Where Do Republican Presidential Primary Debate Candidates Stand on Student Loan Forgiveness?
Student loan debt in the United States has skyrocketed to $1.7 trillion, affecting nearly 45 million borrowers. It has become one of the biggest concerns for several Americans, who have been struggling to pay off their loans for years. While the issue of student loan debt is at the forefront of the policy debate in the current U.S. Presidential Elections, several Republican Presidential Candidates’ views on the matter have been under scrutiny. In this article, we will delve deeper into the Republican Presidential Candidates’ stance on student loan forgiveness.
What is Student Loan Forgiveness?
Student Loan Forgiveness refers to the cancellation of a borrower’s student loan debt. The concept of student loan forgiveness has gained immense traction, especially among the youth in the country who have been struggling to repay their student loans. Student loan forgiveness can be achieved in several ways:
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – This program created by the George W. Bush administration assists federal loan borrowers working in public service. After making 120 on-time loan payments, borrowers can then qualify for cancellation of their remaining debt.
2. Income-Driven Repayment Plans – These are federal plans that set a borrower’s monthly payment based on a percentage of their income. The remaining debt is forgiven after 20 or 25 years of payments.
3. Borrowers Defense to Repayment – This allows students who were defrauded by their institutions, misled or harmed in some way, to seek student loan forgiveness.
Where do Republican Presidential Primary Debate Candidates stand on Student Loan Forgiveness?
1. Donald Trump – The former President of the United States signed a series of executive orders in 2020 that proffered student loan relief to borrowers. His administration also proposed some changes to the existing student loan forgiveness programs, including the elimination of the PSLF program. However, there has been no clear indication of his support for broader student debt cancellation.
2. Ted Cruz – During his 2016 Presidential Campaign, Cruz advocated for a student loan repayment plan where loan repayment would be income-based to ease the burden on those who could not afford it. However, Cruz has been notably silent on the subject of student loan forgiveness.
3. Ben Carson – No clear statement has been made by Carson on the subject of student loan forgiveness.
4. Carly Fiorina – In a 2015 Republican Presidential Debate, Fiorina stated that student loan forgiveness is a subsidy program for banks rather than students. She argued that the student loan problem in the US can be solved by enhancing the job market for the youth.
5. Jeb Bush – The former Florida Governor proposed the elimination of some federal loan programs to reduce the cost of the education market. However, Bush did not support student loan forgiveness in any form.
6. Lindsey Graham – Graham has advocated for the increase of maximum Pell Grants and the democratization of the student loan market. However, he did not advocate for student loan forgiveness.
7. Rand Paul – Paul has been a staunch critic of the federal student loan program. He has proposed the privatization of student loans and the deregulation of the student loan market. Paul opposes the idea of student loan forgiveness.
Public Opinion on Student Loan Forgiveness
Public opinion on the subject of student loan forgiveness has changed over time. According to a recent political poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, 58% of registered voters support the idea of $10,000 student loan forgiveness, with 31% opposing it. Younger voters lean more towards student loan forgiveness than older ones.
In conclusion, several Republican Presidential Candidates have been silent on the subject of student loan forgiveness. A few have championed reforms to the current student loan programs, but they have not publicly backed the idea of student loan forgiveness. However, public opinion on the issue has been swaying towards support, especially among younger Americans. As the US Presidential elections continue, it is up to the candidates to present their comprehensive views on student loan forgiveness.