Fox News personality Sean Hannity was not happy to hear about Democratic President Joe Biden's plan to forgive some student loan debt. Hannity complained on his radio show about how student loan forgiveness would affect his staffers.
Hannity claimed student loan forgiveness would teach young people "working your way through school" is a bad thing.
But the decision has been hailed for helping borrowers with lower credit scores and opening up the opportunity for millions of people to catch up on rent and utility bills as well as save money that would have otherwise gone to their student loans. The plan forgives $10,000 - $20,000 for individuals making less than $125,000, or couples making less than $250,000.
In his remarks while announcing the decision, Biden said canceling some debt would allow many people to "finally crawl out from under that mountain of debt to get on top of their rent and utilities, to finally think about buying a home or starting a family or starting a business."
But to hear Hannity tell it, giving people a leg up is little more than "a reckless economic decision" he likened to the "radical" Green New Deal—proposals that call for public policy to address climate change along with achieving other social aims like job creation and reducing economic inequality.
The audio of Hannity's remarks is available below.
"So in other words, what, a bail out plan for rich people to send their kids to school? And what's so bad about working your way through school?"
"Because I did it and I decided once I got behind a radio microphone that I didn't want to finish my last year or year plus or whatever it was and I followed my passion, followed my dreams... I never had any hope that I'd be successful but when you really think about it, you know, who's going to benefit the most from this?"
"The Wall Street Journal editorial board said that student loan forgiveness is an 'inflation expansion act.' College costs have soared multiple times the rate of inflation over the last 50 years and the people who will likely benefit the most are middle class."
"You know, think about it. You get out of college, you’re not making a lot of money. We have a lot of young people that work on my TV show, they’re not making a $125,000."
"They’re now eligible to get in some cases up to $20,000 and in other cases $10,000. This is New Green Deal [sic] radical socialism.”
Hannity is "the highest-paid star on Fox," according to Forbes, which notes he is "banking $25 million each year from the network."
That he is so angry about the plan likely betrays how little Fox News pays their staffers.
According to the White House, the overwhelming majority of student loan relief will benefit those earning less than $75,000 a year, and no one in the top five percent of wage earners will benefit from the plan.
The plan—which also extends the pause on student loan debt repayments to December 31, 2022—is projected to cost the federal government around $244 billion. Forgiveness for those who've received Pell Grants will cost an additional $120 billion.
Biden criticized congressional Republicans who've come out against the plan, saying he "will never apologize for helping America’s middle class," particularly when Republicans "voted for a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and giant corporations that racked up the deficit."
Hannity's remarks have been harshly criticized.
Hannity isn't the only Fox News personality to get slammed for criticizing student loan relief.
Earlier this year, condemnation rained down on Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham after she argued against widespread student loan forgiveness while at the same time admitting she freeloaded off her mother to pay for her own schooling.
Writing on Twitter, Ingraham—who graduated from expensive private Ivy League Dartmouth College—claimed her mother "worked as a waitress until she was 73 to help pay for our college" adding her mother even helped with loan replayments.
Characteristically, with no sense of irony whatsoever, Ingraham added forgiving student loan debt is "just another insult to those who play by the rules."
Ingraham's remarks came just a couple days after news outlets reported the Biden administration "is looking at different options to forgive an unspecified but substantial amount of federal student loan debt," a move that received pushback from prominent Republicans who have accused Biden of "bribing" voters.
These reports prompted Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney to rail against debt forgiveness, saying Democrats are "taking desperate measures" in response to "desperate polls," though the effort goes back much farther given Biden campaigned on forgiving $10,000 worth of student loan debt per person.
Other Republicans have also criticized the proposal, arguing student loan forgiveness would only shift billions of dollars of debt to taxpayers and deal a blow to the economy, a claim that runs counter to data from economists who've noted student debt cancellations would only boost Americans' purchasing power.
Additionally, conservatives suggested those calling for student loan forgiveness are "lazy" and simply need to work more and go without if they want to pay off their debts, not taking into account the impact of high loan interest rates debt forgiveness advocates have said are predatory, trapping borrowers in an unforgiving cycle of debt that can never be paid off.