Conservatives: 'Student loan forgiveness bad; PPP loan fraud good'

The One Stop: UMass Boston’s center for student financial support on campus.

Well, it looks like the conservatives have once again raised a giant middle finger to those of us who are struggling under the weight of unreasonably high student loan debt.

In one of the latest acts of burning down their own house to spite their spouse, a conservative, Trump-appointed judge has blocked federal student loan forgiveness at the behest of two plaintiffs, which was supported by the conservative “Job Creators Network Foundation.” Incredibly, both plaintiffs received large Paycheck Protection Program loans during the pandemic.

The cruel irony goes down like curdled milk. Why are conservatives so hellbent on making the lives of college students and graduates harder? They argue that progressives go back on their claims that they support blue-collar workers by giving "handouts" to highfalutin college grads with "useless" degrees, yet they are silent on PPP loan fraud, which hurts employees. I know it might be a shocking statement, but no, the money didn't “trickle down.”

Let’s be clear, student loan forgiveness is, truly, a band-aid. Sure, it might favor college-educated people over others, but what progressives want in the long run is for higher education to be cheaper for everybody. The vast majority of people that higher education has bilked out of their money deserve the relief.

So, who the heck are these plaintiffs to dictate what sort of financial relief over 40 million students across the country should or shouldn’t get—especially while raking in government dollars themselves, possibly under illegal means? The audacity is outrageous and disgustingly par for the course for conservatives in this country.

Their argument is laughable and insane. One of the plaintiffs doesn’t qualify for loan forgiveness, as their loans are not held by the U.S. Department of Education. The other does qualify for the lesser amount, but thinks they should qualify for the full amount—they are low-income now but weren’t while they were at college, so they do not qualify for the low-income forgiveness plan.

Basically, their argument is that the federal government didn’t allow the general public to comment on the measure before enacting it. That’s it. That’s their whole argument. It’s colossally outrageous, and frankly, has no business being taken seriously by a court of law. Even legal experts agree.

Look, we can have a conversation about whether the low-income plaintiff should indeed be eligible for the full forgiveness package. In fact, I believe they probably should. But since when do relatively minor imperfections in a government action bring everything to a screeching halt?

This might be okay if there were repairs to the system in the works. Do Republicans have a plan to improve it, and do they plan to pass an improved version through the Republican-held House of Representatives? I seriously doubt it. Remember the alternative “plan” to the Affordable Care Act they kept touting? The one that never existed?

And as for the plaintiff who simply doesn’t qualify, I just can’t express enough how much I despise what they are doing. They illegally take a large sum of money from the government and then throw a fit when they don’t qualify for more based on, most likely, their income level? Disgusting—especially when that fit screws millions of struggling Americans out of serious and life-changing financial relief.

I know I keep repeating myself, but it's really just unfathomable how these self-absorbed, unempathetic and childish individuals were taken seriously by this judge at all. This is clearly a case of political activism from the bench.

But what now? What can we students do? Well, firstly, you should keep an eye on the student loan forgiveness website; the line is long and only getting longer, and if this ruling is overturned, you want to be near the front of the line. Right now, new applications are not being taken, but you’ll want to get in as quick as you can when they open up again. The website can be found at

Secondly—and yes, if you’ve kept up with my articles, you’ll know what’s coming—get involved! Since this is a legal matter, there is not much direct action you can do. But there are still plenty of political organizations that you can volunteer for that educate everyday people on why student loan forgiveness is a good idea. The more support it has, the more likely it is that politicians will continue fighting for it. Look up some organizations in your area and do what you can for them!

I am confident that we will get our student loan forgiveness though. It may take a little while longer, and that really sucks—I know the monthly payments can be crippling for many, but it will happen. We just have to keep pushing our politicians to do everything they can to make it happen.

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