Joe Biden’s Reverse Robin Hood Student Debt Cancellation – OpEd


By Alexander Oakes

The Biden administration recently announced that it is canceling another $7.7 billion in student debt, and this will bring the total amount of student debt it has forgiven to over $160 billion since 2021.

The reason for this aggressive push on the topic of student debt, according to some political analysts, is that in the three years Joe Biden has been in office, he has failed to do enough in regard to this issue. As expected, this has left some of his constituency—primarily the college-educated sectors—wanting, and this is especially true considering that leading up to his victory in 2020, forgiving at least $10,000 of student debt per borrower was one of his main campaign promises.

Of course, President Biden is not solely to blame for this “lackluster” performance on student debt forgiveness. He not only had to battle a Republican majority in the House in regard to this issue but also has had to battle the legal system.

In June 2023, the Supreme Court dealt what was, at the time, thought to be a lethal blow to the Biden administration’s debt forgiveness efforts by ruling that they were “unconstitutional.” Furthermore, just this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans overturned a prior judge’s decision that allowed students who felt as if they had been “misled” by their universities to seek debt forgiveness—an angle that the Biden administration had been looking to take advantage of.

Considering that Biden has still continued to forgive student debt to the tune of nearly $200 billion—despite the ruling of those two aforementioned courts, and the Republicans for that matter—it makes sense why his college-educated constituents continue to hold him responsible. He can do it and has sort of done it, so why can’t he do more?

Now, whether or not this dissatisfaction from within that prominent wing of his base poses a real electoral threat or not is up for debate, but a far more pressing question is how this affects the electorate as a whole. Put another way, if one wishes to win an election in the United States—and Joe Biden clearly does—it requires casting a much wider net than, say, lifelong partisans. In fact, it is very unlikely that any candidate, no matter their charisma or popular policies, will win much of anything in the current political landscape if they can’t get at least some of the always-elusive swing vote.

So, does forgiving student debt help Joe Biden do this?

Put plainly, if Joe Biden loses the presidential election in November, this issue—which when compared to things like immigration and the economy seems somewhat unimportant—may actually be one of the main reasons why. The justification for that statement is that student debt forgiveness rewards college-educated voters, who generally vote Democrat anyway, at the expense of non-college-educated voters, which is who the Biden administration should be focused on.

To elaborate, Joe Biden was applauded by left-wing outlets in 2020 for securing 37 percent of the historically important white, non-college-educated vote. This was because before that election, the Democrats had been in a downward spiral when it came to this demographic, and 37 percent was, much to their joy, higher than expected. However, even though Biden was praised for sticking his finger in the proverbial dike in regard to this voting bloc, the Left still conceded that things were too close for comfort. In fact, that same outlet cited above stated that “if he [Biden] had won, say, 34 percent of them [white, non-college-educated voters] instead of the 37 percent he did win, he very well might not be president right now.”

This is why those numbers matter.

As of April 2024, Joe Biden is currently polling at not 37 percent, not 34 percent, but rather a mere 33 percent with white, non-college-educated voters. In addition to this, according to further polling conducted by the Pew Research Center, his opposition, Donald Trump, has doubled his support among black voters from 2020 (12 percent) and has also nearly broken even when it comes to Hispanic voters (44 percent). Therefore, given that these last two are some of the Democrats’ most reliable voting blocs—at least since the mid-twentieth century, that is—it is quite reasonable to conclude that Joe Biden is in a far weaker spot this election than he was four years ago.

However, what does race have to do with this, and are all of these numbers because of Biden’s student debt forgiveness?

At the end of the day, whether you are a “woke lefty” or a “based right-winger,” two statistical realities exist. The first is that Americans live in a majority white country, and subsequently, the white vote has more influence over US elections than any other voting bloc. The second is that black and brown Americans per capita are statistically underrepresented when it comes to possessing four-year degrees. When you put these two realities together, toss in a little student loan forgiveness, and then cross-reference that with recent polling data, what you have is quite the interesting electoral portrait.

Given Biden’s historically bad economy, the fact that inflation is high, and that the Biden administration just spent $95 billion on foreign wars—even though the national debt is a staggering $34 trillion and growing—it makes sense why his student debt forgiveness programs are not garnering support. In lay terms, with these programs, Biden is, essentially, taking money from people (non-college-educated voters) struggling with a demonstrably bad economy who may or may not vote for him and then giving that money to people who not only outearn that first group, but who are also already likely to vote Democrat anyway. In a way, it is like he is trying to be some kind of reverse Marxist Robin Hood, but instead of being beloved by the people, he is instead beloved by the nobles, even though the people are actually the ones who can keep him in office. Anyway, enough on that.

At first glance, it makes sense why the Biden administration would think that these debt forgiveness programs are a good idea. After all, it is a fact that the Democrats do perform disproportionately well among the college-educated demographic, regardless of race or gender. However, when one factors in all of the other things that make a successful election bid, it appears that these forgiveness efforts are actually missing the mark.

Of course, a direct line of causality cannot be drawn between these programs and the declining support for the Biden administration among non-college-educated voters, which, again, include a disproportionate amount of black and brown voters. However, one would be hard-pressed to claim that after all the information covered here, there is not at least some correlation. Now whether that correlation is strong enough that this issue will end up having a measurable effect on the 2024 election is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, it seems that, for now, Biden’s time may be better spent letting people keep their money instead of trying to redistribute it, in Marxist fashion, to an already-secure sector of his base.

  • About the author: Alexander Oakes is a Marine Corps combat veteran who is currently pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Arizona State University. He also hosts Nobody’s News Show on and is preparing to publish his first book, “How To Get Out Of Work: A framework for manipulation, deception, and misdirection” to be released later this year.
  • Source: This article was published by the Mises Institute


The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, teaches the scholarship of Austrian economics, freedom, and peace. The liberal intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) guides us. Accordingly, the Mises Institute seeks a profound and radical shift in the intellectual climate: away from statism and toward a private property order. The Mises Institute encourages critical historical research, and stands against political correctness.

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