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Tipsheet

Biden's Student Loan Decision Contradicts His Bragging About the Economy

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

As Madeline reported earlier on Wednesday, the Biden administration is set to extend the government's pause on student loan repayments to the end of August after previously extending the "relief" targeted at those who have federal student loans. 

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As The AP noted, "Democrats on education panels in the House and Senate recently urged President Joe Biden to extend the moratorium through the end of the year, citing continued economic upheaval." But...the White House has been bragging about how effective Biden's Build Back Better agenda is and how the country is doing better than ever?

Not so, according to members of Biden's party in Congress:

Sen. Patty Murray said more time is needed to help Americans prepare for repayment and to rethink the government’s existing system for repaying student debt.

“It is ruining lives and holding people back,” she said in a statement last month. “Borrowers are struggling with rising costs, struggling to get their feet back under them after public health and economic crises, and struggling with a broken student loan system — and all this is felt especially hard by borrowers of color.”

Once again, the White House's spin on economic data doesn't match reality for Americans, nor does it match the rest of the Biden administration's actions. Democrats on Capitol Hill and even the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis are warning that "[s]erious delinquency rates for student debt could snap back from historic lows to their previous highs in which 10% or more of the debt was past due" if student loan payments are restarted. 

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Compare what congressional Democrats and others have said with what Biden said just five days ago following the release of March's jobs report from the Department of Labor:

Americans are back to work.  And that’s good news for millions of families who have a little more breathing room and the dignity that comes from earning a paycheck — just the dignity of having a job.
 
And more and more Americans get jobs — as they do, it’s going to help to ease the supply pressures we’ve seen.  And that’s good news for fighting inflation, it’s good news for our economy, and it means that our economy has gone from being on the mend to being on the move.

On the move, huh? If the American economy is now done being mended, in Biden's mind, why are pandemic response measures being extended another three months? "Our policies are working," Biden also claimed on Friday. "And we’re getting results for the American people...Record job creation.  Record unemployment declines.  Record wage gains...People are making more money.  They’re finding better jobs," Biden said.

Of course, his claims don't match reality and are undercut if not discredited by his administration's decision to extend student loan forbearance. The American people already know that wage gains are entirely erased by inflation that has left them, on average, with a two percent drop in real wages in the last year. The jobs supposedly created are really just jobs that are being recovered — and the economy is still not back where it was before the pandemic started.

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Biden's decision to extend the pause on student loan repayment is an admission of sorts that Biden's economic agenda hasn't achieved the goals his campaign promised. But that doesn't stop the White House from continuing its furious spin to try and claim victory ahead of the midterms. President Biden and his aides either think the American people are too naive to know better or too simple-minded to see the glaring contradiction between what the White House says and what the White House does.

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