Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

By the numbers: Student debt — which stands at $1.55 trillion — is the biggest category of debt Americans owe, aside from mortgages.

  • Most borrowers are white, but Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more than their white counterparts.
  • According to a new Harris Poll survey, 64% of Americans support canceling some student debt, and 55% support canceling all of it.

What's happening: Biden has proposed immediately cancelling $10,000 of federal student loan debt for every borrower. The move would cost around $370 billion.

  • That would eliminate debt for the 15 million borrowers who owe $10,000 or less. And it's a broad-based approach that would help all 42 million borrowers.

Yes, but: Here's what that alone wouldn't do:

    • It wouldn't make much of a difference for the nearly 30 million borrowers who owe more than $10,000. Many of them went to graduate school and owe hundreds of thousands.
    • It wouldn't stimulate the economy. Student debt stops many from investing or buying property, which is a drag on the economy, but canceling a small amount of debt wouldn't change that, experts say.
    • It wouldn’t target the most vulnerable borrowers. Canceling the same amount of debt for all doesn’t account for the fact that many Americans with student debt are also among the most well-educated and high-earning individuals.
    • It wouldn't help future borrowers. The problem with forgiving student debt is that every day we’re making new loans in this broken system,” says Adam Looney, an economist at the University of Utah. “You’ve not solved the problem.”

Insurmountable student debt is a recent phenomenon, Looney says. It's been growing at six times the rate of the U.S. economy, and it's only getting worse.

  • There are no limits on how much students can borrow and few restrictions on how they spend the money.
  • And, on top of that, the cost of college and graduate school is skyrocketing. As a result, young people are borrowing sums of money they can’t possibly repay and many are using that money to pursue degrees at online or for-profit colleges with higher than average dropout rates.

What we're watching: Among the American public, canceling debt isn't a fringe or far-left idea any more.

  • In the Harris Poll survey, 78% support putting restrictions on the price of a university education. And 59% support no tuition at public universities.

Go deeper

Small businesses receive $35 billion in new round of PPP loans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Small Business Administration said last night that so far this year, it has approved 400,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans worth $35 billion — out of the $284 billion of total available funding.

Driving the news: These are the first figures on the status of the forgivable loan program since it relaunched on Jan. 11.

4 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.