Protection, Tuition, and the Rich || Opinion

I was thrilled to wake up this morning and see the Biden administration hitting back at the critics of the President’s college-loan debt relief program. As the GOP gropes and grinds for an issue to get women and the so-called “woke” to stop caring about women’s rights, this week’s target is debt relief for college loans. I spoke to one of my colleagues yesterday about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and the GOP’s two trillion dollars worth of tax cuts—87 % of which went to the wealthiest 1% of the country. Meanwhile, the 13 % left was fought over by the rest of the country—99 percent. A significant portion of people who say, I got mine, you get yours, leave out that ‘mine’ was a lot cheaper 20, 30, and 50 years ago.

My granddaughter is the most recent college graduate in my family. When I was her age (mumble-mumble years ago), state school was roughly five hundred dollars a quarter, and college was affordable when America thought an investment in its kids’ futures was as important as Exxon and Mobil oil subsidies. That cost is now almost 11,000 dollars yearly for in-state students and 28 thousand for out-of-state residents. Five hundred dollars in 1974 is worth about 3,000 dollars in purchasing power today, still well below being able to pay for the out-of state school I attended.

The Biden war room listed several Republican lawmakers who sought and received loan forgiveness for their PPP loans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. The GOP talks a big game when it comes to stretching bootstraps to the limits until we talk about the very rich. The GOP is not all alone in their critique this time. A handful of outliers in the Democratic party have spoken out. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) are involved in close races and represent swing states and districts. Congressman Jared Golden, Democrat from Maine, who is also embroiled in a tight race, called the forgiveness program “out of touch.”  The larger issue is the brainwashing America has fallen prey to when it comes to happily subsidizing the rich and telling others only struggle builds character.

Tom Brady, Jay-Z, and Kanye West—who reportedly have a combined net worth of over 8 billion dollars are among the many celebrities who received loan forgiveness for their PPP loans. The opposition seems to hinge on the question; why should a guy laying carpet or fixing your transmission pay for a college kid who wants to be a doctor or a lawyer? When did the country recognizing a need to level the educational playing field for women and minorities, become so selfish? When did the country that rewarded fighting men after World War II with an educational entrée into the middle class become so selfish? The most selfish notion is, I paid; why not you?

I have not had school-aged kids for twenty-three years, yet I happily pay school taxes. I do it because tomorrow hinges on how we prepare today. A prosperous society makes us all richer; part of that success is not saddling our kids and grandkids with unending debt.

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  • August 26, 2022