‘Payroll grant’ program saved jobs; student loan relief does not, Rubio said.
Democrats from the White House on down continue to blast Republicans who took PPP loans as hypocrites when those same Republicans condemn Joe Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness. But Marco Rubio isn’t having it.
In an op-ed for Fox Business, Rubio is contrasting the “stunning success” of the Paycheck Protection Program, his pandemic scheme to advance money to businesses chafing under COVID-19 restrictions, to the “handout” proposed by the White House.
“My plan was as straightforward as it was novel: to create a federal grant for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll. This payroll grant, structured deliberately as a forgivable loan, had one key condition: that 80% of the funds go to payroll,” Rubio asserted.
The “forgivable loan” program worked, Rubio contended, leading to a 2.5 million gain in jobs, and saving 6.1 million jobs in Florida.
Such forgiveness shouldn’t apply to student loan debtors, meanwhile, given that students, unlike pandemic-affected businesses, should have known the risks involved in borrowing for education.
“Let’s start with the obvious: federal student loans were just that, loans. The whole idea was that students would take the loans to pay for an education that would lead to a job that repays them,” he said, making no mention of the massive interest accrued.
Rubio, facing a tough re-election challenge this year, seems to be pinning much of his messaging on the politically potent issue of student loan relief.
“Val Demings to Millions of Taxpayers: Screw You,” read a Thursday email from the Rubio camp, condemning Demings for supporting President Biden’s “student loan bailout.”
In a statement Tuesday, Rubio also railed against the proposal as failing fundamental tests of fairness, while not offering substantial reform that would benefit borrowers.
“Forgiving student loan debt isn’t free. It means the 85% of Americans with no undergraduate debt from college will be carrying the burden for those that do. That is not a relief, it is an unfair burden to place on working families,” Rubio contended.