Opinion: Student Loan Forgiveness Could Boost the Economy

Walter Rhein

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I don’t understand why Americans become so furious when the government does anything to help members of the working class. Without any real understanding of the student loan forgiveness proposal, many people are frothing at the mouth.

“If you wanted to improve the country by disbursing billions of tax dollars, you would help people…who worked hard to pay [their] debts,” [Tucker] Carlson said of the measure which in total eliminates upwards of $300 billion in loans—Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity Rage Against ‘Suicidal’ Student Loan Forgiveness on Fox News

But why would he say something like that? How does he know that the people who receive student loan debt forgiveness haven’t worked hard to pay their debts? They’re Americans after all. Don’t Americans work hard?

People who go to college are people with drive and ambition. They seek to better themselves. It’s good for our country to reward people who work hard and try to make a greater impact.

People are flooding the internet with demands that people repay their debts. Other people are pointing out that not paying off debt has been an American standard for rich people for generations.

Twitter users saw irony in the House Judiciary Committee Republicans’ post, and mentioned both GOP representatives and former President Donald Trump, who reportedly haven’t paid back their debts—Rep. Jim Jordan's Cry To Repay Loans Unintentionally Targets Fellow Republicans

It’s almost as if all the social media responses and all the news stories are fake. How can the American public be so angry about the government helping the working class, and fail to say anything when the government gives free money to the rich?

Here’s an excerpt from an article about how Trump’s CARES act had many provisions that were designed to send money to the wealthy.

So let me show you five provisions of the legislation that benefited the upper middle class (including yours truly); the families of Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; high-income people who make large charitable donations; and Boeing and other corporations that are showing losses; as well as indirectly benefited people who have substantial investments in U.S. stocks—The CARES Act Sent You a $1,200 Check but Gave Millionaires and Billionaires Far More

Don’t you think it’s weird that far-right media sources never offer any criticism over the billions of dollars that go straight to the rich?

Why is it considered a problem for the government to help people who work, and not a problem to help rich people who don’t need any assistance?

The narrative simply doesn’t make sense.

I write this as a person who paid off education costs less than two years ago. My wife opted for some higher education, and I considered applying for loans in the hope that they might be forgiven. Eventually, I decided that it would be less complicated to simply pay the expense as I went. I didn’t want to get embroiled in interest payments, and the overall cost wasn’t that high.

I’m fortunate that I had the means to pay these expenses, but we are by no means a rich family. What my experience taught me is that the type of people who apply for student loans are motivated people who need the loans.

It’s time that we come together as Americans and help our fellow citizens. The media narrative against student loan forgiveness is malicious and wrong. I don’t understand why there is no equivalent narrative when banks and other big industries get much larger government payments.

From an article published in 2020:

In the latest sign that even the soberest of American economic policymakers are freaked out by the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve announced on Thursday it's going to drop an extra $1.5 trillion on the financial system—The Fed's $1.5 trillion intervention, explained

If you start digging into the facts, you’ll notice that the only reason rich people are rich is that the government gives them money all the time. It’s bizarre that when the government makes good on a promise to help out people who work, the media has a fit.

Working class people, people with jobs, should celebrate any government action that benefits other working-class people. Remember, there’s never any reason to give money directly to banks. When you give money to regular people, it ends up trickling over to the banks anyway.

People use stimulus funds to pay off mortgages, car payments, and other expenses. Most of the time, those checks are written to banks. Therefore, if stimulus payments go directly to the people, they end up serving two branches of our society rather than just one.

Student loan forgiveness is good for our society. The kicker is that the total amount of money dedicated to student loan forgiveness is still much lower than what is routinely handed over to big businesses. All Americans must get some perspective and see how they’re being manipulated by a false media narrative.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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