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Proposals go back to the Democratic primaries

Proposals go back to the Democratic primaries

Warren, as well as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have been pushing for some kind of student debt cancellation plan since 2019, when they were running in the Democratic presidential primary. Biden put out a policy proposal to forgive $10,000 per borrower only after the pandemic began and he was the presumptive nominee.

A broad cancellation of federal student loan debt would be unprecedented. But a memo from lawyers at Harvard’s Legal Services Center and its Project on Predatory Student Lending says the Department of Education has the power to do so.
The Department already has some more targeted debt cancellation policies in place. It wipes away debt for defrauded students as well as disabled veterans. Biden could provide relief for hundreds of thousands of more borrowers just by expanding those programs, according to the National Student Legal Defense Network.

There are thousands of borrowers who say they were defrauded by now-defunct for-profit colleges like Corinthian and ITT Tech, but have waited years for the Education Department to review their claims as DeVos tried to roll-back an Obama-era rule that streamlined the process.

Warren says the economic crisis caused by the pandemic makes it even more important to cancel student loan debt as soon as possible, and argues that it would help narrow the racial wealth gap and jump start the economy by providing relief for more about 45 million Americans.

“Data show that canceling the student loan debt would result in greater home ownership rates, more housing stability, improved credit scores, higher incomes, higher GDP, more small business formation and more jobs,” she said Thursday.
Economists say cancellation might not generate a big GDP boost
Some economists say that canceling student debt is not the best way to jump-start the economy right now. A Goldman Sachs analysis found that forgiving $10,000 of debt per borrower would likely cost $300 billion and add less than 0.1% to GDP, while forgiving up to $50,000 would cost around $800 billion and provide only a slightly bigger boost to GDP.
A separate report from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that canceling all federal student debt would offer little economic stimulus compared to other aid programs like the small business loan program and enhanced unemployment benefits. It would have a small effect on how much cash people have to spend right now.

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