Committee for a Responsible Budget’s Goldwein: Student Loan Forgiveness Would Exacerbate Racial Equity Issues, Make Affordability Worse

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Marc Goldwein argued that, even with some income caps, student loan forgiveness would mostly benefit graduate students in higher income brackets, and that forgiveness would disproportionately benefit white people in top income brackets and incentivize increasing tuition and make college affordability and racial equity problems worse

Goldwein stated, “[M]ost of these benefits would go to graduate students mainly in the top half, top quarter of the income spectrum…the income caps we’re talking about are $250,000 or $300,000 for a couple. We did the math on this. That cuts off the very wealthiest, but it doesn’t cut off a lot of people that are still extremely high-earning. And it doesn’t cut off a lot of people that may be a doctor only making $200,000 this year, but, in a few years’ time, you’re going to be making $300,000, $400,000. And, by the way, $200,000’s also a lot.”

He added, “[W]e have a huge racial equity problem, and the way to deal with that is with college affordability. … White Americans in the top 20% of the income spectrum have more debt than all Black Americans. The reality is, 87% of Americans have no college debt, many of them because they didn’t go to college in the first place, and this is going to do absolutely nothing for them.”

Goldwein concluded, “More fundamentally, we need to look at college affordability in the first place. If everyone thinks the president’s going to cancel $10,000 of debt every four years or so, there’s going to be [an] incentive to increase tuitions, and we’re going to be actually in a worse situation on the front end than we are now.”

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