President Biden’s announcement that he will forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making up to $125,000 is unconstitutional. It’s astonishingly regressive, a giveaway to the upper-middle class. It will cost $300 billion, eliminating all the deficit reduction of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. It’s inflationary, dumping $300 billion into an already-overstimulated economy.

Naturally, Congressman Gerry Connolly loves it.

“Thank you @POTUS delivering on your promise of student loan forgiveness. This historic action of canceling debt for so many Virginians and Americans will make a positive impact. Democrats will continue fighting for the middle and working class”, he tweeted not long after Biden’s announcement.

Why of all congressmen would Connolly, who represents one of the wealthiest congressional districts in America, champion student debt relief?

Ah, but there’s the rub: student debt relief benefits the upper middle class, not the middle- and working-class Connolly insultingly touted in his celebratory tweet.

The Penn Wharton Budget Model concluded that more than two-thirds of the beneficiaries of Biden’s largesse are in the top 60 percent of income distribution. Contra Connolly, the working and middle classes aren’t the beneficiaries of this policy—they are the ones subsidizing it with their hard-earned tax dollars.

The collective endowment of the Ivy League is nearly $200 billion. The University of Virginia has an endowment of more than $14 billion.  Unswervingly liberal Oberlin College has an endowment of over $1 billion. Talk about the 1 percent!  Surely these wealthy schools could use a portion of their endowments to cover soured student loans rather than making the plumber, the electrician, the soldier, and the nurse cover the losses. It is grotesque that such wealthy institutions should get any benefit whatsoever from taxpayers.  

By supporting student debt relief, Connolly isn’t robbing Peter to pay Paul. He’s robbing Peter to pay Croesus.

Connolly has also ensured colleges will do nothing to make college more affordable for the working and middle classes he purports to champion. Why would a college lower its tuition when it knows whatever loans its students take out will get paid back, if not by the students then by the taxpayer? Biden and Connolly have now made it harder for working class and middle-class children – many of them minorities and immigrants – to attend college.  

If Connolly thinks going to college is an essential step to achieving the American dream, I congratulate him: he just made it more difficult for lower income Americans to achieve it. 

The dirty secret is this has nothing to do with the working and middle class and everything to do with cheap, tawdry electoral politics. The young, progressive college graduates that power the Democratic Party and its galaxy of progressive non-profits have been outspoken in their demands for student loan forgiveness. Washington, D.C. residents have the most student debt of any city in the country, an average of nearly $55,000 for the average borrower. And voila – along comes Uncle Joe and Uncle Gerry to make the progressive activist class’s dreams come true, two months before the midterm elections.

Next time Gerry Connolly regales the public with his concerns about the working class, remember this disgracefully regressive student loan giveaway. In a contest between the working class, immigrants, and minorities and the wealthy, progressive activist class, with Gerry Connolly, the progressive activist class will win every time.

Michael E. Ginsburg is the chairman, 11th District Committee, Republican party of Virginia.

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