(p. A1) WASHINGTON — President Biden’s plan to erase significant amounts of student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans could cost about $400 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report Monday [Sept. 26, 2022], making it one of the costliest programs in the president’s agenda.
The C.B.O. said the price tag might rise even higher because of Mr. Biden’s decision to extend a pause on federal student loan repayments through the end of the year, which could end up costing some $20 billion. The report gauged the cost over a period of 30 years, though the bulk of the effects to the economy would be felt over the next decade.
. . .
. . . , critics have accused the Biden administration of hiding the plan’s true cost.
Marc Goldwein, the senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said that the C.B.O. score did not take into account a significant part of (p. A13) the administration’s loan relief program: a plan to reduce payments for future borrowers who go on to earn low incomes after college, which outside analysts say could host hundreds of billions of dollars more.
“You’re basically buying a very expensive lottery ticket,” Mr. Goldwein said. “When you’re taking out the loan, you’re going to have no idea of how much you’re going to be paying back.”
Monday’s report, issued by a nonpolitical budget scorekeeper, is one of several attempts to estimate the total cost of the program, which Mr. Biden enacted using executive action rather than legislation.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 26, 2022, and has the title ‘White House Student Loan Forgiveness Could Cost About $400 Billion.”)