All of these things remain progressive priorities, and Biden will likely try to address them later in his term.
Within two months of the signing of the “American Rescue Plan” – the new administration’s initial $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill – President Joe Biden has already set his sights on bigger things. Last Wednesday, on the eve of his hundredth day in office, he announced two new spending plans – the “American Jobs Plan,” which would focus on creating new jobs, and the “American Families Plan,” which would focus on alleviating poverty and placing money directly into American families’ hands.
Of the two plans, the second is far broader in its ambitions – it contains a long checklist of welfare programs, including free community college, universal pre-K education, an expansion of the Child Tax Credit, and subsidized childcare.
Here’s what it left out.
Student Loan Forgiveness. Student loan debt in the United States hovers at around $1.7 trillion, with the average loan size at approximately $30,000 – making student loan debt a larger problem than auto loans and credit card debt. One of Biden’s campaign proposals involved cancelling $10,000 in debt for all students. Other progressive sources have proposed higher numbers.
However, it is unclear if the President actually has the authority to unilaterally cancel the debt with the stroke of a pen. There is also the matter of how to compensate the creditors, who would either stand to lose billions of dollars overnight or else be compensated through taxpayer money.