Of course Biden delayed the resumption of student debt payments. But kicking the can down the road won’t work. Cancel student debt now!

By David Dayen, The American Prospect

The Biden administration has succumbed to the inevitable once again, extending the payment pause on student loans, this time until August 31. As that date is a little more than two months before the midterms, there’s almost no chance the pause will be allowed to expire then, unless Democrats are competing to devise the best act of political malpractice in one election cycle. (Which they may be!)

This is the sixth time since the payment pause was hurriedly instituted at the onset of the pandemic that it’s been extended. We’re experiencing serious economic headwinds thanks to inflation, and there’s always the possibility of another COVID mutation leading to mass sickness and economic shock. But we can be honest and say that the pandemic case for the payment pause has passed, amid 3.6 percent unemployment and two years of surging economic growth.

Cancel student debt

No, the reason to pause student loan payments is more straightforward than any emergency measure: We’ve paused them for two years without many problems. Moreover, the chaos that a resumption of payments would occasion shows how unsustainable the system was in the first place. It all could be easily avoided by canceling the debt.

President Biden’s statement on extending the pause exemplifies this. He boasts about the nearly eight million jobs created on his watch, and the fastest growth in 40 years, but adds: “If loan payments were to resume on schedule in May, analysis of recent data from the Federal Reserve suggests that millions of student loan borrowers would face significant economic hardship.”

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