately $350 billion — could be funded with the anticipated price tag of Biden’s plan as determined by the nonpartisan analyses.
Certainly, millions of poor Americans could also be lifted out of poverty with the hundreds of billions of dollars that will be required to pay for Biden’s plan.
Meanwhile, Democratic economists, like Larry Summers and Jason Furman, have pointed out that Biden’s plan will undoubtedly exacerbate inflationary pressures, all while not addressing a central problem of the student loan debt crisis: the cost of tuition.