President Joe Biden received mixed reviews this week for his executive order canceling up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of Americans.
Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe was among those who supported the move, but it was clear that his tweet on the subject did not resonate with the public in the way he might have hoped.
Sharing an Axios article about the president’s announcement, Tribe wrote: “Good news for thousands of my former students. I’m grateful on their behalf, Mr. President.”
Almost immediately, prominent pundits and ordinary Twitter users alike began poking fun at his seemingly tone-deaf take.
“Finally a break for the Harvard trained lawyers,” wrote Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer.
Among the other replies dripping with sarcasm was one from conservative writer Inez Stepman, who asked: “Won’t anyone think of the children of Harvard Law School?”
Others seemed shocked to learn that graduates of Tribe’s class would need a federal government bailout.
If you graduated from Harvard Law School and can’t find gainful employment to repay your debts, that’s on you https://t.co/bgtVhK9yHR
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) August 24, 2022
Writer Joel Engel opined: “It’s well known that Harvard Law School grads have a tough time making ends meet.”
Many of the critical replies hinged on the fact that taxpayers — including many Americans who chose not to take out student loans — are now on the hook for repaying the debt of those who now have their loans forgiven.
Actor Nick Searcy chided “elitist snobs” like Tribe for being “happy that working class families are paying for rich people’s Ivy league indoctrination programs.”
Countless Americans who either repaid their loans or skipped college altogether reacted with similar frustration upon learning that they would be indirectly paying off the debt ostensibly wiped out by Biden’s latest executive action.
As one Twitter user wrote in response to an article on the subject: “My roommate in college went to medical school and had student loan debt close to 300k. He paid it all off by doing the right thing, living within his means and not running off to [buy] the latest iPhone or BMW.”
Several Republican lawmakers echoed that sentiment, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“Democrats’ student loan socialism is a slap in the face to working Americans who sacrificed to pay their debt or made different career choices to avoid debt,” he tweeted. “A wildly unfair redistribution of wealth toward higher-earning people.”