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Matthew Yglesias

Student Loan Forgiveness Is an Idea Whose Time Has Gone

Suspending repayments made sense in 2020, but it’s not the right policy in an inflationary economy.

No longer a good idea.

No longer a good idea.

Photographer: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Most Americans say the most important problem facing the country is inflation — and President Joe Biden just made it worse. His administration announced last week it would extend yet again the emergency suspension of student loan repayments, even as his frenemies on the left are urging a program of complete forgiveness of all student debt.

Granted, the macroeconomic impact of last week’s move is not huge. But it’s not nothing, either. And it’s an example of a larger phenomenon: Many progressive advocacy groups developed their policy ideas during a prolonged stretch of deficient demand, and they have failed to adapt them for a new set of economic circumstances.