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Students at a sit-in at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, May 2019. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A senior Trump administration student-loan official appointed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned Thursday and said he would endorse outstanding student debt cancellation, calling the system "fundamentally broken," the Wall Street Journal reports.

The state of play: A. Wayne Johnson, who was the chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid before becoming the agency's chief strategy and transformation officer, said it's probable that much of the debt will never be repaid, citing repayment trends.

"We run through the process of putting this debt burden on somebody ... but it rides on their credit files — it rides on their back — for decades. The time has come for us to end and stop the insanity."
— A. Wayne Johnson told the WSJ

The big picture: The idea of wiping the $1.5 trillion student loan deficit clean is in the national spotlight after several Democratic candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, incorporated it as a key campaign promise.

  • Roughly one-fifth of all student debt — federal and private, excluding students currently enrolled — is at least 90 days delinquent, according to the New York Federal Reserve, reports WSJ.

What's next: Johnson is planning a long-shot run for Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson's soon-to-be-vacated Georgia seat.

Go deeper... Special report: Higher education's existential crisis

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 6 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
8 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.