Ten of the top U.S. universities have endowments worth more than $200 billion, even as President Biden plans to cancel $20,000 of student loan debt for many Americans.
According to fiscal year 2020 data from the U.S. News World Report, ten universities including Harvard and Yale University have endowments totaling $209.8 billion. Many of their graduates will receive a $10,000 or $20,000 taxpayer handout courtesy of the Biden administration because of the large endowments.
Harvard has a $42 billion endowment. The chairman of the Texas Republican Party said Tuesday that Yale's is $31 billion and Biden will tax truck drivers and plumbers to pay for the student loans that built those empires. In addition to Harvard and Yale, other top universities like Stanford, Princeton and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have endowments worth between $18 and 29 billion. The endowments between the University of Maryland, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor and Columbia are between $11 and 15 billion.
Biden's plan to give $10,000 to many people with student loan debt has an estimated price tag of $330 billion.
The cumulative federal student loan debt for 45 million borrowers has gone up to $1.6 trillion. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that Biden's plan would chip away at that figure using tax revenue, but total student loan debt will return to $1.6 trillion in just five years.
The White House said on Wednesday that the plan offers debt relief as part of a comprehensive effort to address the burden of growing college costs and make the student loan system more manageable for working families.
Under the plan, individuals earning less than $125,000 per year, or $250,000 jointly, are entitled to receive $10,000 in relief while Pell Grant recipients are able to receive $20,000. The moratorium on student loan payments is lifted in January 2023 and allows borrowers to cap debt payments at 5% of their income.
Critics of the announcement argued Wednesday that it would force the middle class to pay the bill for a handout largely benefiting wealthy graduates.
A bunch of hardworking people are going to pay for money to give away some of the most privileged people in America at the cost of inflation and a deeper recession when the government starts to take inflation seriously, according to Ted Frank, director of litigation at the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, a free-market public-interest law firm.
Cooke, a writer for the National Review, characterized the move as a contemptuous, abusive, unbelievably expensive shot in the dark. He wrote Wednesday that the problems in the system aren't addressed. The colleges, and their endowments, are left unmolested. American culture's increasingly credentialist presumptions aren't altered.