Yesterday we reported on the potential benefit to Biden appointees from the President’s student loan forgiveness EO. Press reports at the time indicated the Order would forgive $10,000 of debt for those whose income was below a $125,000 eligibility cap. Using information in our database and drawn from public financial disclosures filed by the officials themselves, we identified over 220 Biden appointees with student loan debt who could benefit from the President’s use of a pen and a phone to make policy through Executive Order, as President Obama was fond of saying. The total benefit could be extraordinary and even accrue to senior aides and policymakers who possibly participated in the decision-making process or drafting of the Order.
Upon reviewing the official Executive Order, the details are much worse. As expected, individuals earning $125,000 or less are eligible for $10,000 in forgiveness (at a cost of $300B to American taxpayers). However, individuals in households with total incomes below $250,000 are also eligible for the $10,000 in forgiveness, possibly granting loan forgiveness to many others who may make more than $125,000 but whose spouses make less or who do not work outside the home. Additionally, it’s been reported that those holding Pell grants may be eligible for up to $20,000 in forgiveness (at an additional projected cost of $270B). Finally, the Order extends the never-ending loan repayment “pause” another four months – past the midterm elections, where the dour economy and record-high inflation appear sure to inflict pain on the Biden Administration and policy agenda.
So how will this shake out for those hiding Inside Biden’s Basement with him and working to advance his radical progressive policy agenda? Our projection of 223 Biden officials who stand to benefit may be just the beginning. Each of these officials surely get the benefit of a continued extension in the loan repayment moratorium Biden has sustained throughout his Presidency. Many will likely benefit from the $10,000 or even $20,000 raise – we are still calculating the benefit as we review available salary data. The higher household eligibility threshold will also mean appointees will qualify for Biden’s upper class raise if they are the primary or sole earner in their household.
While salary information about appointees hiding in the agencies may not be released for some time, those currently working at the White House are reported to Congress in the annual payroll summary submitted in early July 2022. The data shows 336 officials – 71% – of the 474 total personnel identified earn less than $125,000 and thus are very likely eligible for Biden’s upper class handout. Since the White House has yet to release roughly 300 financial disclosure forms of these appointees – nearly 60% of the White House personnel – it’s unclear how many of those eligible White House aides (not counting the higher household threshold) also have student debt or received Pell grants.
It’s quite possible that well over a hundred of President Biden’s most influential policymakers and aides working with him in the White House everyday just received a major pay hike not from congressional action but from the stroke of Biden’s pen. (Whether this pen is the same one that was used to ink Hunter’s deal with the Chinese energy company giving Joe his “10% for the Big Guy” is still unclear).