Ocasio-Cortez rejects ‘scarcity mindset’ as GOP attacks student debt relief
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, on Saturday dismissed what she called a “scarcity mindset” after Republicans criticized student loan debt forgiveness.
The Democratic lawmaker was questioned in a Instagram post on how canceling student debt helps those who have already paid off their loans.
“Maybe student loan forgiveness doesn’t affect you. That doesn’t make it bad. I’m sure there are definitely other things student borrower taxes pay that benefit you. We can do good things and rejecting the scarcity mentality. it says doing something good for someone else comes at the cost of doing something for ourselves,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The MP added that not all programs impact everyone and that “people who have apartments pay for the benefits first. Young people pay into health insurance for our seniors. People who take public transport pay for car infrastructure”.
His response comes after President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a backup plan to cancel outstanding federal student loan debt for certain borrowers. Biden said those with student loans and earning less than $125,000 a year are eligible to get $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they received Pell grants, while those earning less than $125,000 per year and have not received a Pell grant will be eligible. for $10,000 in loan forgiveness.
Although Biden’s plan is intended to help millions of Americans struggling to repay student loans, some Republicans have criticized the president for his pardon program.
On Friday, GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed Biden’s plan, saying “lazy baristas” on loan forgiveness could help Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.
“There is a real risk,” Cruz said. “If you’re that lazy barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless things, now has loans and can’t get a job, Joe Biden just gave you 20,000. Like, holy cow! 20,000. You know, maybe you weren’t going to vote in November, and suddenly you just got $20,000.
“If you can get off the bang for a minute and head to the polling station,” the Republican senator continued. “Or just mail in your mail-in ballot that the Democrats kindly mailed to you — that could increase turnout, especially among young people.”
Some Democrats called out Cruz on Friday about his comment, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont who tweeted, “That’s what a leading Republican thinks about ‘slacker’ young Americans who took out loans to go to college.”
Meanwhile, other Republicans have criticized Biden’s plan, including Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who called the program “completely unfair” during a Newsmax interview Wednesday. However, the White House responded to this clip, saying the congresswoman benefited from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which were signed into law by former President Donald Trump as part of the law. CARES in March 2020.
“Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 off PPP loans,” according to White House account tweeted in response.
Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida also criticized the program and “overeducated elites” during his Firebrand podcast. However, he was called out by the White House for rejecting the debt relief package despite canceling “$482,321 in PPP loans”.
Newsweek contacted Ocasio-Cortez’s office for comment.