• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

COMMENTARY: Student Loan Forgiveness Denial Another Reason to Cast a Vote

Don’t miss the boat. You’ve got to vote, especially in this political age of denial. From election denial to DACA denial to now student loan forgiveness denial, there’s a lot of denial being thrust upon us. It makes the upcoming midterm elections more consequential that even the last presidential election — the one that some Republicans insist was stolen but wasn’t.

By Emil Guillermo | Post News Group

Of all the eligible voters in our country, just 10% actually do, according to a recent Unite America Institute study.

Don’t you want to be in that minority?

You have to register first.

And if you think you’ve missed the deadline, no you haven’t.

You can still call up the Secretary of State’s office and register for a provisional ballot.

You will count in California.

Don’t miss the boat. You’ve got to vote, especially in this political age of denial. From election denial to DACA denial to now student loan forgiveness denial, there’s a lot of denial being thrust upon us.

It makes the upcoming midterm elections more consequential that even the last presidential election — the one that some Republicans insist was stolen but wasn’t.

If the election deniers ride the Big Lie to victory, as hard as these last two years have been, expect things to get even harder and nastier with the deniers possibly in the majority in both chambers of Congress.

Democracy will feel worse than ever because it will be barely a democracy.

How does democracy denial sound?

People of color surely don’t need more motivation to vote. It’s already gotten personal.

Are you a Dreamer? A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient? Do you know someone who is?

A few weeks ago, the Fifth Circuit appeals court declared DACA illegal. Ultimately, the decision to save DACA, or to establish a pathway to citizenship, relies on Congress.

You can decide who goes to Congress before they decide who to deport.

Are you another kind of dreamer, the kind looking at a college degree as your ticket to opportunity? Remember, you stretched, got into a pricier school, and got that student loan.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, acting on an appeal from six Republican attorneys general from Southern states, blocked President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

That’s where up to $20,000 in debt relief could come to student loan borrowers if they make under $125,000 a year.

And we’re not just talking students. Some parents went into debt for their kids. Excusing $20,000 in debt is like evaporating two or three credit card payments. A relief plan would have made a difference–until Republicans put a stop to it.

You can still apply. But now the courts have made it a new political football.

And it came on a day when Biden was at Delaware State University, an HBCU, describing the virtues of the relief plan, how easy it was to sign up, and how nearly 10 million, mostly middle-class Americans, already had signed up.

The Republicans must not want their votes.

They do want both the corporate, high-income voters. And those in the extreme lower end. The ultra-rich and ultra-poor.

The GOP argument is that middle class relief is unfair because it helps only the middle class and not lower income folks who normally don’t go to college, and also vote Republican. Think of the folks described in the polls as non-college educated, mostly whites. The Trump base.

Slashing the student loan forgiveness plan also works with the nonsensical general Republican plan to address the economy and inflation. That plan? To cut overall spending and cut taxes.

Many economists would consider that inflationary, cutting taxes and revenue, adding to the national debt.  And that’s the GOP go-to? It’s yet another variation of the debunked “trickle down” theory. Enrich the corporates and the benefits will trickle down to everyone else.

But it never does.

Biden countered by unveiling a slogan last week calling the GOP plan the “MAGA mega trickle down.”

It might catch, but I prefer referring to student loan forgiveness as good old “trickle up” economics.

That $20,000 in debt relief would put money back in people’s pockets. Let them spend that on goods and services and watch the “trickle up.”

Debt relief from Biden’s student loan forgiveness can be life changing.

It’s not like bailing out the banks or a corporate giant or auto manufacturer, like both parties have done.

This is about bailing out regular folks.

If it matters to you, then you’ve got to vote.

You still can register in California. Get your invite to Election Day and watch your voice in our democracy “trickle up.”

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. His web show is on www.amok.com