Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Home POLITICS Biden debt relief is actually a victory for the leftist organization

Biden debt relief is actually a victory for the leftist organization

Before becoming vice president, Joe Biden was known as “the senator from MBNA”. Biden represented Delaware: a state with a low population of people but a high density of corporate people, especially banks. Throughout his 36 years in the Senate, Biden remained a loyal servant of those banks, eager to change laws to make life harder for debtors.

So it’s a genuine twist that one of the signature achievements of the Biden presidency is an executive order providing student debt relief to millions of Americans. Like filmmaker Astra Taylor, co-founder of Debt Collective, who has stirred up the issue since 2012, wrote in the new republic“A decade ago, if you had told me that Joe Biden, a man who during his long career as a senator helped expand the student loan industry and worked to strip student borrowers of bankruptcy protections, would one day be president and eliminate to hundreds of billions of dollars of student debt, I would have scoffed, even as I joined the movement that would doggedly fight to make this happen.”

While Biden’s policies fell far short of the full cancellation of existing student debt that activists were calling for, they still represent a massive improvement on the status quo. Most borrowers will see all of their outstanding student loans disappear.

Taylor is justified in doing a victory dance. She writes: “Make no mistake, this represents a historic victory for student debtors. Through years of tireless and often thankless organizing, borrowers and their allies pushed a reluctant administration to offer a broad-based cancellation of student debt, to bail out ordinary people, not big banks or corporations. Approximately 20 million people will lose their balances entirely, and many have been sharing emotional messages of shock and glee online.”

This narrative of activists forcing action on a foot-shuffling Biden is backed up by the report from The New York Timeswho published an extensive background paper under the headline “Biden bows to pressure on student debt relief after months of hesitation.”

Not surprisingly, some centrists believe in giving credit to activists, though perhaps more surprisingly, at least one prominent voice on the left shares this denigration of mass mobilization.

Responding to the Times articles, Stuart Stevens, while the Republican political consultant turned Never Trump activist, tweeted, “There has never been a single decision of a POTUS in which there were not different sides and varied opinions. To describe @POTUS ruling on student loans as ‘give in’ is like declaring that FDR finally gave in to seniors and created Social Security.


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