Republicans think people should pay their debts. Oh, wait.

As the White House is pointing out, multiple Republicans in Congress who are shocked — shocked! — that students might get out of paying their loans were fine accepting debt forgiveness for PPP loans, which helped keep companies afloat during the pandemic.  Curt Schilling, an ex-baseball star, is likewise shocked —never mind that he was fine with defaulting on a $75 million state loan from Rhode Island for his now defunct business.

Hell, for that matter they’re fine with Trump filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy — the “I don’t want to pay my debts but I don’t want to shut down my business” version — six times. Republicans are squealing a lot about how forgiving student loans leaves hardworking blue collar types on the hook for unemployed liberal arts majors but they’re fine voting for a god king who leaves contractors with unpaid bills.

All the emphasis on how hardworking truckers will pay tax to support unemployed philosophy majors ignores, as a friend of mine pointed out on FB, that a lot of these loans cover trucking school, paramedic training, construction training and lots of other employment. Training on the job isn’t as common as it used to be and not everyone who takes out student loans is white collar or rich.

Megan McArdle is horrified the program, rather than helping those in need, is a giveaway so that people can “have nice clothes and go out a lot.” Of course, McArdle also believes that poverty is always the result of bad life decisions so it’s the individual’s own fault they’re poor. And that blacks commit more crimes and get more welfare, both incorrect. So I am somewhat unimpressed she thinks Biden’s program is too generous.

Right-wing pundit Timothy Carney proposes this is all a diabolical conspiracy: mocking the PPP moochers is saying that anyone who gets some sort of benefit from government isn’t allowed to criticize the government. That’s why government is constantly expanding benefits, to silence us! But no, that’s not it: it’s criticism of people whose cries of Pay Your Debts, Don’t Burden Taxpayers don’t apply to themselves. That’s legit.

 

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Filed under economics, Politics

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