November 30, 2022

There is powerful push-back as the uproar over student debt cancellation grows.But, will the blowback have staying power and what effect might it have on the upcoming mid-term election?Aside from the tangled mechanics of how debt forgiveness will work, those key questions strike at the heart of a weighty political matter.Who will be more motivated to vote? The young and the left? Or those who believe forgiveness in this case is not divine?Whether in the White House, your house, or your neighbor’s house, we live in a culture where repaying your debts is expected.While student loan forgiveness may be popular among students who qualify for it, there’s significant opposition to it from much of middle America.”It’s really pretty heavy,” Republican Congressman Brad Wenstrup said. “Americans don’t like this one bit.”Wenstrup believes his widespread Second District is foursquare against it.His opponent, Democrat Samantha Meadows, called the Biden decision, “Excellent news !!!”On her Twitter page, she wrote, “Student loan debt is crippling for many & this will allow for some breathing room.”Wenstrup aired a different point of view about it.”What you’re doing is you’re asking others to pay for somebody else’s bill. You know, people sign those documents when they take out those loans. I’ve been there. I’ve done it, you know. And over the years I paid all of mine back. I had a plan,” Wenstrup said.Politically, both parties plan to use the divisive issue to drive the mid-term vote which starts in seven weeks.The local head of the GOP considers it a gimmick to gin up support among young voters.”Even the Washington Post which is never friendly on their editorial page to Republicans, you know even they’ve come out to say this is bad policy,” Alex Triantafilou said. NKU political expert Ryan Salzman said he sees good politics in play for the left side of the Democrat Party.”They have been arguing for this I think much more than Republicans have been arguing against it,” Salzman said.For Jennifer Langen, a college mom of two at UC, the politics of it is a turn-off.”I think it’s just going to be polarizing,” Langen said. “It’s just going to be one more issue that polarizes people.”Langen speaks for many who believe the cost of higher education has gone through the roof, as she put it.She said she wants to see a solution and that fiscal responsibility must be a part of it.”As someone whose paid off their own student loans and tried to save for my own kids to go to school and get them through debt-free, it’s just very frustrating to have to see other people basically get things handed to them,” Langen said. In spite of rules about eligibility, repayment, and personal benefit, for many people, it gets down to how some get a break and others don’t.With 48 days out from early voting in an election both major parties consider crucial, Salzman said he sees a strategy to drive the Democrat left to the polls.He cites the political push-back to the Dobbs decision earlier this summer as a first step motivator, the second step being debt forgiveness.”I don’t know how long a half-life this is going to have on the Republican side,” he said. “And I certainly don’t know that this is going to be enough to take a potential non-voting Republican and drive them to the polls.”

There is powerful push-back as the uproar over student debt cancellation grows.

But, will the blowback have staying power and what effect might it have on the upcoming mid-term election?

Aside from the tangled mechanics of how debt forgiveness will work, those key questions strike at the heart of a weighty political matter.

Who will be more motivated to vote? The young and the left? Or those who believe forgiveness in this case is not divine?

Whether in the White House, your house, or your neighbor’s house, we live in a culture where repaying your debts is expected.

While student loan forgiveness may be popular among students who qualify for it, there’s significant opposition to it from much of middle America.

“It’s really pretty heavy,” Republican Congressman Brad Wenstrup said. “Americans don’t like this one bit.”

Wenstrup believes his widespread Second District is foursquare against it.

His opponent, Democrat Samantha Meadows, called the Biden decision, “Excellent news !!!”

On her Twitter page, she wrote, “Student loan debt is crippling for many & this will allow for some breathing room.”

Wenstrup aired a different point of view about it.

“What you’re doing is you’re asking others to pay for somebody else’s bill. You know, people sign those documents when they take out those loans. I’ve been there. I’ve done it, you know. And over the years I paid all of mine back. I had a plan,” Wenstrup said.

Politically, both parties plan to use the divisive issue to drive the mid-term vote which starts in seven weeks.

The local head of the GOP considers it a gimmick to gin up support among young voters.

“Even the Washington Post which is never friendly on their editorial page to Republicans, you know even they’ve come out to say this is bad policy,” Alex Triantafilou said.

NKU political expert Ryan Salzman said he sees good politics in play for the left side of the Democrat Party.

“They have been arguing for this I think much more than Republicans have been arguing against it,” Salzman said.

For Jennifer Langen, a college mom of two at UC, the politics of it is a turn-off.

“I think it’s just going to be polarizing,” Langen said. “It’s just going to be one more issue that polarizes people.”

Langen speaks for many who believe the cost of higher education has gone through the roof, as she put it.

She said she wants to see a solution and that fiscal responsibility must be a part of it.

“As someone whose paid off their own student loans and tried to save for my own kids to go to school and get them through debt-free, it’s just very frustrating to have to see other people basically get things handed to them,” Langen said.

In spite of rules about eligibility, repayment, and personal benefit, for many people, it gets down to how some get a break and others don’t.

With 48 days out from early voting in an election both major parties consider crucial, Salzman said he sees a strategy to drive the Democrat left to the polls.

He cites the political push-back to the Dobbs decision earlier this summer as a first step motivator, the second step being debt forgiveness.

“I don’t know how long a half-life this is going to have on the Republican side,” he said. “And I certainly don’t know that this is going to be enough to take a potential non-voting Republican and drive them to the polls.”

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