By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers told WISN’s UpFront that he’s confident he will win over a good deal of Independent voters in his quest for a second term. A new poll, however, finds he’s squarely on the wrong side of independents when it comes to President Joe Biden’s costly student loan bailout.
A majority of likely voters (55.6%) say they are less likely to vote for candidates who support’s Biden’s $500 billion edict to cancel college debt, according to the poll from Convention of States Action.
The survey, conducted Sept. 2-5 by national pollster The Trafalgar Group, found nearly two-thirds of Independents (65%) won’t cast a ballot for a candidate that backs the student loan forgiveness plan.
Guess who effusively supports the bailout on the backs of the American taxpayer? Gov. Tony Evers.
”Absolutely,” the governor said when asked whether he thinks it’s a good idea. In fact, he doesn’t understand why anybody would be opposed.
“I think, long-term, people are going to feel more comfortable that they don’t have as much to set aside to pay off their loans,” the Democrat said at a campaign stop in Mount Horeb in late August. “So I just don’t understand the concern about that.”
The concern is that the vast majority of Americans who have already paid off their student loans or never went to college will be on the hook for someone else’s debt over the next decade. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, nearly 70% of Wisconsinites ages 25 and older do not hold a Bachelor’s degree.
Biden’s plan cancels as much as $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 a year, $20,000 for students who received federal Pell Grants.
That’s a $2,500 bill for each American taxpayer, according to one estimate.
“There’s a transfer of wealth from the society at large to people who borrowed to go to college right now,” Andrew Lautz, director of federal policy at the National Taxpayers Union, told CNBC. “That has consequences for consumers,” Lautz said. “It has consequences for taxpayers.”
American taxpayers are growing more frustrated with the endless government spending, which in no small part is fueling inflation rates not seen in more than 40 years. The most recent Marquette University Law School Poll found 94% of Wisconsin voters are at least somewhat concerned about inflation (67% very concerned).
“Evers must’ve forgotten that Bidenflation cost the average Wisconsin household nearly $700 last month alone. Or maybe he, along with Biden, missed the clear warnings from Obama administration economists that the plan amounts to pouring “gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning,” the Republican National Committee said in a blog following Biden’s announcement.
“I think if voters understand that Tony Evers supports taking money from low-income workers and middle-income families to pay for art history majors, people who probably squandered four years and many, many thousands of dollars in college tuition, they’re going to be angry about that,” said Scott Manley, senior vice president for government relations at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States, said the backlash against the student loan bailout is being reflected not only in the polling but on the ground, as well in grassroots circles in every state. The poll found 88.5 percent of Republican voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. That underscores a high engagement issue.
“Voters—particularly those must-win Independents—are appalled by Biden’s plan and will respond at the ballot box,” Meckler said. “This is looking like the sleeper issue that may have more impact in November than people suspect.”
Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 13, 2022