Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been a leader of ‘The Squad’ and a very influential voice for the Democrats on Capitol Hill, but only to other Democrats. For the rest of us, she has represented some of the worst in politics and policies to come out of Washington in the last 100 years. She has been a consistent source of sound bites to represent everything that is wrong with progressive politics.
One of the biggest problems of late has been her inability to comprehend simple problems in the American government. Despite earlier promises to cancel student loan debt, President Biden has yet to step up and do so. For AOC, this has been incredibly perplexing. While speaking to Yahoo Finance, she explained why.
“I cannot understate the danger and the risk — economically, politically, and just where we are right now as a country — of allowing the moratorium on student loan payments to lapse in May. We are at such a delicate point in the financial and just general economic recovery post-COVID that to then re-start payments that are essentially the size of a mortgage payment, sometimes even larger, on a generation that was already so devastated … It could throw out of balance already what is a very fragile recovery.”
She is surprisingly right about a few things here. For many, these student loan repayments are nearly the size of a mortgage. This means they are spending more of their income to pay back student loans instead of stimulating the economy with those dollars. While the payments have been suspended, many have been, instead, spending that money on going out to eat, getting better groceries, or other expenses they would otherwise trim off while paying loans.
Another thing AOC surprisingly has right is how devastating this generation of students has been. College costs have dramatically increased over the last 40 years, especially over the last 20. That thousand-dollar textbook budget back in 1990 can now be blown while buying books for one undergraduate class. This is especially troubling for lower-income households as they are traditionally taking the most loans possible as a way of staying afloat during school.
With COVID winding down in many areas, people are looking forward to getting the recovery going. Given the fragile state of our economy because of supply chain and production issues, as well as poor infrastructure, any real drop in consumer spending could prove to be detrimental to our long-term plans for recovery.
This past November, the Education Department released documents that indicated they had completed a memo that President Biden requested and explained about his ability to cancel student loan debts. That memo has never been made public, and lawmakers are growing infuriated with the wait. As a result, AOC and 84 other Democrats have called on Biden to order the release of that memo and to forgive $50,000 of student debt.
President Biden, in response, has stayed mum on the topic and refuses to give a solid answer as to his plans for canceling student loan debt or if he even can do so. This blank answer is more than detrimental to the well-being of thousands of college students and their parents across the country.
As people sit and await updates, AOC will be left confused about his capability and what he is willing to do about the problem. While President Biden kicks the can down the road, these debts are sitting unpaid, and little is being done to order their payment. The interest-free period does give borrowers a unique opportunity to pay down any previously accumulated interest and to knock some of the principal out, but given the lack of jobs, inflation, and poor salaries, people just aren’t paying.