Jonathan Bydlak, policy director for governance at the libertarian R Street Institute, said this week that the White House’s argument that the plan will not negatively impact inflation stretches the truth.

“Pausing student loans for as long as we have, even when, you know, the U.S. economy has bounced back post the pandemic, has been an inflationary … influence,” Bydlak said. “Even if what the White House is saying is true — and I think that’s a bit of a stretch — it’s still correct to say that this measure is holding in place … an existing upward pressure on prices.”

“This is still the highest inflation level in 40 years,” he added. “This policy is them basically saying, in so many words, ‘We don’t really care that much about out-of-control prices,'”

The CRFB also projects that the taxpayer-funded student loan handout will cost Americans $500,000,000,000. Initially, the CRFB projected the cost of the plan to be around $300 billion, but the estimate was updated in analysis released Friday.