TALLAHASSEE - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has joined twenty-one other Republican governors in calling for President Joe Biden to take back his student loan forgiveness plan that they say will end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
A joint letter addressed to the president on Monday stated that the debt forgiveness plan is estimated to cost the American taxpayer "more than $2,000 each or $600 billion total."
"As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few," the letter stated. It goes on to point out that only 16-17 percent of Americans have federal student loan debt and that ultimately, the plan "rewards the rich and punishes the poor."
"Borrowers with the most debt, such as $50,000 or more, almost exclusively have graduate degrees, meaning hourly workers will pay off the master’s and doctorate degrees of high salaried lawyers, doctors, and professors."
Read the full letter below:
The letter goes on to say that it was the decision of the student who took out the loan and that they knowingly agreed to take on the debt.
"Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others." The governors added that the plan could also end up having a negative impact that will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further.
"For these reasons and more, we call on you to withdraw your student loan plan immediately," the letter concludes.
The president announced last month that $10,000 in federal student loans would be forgiven for borrowers with incomes below $125,000 a year, and those who had a greater financial need and received assistance through Pell Grants could have up to $20,000 forgiven.
For those who have undergraduate loans, repayments can also now be capped at 5% of their monthly income. Biden also extended the pause on student loan interest for another four months, through Dec. 31, 2022.
More than 43 million Americans owe a combined $1.6 trillion in student debt held by the federal government, according to data from the Education Department.