Headline RoundupSeptember 26th, 2022

Biden’s $10,000 Student Loan Relief Plan Would Cost $400 Billion, CBO Estimates

AllSides Summary

President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief plan would increase the cost of the federal student loan program by about $400 billion over 30 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday. 

This cost would add to the federal deficit by reducing the loan repayments taken in by the Treasury each year. The effect would gradually taper off until about 2052, the CBO estimated. 

Biden’s plan cancels up to $10,000 of student loan debt for individual borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. A recent Cato Institute (Lean Right bias) poll found that 64% of U.S. adults supported $10,000 of debt relief; however, the same poll found that 64% opposed the idea if it raised their taxes. 

Coverage was widespread and prominently featured across the spectrum. Headlines often varied on whether the plan “could” or “would” cost $400 billion. Some headlines in major right-rated outlets framed debt cancellation as “amnesty” or a “handout”; National Review (Right bias) put the word “cancelation” in quotes, and Fox News (Right bias) highlighted a higher cost estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). Meanwhile, coverage from the left was more likely to use the term “student debt forgiveness.”

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