Bernie Sanders rebukes GOP for backing corporate tax breaks but not student debt relief

‘I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires, Vermont senator says

Senator Bernie Sanders chided Republicans on Sunday for backing tax breaks for corporations and wealthy Americans while criticizing Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan.

“Look, I know it is shocking … to some Republicans, that the government actually, on occasion, does something to benefit low-income families and working people,” the progressive from Vermont said during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’s This Week. “I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires.”

"I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires."

Sen. Bernie Sanders tells @GStephanopoulos that Pres. Biden's student loan forgiveness plan will benefit working families.

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 28, 2022

Biden’s plan forgives $10,000 in debt for those who make under $125,000 per year. Those who receive Pell Grants are eligible for up to $20,000 in forgiveness. The White House estimates the plan will affect up to 43 million Americans. Republicans have criticized the measure as an unfair bailout for college-educated Americans at the expense of those who chose not to go to college or worked for years to pay off their loans. They have also said the measure will increase inflation, which some economists and Wall Street analysts dispute.

“You can’t forgive that much debt and assume people won’t spend the money for other things – it’s gonna take $24bn that should have been coming into the federal government every year in payments and make that available for spending,” Senator Roy Blunt, a retiring Republican from Missouri, said on This Week.

The White House has rebuked some congressional critics of the plan by pointing out that the members themselves had benefited recently from loan forgiveness.

Using its official Twitter account, the White House highlighted six Republican members of Congress who had between hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars forgiven in loans from the paycheck protection program, a government relief program designed to stimulate the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Those loans were designed to qualify for forgiveness as long as they were used for permissible costs.

“We’ve never hesitated to call out hypocrisy, and we’re not going to stop now,” White House spokesperson Alexandra LaManna said last week.


Sam Levine in New York

The GuardianTramp

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