Should the government cancel student loan debt?

Background

Americans collectively owe over $1.71 trillion in student loan debt, spread across 44.7 million borrowers. During his 2020 presidential campaign, President Biden pledged to fix the student-loan system, advocating for cancelling $10,000 in student debt per person. While Biden has yet to implement any new policies, he extended the pandemic’s student-loan payment pause until January 2022. As this deadline looms, the controversy about what to do with student debt grows more urgent.

Discussion Questions

1) The “PRO” side claims that cancelling student loan debt could increase equity in various ways. Which of these claims do you find the most persuasive, and why?
2) The “CON” side points out different ways that cancelling student debt could be unfair. Which of these claims do you find the most persuasive, and why?
3) Should the cancellation of student debt be handled exclusively by the President, or through an act of Congress?
4) One alternative would be to make college free for all Americans from this point forward. Do you think this would be better or worse than cancelling existing student debt, and why?

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