Kevin O’Leary torches Biden student loan handout as ‘unfair’ and ‘un-American’: ‘I really really hate this’

Kevin O’Leary torches Biden student loan handout as ‘unfair’ and ‘un-American’: ‘I really really hate this’

“Shark Tank” host and business leader Kevin O’Leary railed against the Biden administration’s latest round of student debt handouts after the White House announced it would relieve debt for more than 160,000 borrowers. 

“I hate this, I really, really hate this,” O’Leary said Wednesday on “The Story.”

“This is a very difficult pill to swallow for people that understand when you borrow money you have to pay it back,” he added. “Particularly, for those who do not understand why a selected group of individuals in history get a free ride. This is so un-American, it is so unfair, it is so inconsistent with the values we made people for over 100 years understand.”


Kevin O’Leary torches Biden student loan handout as ‘unfair’ and ‘un-American’: ‘I really really hate this’

The Biden administration announced another $7.7 billion is going toward more than 160,000 borrowers in the latest round of student loan debt handouts.  (AP)

The Education Department announced that it will erase $7.7 billion in federal student loans, marking a total of $167 billion in student debt forgiveness for nearly 5 million Americans through several programs.

The “Mr. Wonderful” star said he finds it unfair that taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill for well-off college graduates while others have worked hard to pay off their loans.

“I am a taxpayer, I don’t like this,” O’Leary said. “I don’t think it is fair. It is un-American in a sense that there are many people who have already paid back their student loans and cohorts in the past, those in the future that still may not get this. People that never got to go to college because they figured they could not afford it, it is so unfair.”


“Number two,” he continued. “There is no way this is not inflationary. This is free money from a helicopter when we are trying to tame inflation. This just makes it worse.”

"Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary testifies

O’Leary Ventures chairman Kevin O’Leary issues a warning about a ‘big problem’ in the U.S. economy. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to the White House, three categories of borrowers are covered in the latest handout: People receiving Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), people signed up for President Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan who are also eligible for its shortened time-to-forgiveness benefit and people receiving forgiveness on income-driven repayment (IDR) as a result of fixes made by the administration.

The Biden administration has taken several actions to clear student debt, including securing a $900 increase to the maximum Pell Grant and finalizing new rules to protect borrowers from “career programs that leave graduates with unaffordable debts or insufficient earnings.”

“Today’s announcement comes on top of the significant progress we’ve made for students and borrowers over the past three years,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday. “That includes providing the largest increases to the maximum Pell Grant in over a decade; fixing Public Service Loan Forgiveness so teachers, nurses, police officers, and other public service workers get the relief they are entitled to under the law; and holding colleges accountable for taking advantage of students and families. And last month, I laid out my Administration’s new plans that would cancel student debt for more than 30 million Americans when combined with everything we’ve done so far.”

Student Debt

Student debt relief activists participate in a rally at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. In a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness program in Biden v. Nebraska.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

O’Leary said if political motivations are behind the latest round of handouts, “it will not work.”

“This cohort in the late twenties and early thirties, they have the propensity to vote the least,” he observed. 

“But also, think about the people who look at this and say it is unfair, and politically say I don’t like this, and I’m an independent and this is the fourth time I think we had our forgiving debt and I don’t understand why these people got their debt paid back where nobody else did. And we teach everybody in America, you have to pay back your debt but not you, 5 million people for the first time ever and maybe the last? You 5 million, you’re off the hook? Why? Why is this fair…?” he went on. “This make a lot of independent voters pretty unhappy, like I am right now.”

In addition to the loans cleared under IDR, the SAVE Plan and PSLF, the Biden administration has also approved $28.7 billion for more than 1.6 million borrowers who were “cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements” and $14.1 billion for more than 548,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability.


Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration overstepped its authority in 2022 when it announced it would cancel up to $400 billion in student loans.

President Biden has since made new efforts to wipe out student debt, but Republican states have filed lawsuits challenging those initiatives.

Fox Business’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.