President Biden pitched his $10,000-$20,000 per borrower student loan bailout as much-needed relief for struggling Americans. But a new survey of prospective recipients seemingly undercuts this narrative.
Intelligent.com surveyed 1,250 individuals who have or will apply for Biden’s relief initiative and asked them what they’ll do with their extra money after their monthly payments are reduced. (Courtesy of US taxpayers, who are going to be on the hook for roughly $500 billion, or $3,500 per federal taxpayer, over the next decade.) Many of the respondents candidly admitted that they plan to spend the money on things most would not consider essential.
“Overall, 73% of applicants say they are likely to spend their extra money on non-essential items,” the poll reports.
Here are some notable specifics from the survey:
- 52% say they’ll likely buy new clothes
- 46% say they’ll likely go on vacation and/or out to eat more
- 44% say they’ll likely use the money to buy new smartphones
- 28% say they’ll likely use the money to buy drugs and/or alcohol
- 27% say they’ll likely use the money to gamble more
Oh, and the survey further finds that “nearly twice as many Democrats than Republicans feel spending on non-essentials is an acceptable thing to do.”
The results also call into question whether most recipients were actually experiencing meaningful burdens from their student debt to begin with.
Approximately 40% of the recipients said that their student loans weren’t negatively impacting their lives. Only 28% said that their student loans had been “very negatively” impacting their lives.
This all calls into question President Biden’s framing of his bailout as sorely-needed relief. So, too, many Americans likely won’t be thrilled to pay more in taxes so that relatively affluent, college-educated young people can have more room in their budget for travel, drugs, and gambling.