Utah Governor Cox signs joint letter asking Biden to ‘immediately’ withdraw his student loan plan

Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaks during the Utah PBS Monthly Governor’s Press Conference at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on June 16. student loan cancellation plan. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Spencer Cox joined nearly half of the nation’s governors Monday in a letter to President Joe Biden, denouncing the president’s student loan forgiveness plan and calling for his withdrawal.

Under the plan, borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000, would be eligible for a $10,000 loan forgiveness. For Pell Grant recipients, the federal government would forgive up to an additional $10,000 of federal debt.

While the letter to Biden says governors are in favor of making higher education more affordable, they said they “fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off student loan debt in ‘an elite”.

The White House estimates the forgiveness plan will benefit about 43 million borrowers.

Cox was joined by the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri , Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming signing the joint letter s opposing the plan.

They said “shifting the burden of debt from the wealthy to working Americans” would hurt low-income families and spur inflation.

“For many borrowers, they’ve worked hard, made sacrifices, and paid off their debt. For many others, they’ve chosen hard work and a paycheck over more education and a loan. Americans who don’t ‘have not chosen to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be obligated to pay the student loans of others,’ the letter states.

Opinions on the impact of the pardon plan on the economy differ among experts.

Lawrence Summers, former director of the National Economic Council, said in a tweet that “student debt relief is an expenditure that increases demand and increases inflation”, indicating that inflation will be observed by an increase in tuition fees.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Roosevelt Institute’s chief economist, wrote in The Atlantic that “whatever your view of canceling student debt, the inflation argument is a red herring and does not should not influence policy”.

The governors also question the process by which Biden passed the plan, saying he does not have “the power to exercise unilateral action to usher in a broad plan to cancel student loans.”

The letter called on Biden to “immediately” withdraw his student loan plan.

“At a time when inflation is skyrocketing due to your unprecedented tax and spending agenda, your plan will encourage more student loans, incentivize higher tuition fees, and drive inflation even higher, which will a negative impact on all Americans,” the letter said. “Even economists in your own party oppose your plan to increase demand and increase inflation. Rather than tackling rising tuition fees for higher education or working With lower student loan interest rates, your plan kicks the box and makes today’s problems worse for tomorrow’s students.”

Cox is not the first Utah politician to speak out against the plan, as Sen. Mitt Romney called the plan last month a “bribe” to win votes for Democrats.

Romney wasn’t the only one among Utah’s congressional delegation to oppose Biden’s plan, as Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, also tweeted a statement in opposition.

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee echoes many sentiments of the Governor’s letter to Biden, saying his plan will further fan the flames of inflation, ignore the rising cost of higher education, disproportionately favor the wealthy and create greater income inequality.

The full letter to Biden can be read here.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for KSL.com, covering Southern Utah communities, education, business, and military news.

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