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Biden adviser pushes back on criticism of student loan debt cancellation: ‘Everything doesn’t benefit everybody’

Bonnie Cash

Former senior White House adviser Cedric Richmond on Sunday dismissed criticism that the Biden administration’s move to cancel some student loan debt is unfair, saying that “everything doesn’t benefit everybody” reiterating that the plan will help the country’s working class. 

“Remember, everything doesn’t benefit everybody, but it’s about the common good, and this president is focused on working families and empowering people to reach their full potential, and I think that this does exactly what he’s trying to do,” Richmond said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The Biden administration announced last week it’s forgiving up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for Americans earning less than $125,000 a year and up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients. It also extended a pandemic-era freeze on federal student loan repayment and interest accrual until Dec. 31 for what it said was the final time.

Richmond served in the Biden administration as director of the Office of Public Engagement and is now an adviser to the Democratic National Committee. 

“This country is not a zero-sum game where somebody has to fail for others to succeed, and so we have historic tax credits, we have business tax credits to help those who own businesses, and not everyone in America owns a business, but we help business owners because we want to promote it,” Richmond said Sunday.

“We’re not picking winners and losers. America is a country about the common good, and what we’re doing here is making sure that we invest in all of America, and right now we are investing in working families.”

The former Louisiana congressman rejected a suggestion by anchor Jennifer Griffin that the plan is an “election gimmick” by Biden ahead of this year’s midterms.

“It’s not. What it’s doing is empowering people to get an education, lift themselves out of poverty, free up the high cost of the debt that they owe to colleges so that they can invest in American dreams, buy a home, invest in their children, be better community members. This is about lifting up America,” Richmond said.

He noted that Biden’s move, which the White House says will mainly benefit Americans making less than $75,000 a year, fulfills a promise the president made on the campaign trail. 

The debt forgiveness plan has been praised by progressives, while Republicans have called it unfair and economically irresponsible.

Asked by reporters after last week’s announcement whether his plan is unfair to those who have already paid off loans or chose not to take out loans, Biden parried with a hit at tax cuts on the rich. 

“Is it fair to people who, in fact, do not own multibillion-dollar businesses if they see one of these guys getting all the tax cuts? Is that fair? What do you think?” Biden said.

Tags Biden Cedric Richmond Jennifer Griffin Joe Biden student debt cancellation Student loan forgiveness student loans

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