Opinion: Taxpayer Dollars Shouldn't Go to the Super Rich

Walter Rhein

Image by Walter Rhein

One of the problems with the United States of America is that so many people do not live by their stated principles. If you don’t think loan forgiveness is a good thing, that’s fine. But you have to be critical of all people who have had their loans forgiven, not just members of the working class.

In the United States, many people like to believe that rich people got rich by “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.” However, that’s rarely the case. There are many examples of rich people getting money from their parents, or from receiving government funds.

President Donald Trump's father gave enormous sums of money to his son over his entire life, playing a much bigger role than previously known in making the president a rich man, according to a New York Times investigation published Tuesday. According to the report, Trump was earning $200,000 a year from his father's empire by the age 3. The financial assistance increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually when Trump was in his 40s and 50s. In all, Trump received at least $413 million from his father's real estate empire—Trump's father gave his son at least $413 million: New York Times

Receiving 413 million dollars doesn’t make you a “self-made man.” It makes you a trust fund baby.

Everyone likes to present an inflated version of themselves. This can be seen in something as trivial as how we get dressed up for a job interview or a date. You don’t just roll out of bed and show up, you want to present the best version of yourself.

Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between presenting your best version and showing a lie.

Rich people love to emphasize how hard they worked and how smart they are. They often downplay all the advantages they’ve had in life. They like to make themselves out as larger-than-life figures that have overcome adversity, when in fact, many of them were provided with an enormous amount of help.

Over the last few years, PPP loans were available for people who owned businesses. These loans, plus interest, were forgiven. I had an accountant explain this to me as “free money from the government.” It doesn’t get any more clear than that.

There are already efforts being made to spread misinformation on the subject of PPP loans. I saw one person suggest that PPP loans only represented about 12 billion dollars. That number is not accurate according to this and other reports:

The Government Accountability Office puts the spending at $910 billion, of which $800 billion is PPP money—Where, Exactly, Did $800 Billion in PPP Money Go?

When you see people spread inaccurate information about PPP loans, they’re trying to overcome their cognitive dissonance. They want to maintain their false belief that rich people are somehow “superior.” They want to deny the fact that there’s clear evidence that rich people get major government assistance.

The White House called out congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday, after the Georgia Republican criticised the Biden administration’s student loan debt plan as unfair despite getting more than $183,000 in federal loan forgiveness herself—White House trolls Marjorie Taylor Greene for student loan criticism: ‘She had $183k in PPP loans repaid’

This isn’t the last story you’re going to read about loan forgiveness for the rich. An effort is going to be made to get control of the narrative and try to justify PPP loans while denouncing student loan forgiveness.

However, the truth is that both of these scenarios represent the distribution of free government money. The only differences are that the student loan forgiveness represents less money, and that money went to working-class people.

When you get down to it, the whole concept of the PPP loans was offensive. These loans were designed to allow massive businesses to retain their employees by trickling pandemic relief through the business. Why not give that relief money directly to the employees? Why is the government stepping in and making things easier for a business?

You hear people denounce socialism all the time in the United States, but there are often examples of the government stepping in like a big brother to help out struggling businesses. Then the people who own these businesses turn around and brag about how hard they work. They aren’t working hard, the US taxpayers are working hard to fund them.

It’s unfair.

I’m tired of all the taxpayer money that’s spent on supporting the lavish lifestyle of the rich. I’m tired of the myth that people who receive millions of dollars in free government money are working hard. I’m tired of the media assault that ensues whenever the government tries to address the needs of hardworking people.

The student debt relief program is a step in the right direction, but there are a lot of steps still ahead of us. If you’re tired of the government only working to help support rich people, it’s important to celebrate the actions of the current administration.

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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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