Uncle Sam's negligent handling of the vast student loan program, accelerated by the Biden administration's debt "forgiveness" practices, will cost American taxpayers over $311 billion – more than quadruple the Department of Education's annual budget.
The ballooning cost of the loan program, which includes projected income that won't materialize and nearly $200 billion in direct losses, was calculated not by a Republican policy group aiming to undercut Biden's student loan forgiveness policy, but by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.
Both Democratic and Republican administrations have supported the 30-year-old direct student loan program. Since then, it's become the major source of federal money for post-secondary education. It's the second-largest consumer loan category after mortgages, but the default rate is expected to hit 40% next year.
These problematic characteristics of the loan program have pushed the Biden administration to pursue irresponsible loan forgiveness.
Biden is under pressure from the Democrat Party's hard-left wing to "forgive" the outstanding debts, or at least a portion of them for specified borrowers or sums. The president seems philosophically and politically inclined to rush into the financial crisis, but his actions have been hesitant.
The administration has previously written off more than $30 billion due to misinformed or fraudulent borrowers. Individuals in some "qualified" occupations have had their loans forgiven.
Biden has extended Trump's loan "pause" four times.
The present loan repayment suspension expires at the end of the month, and Biden's Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, just hinted it may be upped again, along with other "pardon," to assist alleviate the just-announced teacher shortage at the start of the new school year.
Regardless of what the administration does, the November midterms must be considered.
If Biden aggressively forgives the debts of former students and their families who voluntarily asked for and got taxpayer money for college, he'll strengthen his Democrat Party support. Those voters won't forsake him if he delays meaningful action until after November.
Independent-voting and Republican-leaning loan recipients may appreciate the decision, but they're unlikely to vote for Democrats in November. It would accentuate Republican claims that this is a dangerously spendthrift government, which Democrat congressional candidates in close races don't need.
Biden will likely tiptoe around full student loan payback forgiveness until early next year, leaving it as a significant possible 2024 campaign topic.
Regardless of when Biden acts and how far he goes (or if he does nothing), this federal initiative will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars for which most will receive nothing in return.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Daily Caller.