Pro-PPP but Anti-Student Debt Relief

It’s true – everything is not always about politics. Some things, however, just cannot be denied as being purely political ideals.

The Brown County Taxpayers Association (BCTA) in Wisconsin has officially filed to ask the Supreme Court to block the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief program that is scheduled to take effect on October 19, 2022. The BCTA specifically directed their request to one of the newest Supreme Court Justices, Amy Coney Barrett, who handles emergency application requests from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The BCTA filed their request as an appeal after a Wisconsin federal judge dismissed their lawsuit challenging the student loan debt relief program, holding that the BCTA did not have legal standing to block the student loan debt relief program – in essence, the judge ruled that the BCTA did not have a qualifying injury, which is needed to establish legal standing.

In the BCTA’s appeal to Amy Coney Barrett, they ask that the student loan debt relief be suspended pending the outcome of the pending appeal. It’s unclear whether the BCTA’s request will be granted or denied prior to the official rollout of the student loan debt relief program. What is clear is that the BCTA is known to be a conservative political group. The BCTA went so far as to call the Biden administration’s loan forgiveness a “racial motive” that is unconstitutional because it seeks to help only Black borrowers and advance racial equity – an argument that is seemingly convenient against the Democratic party, which most African Americans identify with.

The most concerning part of BCTA’s argument is that the conservative group did not raise this argument or request to the Supreme Court when it concerned the Trump or Biden administration’s forgiveness of PPP loans. To date, more than 90% of PPP loans have been forgiven with an expected 100% to be forgiven by the time all requests have been submitted. For a comparison, the Biden administration’s student debt relief program will only forgive up to $20,000 for qualifying borrowers making under a certain annual salary, while the average PPP loan forgiven was around $95,000, no matter the borrower’s annual salary. For additional comparison, the Biden administration expects that about 8 million student loan borrowers will receive up to the $20,000 forgiveness amount while 10.2 million PPP borrowers had their loans absolutely forgiven. Based on the comparisons, it is clear that the BCTA is proposing a purely political request to the Supreme Court. It can be argued by laypersons whether or not the BCTA’s request has a valid basis. What can’t be argued is that the BCTA is only targeting debt relief as it relates to majority Democratic voters and that the BCTA did not target debt relief regarding the PPP loans, as it related to majority Republican voters.

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